The following designs depict the twelve phases between 1st July and 18th November 1916 that made up the Somme offensive. It is difficult to declare the Battle of the Somme a victory for either side. The British and French captured little more than 7-mile (11 km) at the deepest point of penetration—well short of their original objectives. Attitudes however are now changing and challenging the long-held consensus that the battle was a disaster; arguing that the Battle of the Somme delivered more benefits to the British than it did for the Germans, the Somme was not a victory in itself, but without it the Entente would not, it has been argued, have emerged victorious in 1918.
On 24 February 1917, the German army made a strategic scorched earth withdrawal from the Somme battlefield to the prepared fortifications of the Hindenburg Line. The strategic effects of the Battle of the Somme cannot obscure the fact it was one of the costliest battles of the First World War. A German officer, Friedrich Steinbrecher, wrote: “Somme. The whole history of the world cannot contain a more ghastly word” Another, Captain von Hentig, described the Battle of the Somme as "the muddy grave of the German Field Army"
British Empire Casualties
The Battle of the Somme or the Somme Offensive, took place 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. One of the largest battles of the Great War, by the time fighting had petered out in late autumn 1916 more than 1.5 million casualties had been suffered by the forces involved. It is understood to have been one of the bloodiest military operations ever recorded.
1 July 1916, was the opening day of the Battle of Albert, which was the first phase of the British and French offensive that became known as the Battle of the Somme. It is remembered as the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army when 57,470 men became casualties, of whom 19,240 were killed or died of wounds. For Newfoundlanders, it was also a very traumatic day, as the 1st Newfoundland Regiment suffered death totals of over 500 out of 801 men, with just 68 surviving unscathed. For many people, the first day has come to represent the futility and sacrifice of the war, with lines of infantry being mowed down by German machine guns. While the first day marked the beginning of four and a half months of attrition, it has always overshadowed the days that followed. The Battle of Albert continued until 13 July, the eve of the next major attack, the Battle of Bazentin Ridge.
Battle of Albert