There is an upper valley in France where a river flows.
Where thousands of young soldiers lay waiting in the trenches.
Waiting for the order, for the whistle to blow.
Thousands of brave service men lost their lives 100 years ago.
All those brave soldiers that sacrificed their lives.
While I sit with all my comforts and reflect.
They did not have a future no children or any wives.
Today in their memory I pay homage and respect.
Those brave soldiers are gone but not forgotten 100 years ago.
Lest we forget.
It was a battle in World War I and it’s remembered for two main things.
Firstly, for being a really big battle where thousands of soldiers died in a very short amount of time.
Secondly, it’s remembered because the Somme was not the big success that the Allied armies had hoped for, and so it’s often seen as a needless loss of life.
In 1916 Britain and France were part of a group of countries called the Allied Powers. They were fighting World War I against another group called the Central Powers, led by Germany with Austria-Hungary.
A lot of the fighting took place along the Western Front where the soldiers had dug out a lot of special ditches called trenches. The two sets of trenches faced each other across an area called no man’s land.
The soldiers lived in the trenches and mounted attacks using things like rifles, machine guns and poison gas. The aim of the Allied attacks was to break through the enemy’s trenches and push the German Army back towards the centre of Europe.
Breaking through the trenches wasn’t easy so the British and French planned a really big attack that became known as the Battle of the Somme.
To weaken the German defences the Allied forces fired shells from artillery guns. The shelling, called a bombardment, went on for a whole week.
When it had finished the British and French soldiers came out of their trenches and headed towards the German lines. They weren’t expecting much of a fight because everyone thought that the shells would have killed the German soldiers.
But there was a problem. When the shelling started the Germans hid in special shelters called dugouts. They waited underground for a week and when the shelling finished they came out and fired machine guns at the advancing Allied troops. The British troops were caught in no man’s land and couldn’t hide from the German bullets.
The fighting started on 1 July 1916. Because it’s called a battle you might imagine that it all happened in a few days, but it actually went on for months and finally finished in November 1916.
WW1–Rare Footage of the Battle of Somme–1916
The first World War–(1914-1919).
Amazing Rare footage from WW1, with film from the “Battle of Somme”, which began on July 1st,1916.
Includes actual battle reels from WW1.
The Battle of the Somme (French: Bataille de la Somme), also known as the Somme Offensive, took place during the First World War between 1 July and 18 November 1916 in the Somme department of France, on both banks of the river of the same name. The battle consisted of an offensive by the British and French armies against the German Army, which, since invading France in August 1914, had occupied large areas of that country. The Battle of the Somme was one of the largest battles of the First World War; by the time fighting had petered out in late autumn 1916 the forces involved had suffered more than 1 million casualties, making it one of the bloodiest military operations ever recorded.
The plan for the Somme offensive evolved out of Allied strategic discussions at Chantilly, Oise in December 1915. Chaired by General Joseph Joffre, the commander-in-chief of the French Army, Allied representatives agreed on a concerted offensive against the Central Powers in 1916 by the French, British, Italian and Russian armies. The Somme offensive was to be the Anglo-French contribution to this general offensive and was intended to create a rupture in the German line which could then be exploited with a decisive blow. With the German attack on Verdun on the River Meuse in February 1916, the Allies were forced to adapt their plans. The British Army took the lead on the Somme, though the French contribution remained significant.
The opening day of the battle on 1 July 1916 saw the British Army suffer the worst one-day combat losses in its history, with nearly 60,000 casualties. Because of the composition of the British Army, at this point a volunteer force with many battalions comprising men from specific local areas, these losses had a profound social impact and have given the battle a lasting cultural legacy in Britain. The casualties also had a tremendous social impact on the Dominion of Newfoundland, as a large percentage of the Newfoundland men that had volunteered to serve were lost that first day. The battle is also remembered for the first use of the tank. The conduct of the battle has been a source of historical controversy: senior officers such as General Sir Douglas Haig, the commander of the British Expeditionary Force, and Henry Rawlinson, the commander of Fourth Army, have been criticised for incurring very severe losses while failing to achieve their territorial objectives. Other historians have portrayed the Somme as a vital preliminary to the defeat of the German Army, and one which taught the British Army valuable tactical and operational lessons.
At the end of the battle, British and French forces had penetrated a total of 6 miles (9.7 km) into German occupied territory. The British Army was three miles (5 km) from Bapaume and also did not capture Le Transloy or any other French town, failing to complete many objectives. The Germans were still occupying partially entrenched positions and were not as demoralised as the British High Command had anticipated.