The Battle of Somme Essay

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The British launched The Battle of the Somme to achieve two objectives. The first and most important goal was to relieve pressure on the French Army at Verdun, and the second was to inflict as heavy a loss as possible on the German Armies. The Battle of the Somme had to be fought to save the French Army from the crucifixion of Verdun. The head of the French Army, General Fock, and some leading British commanders did not believe this battle would help, but political masters in London and Paris supported the campaign. For many years The Battle of the Somme received much criticism for the way the battle was fought based on the number of casualties. Joseph Joffre, The French Commander in Chief, wrote a letter to Douglas Haig on December…show more content…
Haig expected a breakthrough of up to seven miles from the start line. Rawlinson believed they would take a “bite” into the German trenches to be followed by more little bites to gain territory. Both generals were proven wrong on their expectations, but Rawlinson’s was the more realistic objective. The artillery plan was that the field guns would destroy the German barbed wire in front of the trenches and the heavy guns were to attack the enemy’s artillery and trenches. The artillery was to be the key to the offensive. Another key point in key to being offensive was the enemy's position was situated on a high, rigid piece of ground. Joffre’s army had deep trenches with bomb proof shelters and wire encirclements. When the attack started Haig’s army just had to move the men into the remote safety zone of the trench. When the attack stopped, the Germans would then know that this was the signal for an infantry advance. Lastly, they would move from safety and keep their guns close by incase of an attack and to face the British and French. Sadly, their weapons did not have the ability to cut all the wire and destroy deep German trenches or knock out all enemy guns. It also could not provide a useful bombardment for the infantry attack. On July 1, the artillery drifted away from the German front trenches and left the infantry unattended. Nobody was

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