The Battle of Somme

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This is a powerpoint presentation about the Battle of the Somme which took place from 1st July- 18th November 1916 during the World War I. It's considered as the "bloodiest battle in history". See more to see why...

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The Battle of Somme

  1. 1. Justine Faith P. Melgar
  2. 2. The Battle of Somme 1st July – 18th November, 1916
  3. 3.   Britain and France had noticed that their armies up at the North of France, near the Somme river have been battered continuously by the Germans.  The Germans have also invaded Verdun, a small city at north-eastern France, and the Alliance want him out. Why the battle took place…
  4. 4.  Main Objectives of the Alliance:  FIRST OBJECTIVE: - To drain the Central Powers’ (mainly Germany’s) resources and supplies at Somme.  SECOND OBJECTIVE: - To regain lost land. - To regain Verdun. The Alliance: - Great Britain - France - Russia The Central Powers: - Germany - Turkish Ottoman Empire - Austria-Hungary
  5. 5.  How the battle started…  As a pre-attack, the British forces, battered the German army with a week-long of shelling. This was done in hopes that Germany’s defenses would weaken before the full-attack.  Without the British’s knowledge, the Germans had hidden in underground chambers to protect themselves from the week-long shelling. The Germans also had really thick barbed wires which were said to be as thick as a finger, which weren’t as easily destroyed as the British had hoped. The concentration of both British and German armies were up at the northern side of the Somme, while French troops were at the further south.
  6. 6.  The Military Leaders behind both Parties… The British and French Army: Commander-in-Chief Sir Douglas Haig The German Army: General Fritz von Below
  7. 7.   With pride, the British army greatly believed that the week-long of shelling had weakened the German army greatly. And so the British soldiers marched through No Man’s Land towards the German trenches carrying only bayonets. It was even said in one account that the British officers ordered their soldiers to ‘walk’ towards the Germans in a slow, and prideful manner. Another thing was, the British had done it in broad daylight, with not a hint of cover to hide themselves.  The German army, on the other hand, almost unfazed, used machine guns to slaughter down the British soldiers who were coming onto them. One of the bloodiest days in written history…
  8. 8. The Map:
  9. 9.   It was given this title for a reason.  On the first day alone, the British army suffered over 60, 000 casualties while the German army suffered less than 20,000.  With around almost 80,000 lives lost on only the first day, the first day of the Battle of the Somme was recorded as ‘most war casualties in a single day’ and the title remains undefeated until today. A hundred bodies per square meter…
  10. 10.   It was said to be the first battle in history where tanks were used.  Several war weapons were widely used for the first time including, mines, poisonous gas and machine guns. Some machine guns used by the Germans were huge and required 12 men to operate.  It was a highly criticized battle which was said to have ‘gained so little, yet lost so many lives. How the Battle of Somme is remembered…
  11. 11.   The British soldiers who fought in the Battle of Somme, were said to be inexperienced. While the soldiers on the German side were said to be war veterans.  The tanks used by the British were too slow and risky. They also required a lot of technical work.  The shells used by the British Army were made of poor-quality materials and so many were defective. Defects of the Battle as pointed out by historians…
  12. 12.   After 4 ½ months of bloody battle, the battle was ended by Commander-in-Chief Sir Douglas Haig on 18th November, 1916.  The major reason was because conditions were getting worse, the rain had poured heavily which made the battlefield a muddy hell in the recent weeks. The battle was ended when the first snow fell.  The British and French have also decided that they have already lost too many and cannot continue any longer. How the battle ended…
  13. 13.   This is the tricky part.  At the outermost extent, historians believed that the Allied forces were able to defeat the Central Powers in this battle.  Though, some historians also say that the battle was a draw. In the end, the Allied forces gained very little ground and the number of casualties on both sides were almost equal.  Some historians believe that the amount of casualties suffered by both sides made the battle a draw. Who won?
  14. 14.   The British and French troops only managed to gain 8km of advancement.  The battle strategies of Commander-in-Chief Sir Douglas Haig were greatly criticized as the result of the huge life loss. He was later known as “the Butcher of the Somme”.  In the favorable side of the battle to the Alliance, they managed to destroy German resources and supplies at the Somme.  Many German veterans were lost at the battle which weakened the overall German army since then. In the end…
  15. 15.  Casualties by Numbers…  British Army = approx. 420,000  French Army = approx. 200,000  German Army = approx. 500,000  Lives lost in total = approx. over 1,000,000
  16. 16.   The Battle of Somme served as a grim reminder, especially to the British troops, to improve on their war tactics. This is the result of the events following the great blood-shed that happened on the first day, as a result of rubbish war tactics.  The German army lost a huge number of war veterans which in turn weakened its overall army. Their supplies and resources were also drained.  The tanks that were used by the British were remodeled and improved. The impacts the Battle of Somme left on WWI…
  17. 17.   Verdun was retaken by France.  The battle showed the true horrors of trench warfare. As to avoid the same thing to happen again, both parties since then had developed new tactics that improved conditions of soldiers in trenches.  The shells used by the British were improved and then made with better materials. (cont.)
  18. 18.   The Germans since then re-organized their defensive lines and started to rely on a series of concrete pillboxes as a front line defensive. The pillboxes were placed to cover machine guns. The fortified line was also named as “the Siegfried Stellung”--- or better known as the “the Hindenburg line”. (cont.)
  19. 19. The Battle of Somme 1st July – 18th November, 1916
  20. 20.  Bibliography:
  21. 21.   "Major Battles of WWI." Major Battles. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2014.  "The Beginning of Battle of the Somme." History Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2014.  "The Long, Long Trail." The Tactical Decisions Made before the Somme 1916. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2014.  "Overview - the Battle of the Somme." NZHistory, New Zealand History Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2014.  Battle of the Somme Ends. (retrieved via Internet on 8 March 2014) http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/battle-of-the- somme-ends  "Firstworldwar.com." First World War.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2014.  "World War I: Battle of the Somme." About.com Military History. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2014. Sites used:
  22. 22.   "The Somme: A Terrible Learning Curve." History Extra. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.  "World War I: The Players." World War I: The Players. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.  "Battle of the Somme." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.  "The Battle Of The Somme: The Bloodiest Battle of World War One." YouTube. YouTube, 22 Oct. 2013. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.  BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.  "The Battle of the Somme." The Battle of the Somme. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.  "Battle of the Somme: Facts and Information." Interesting Information for Kids, Pupils, Parents and Teachers. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2014. (cont.)
  23. 23.   Gilbert, Martin. The Battle of the Somme: The Heroism and Horror of War. Toronto: M&S, 2006. Print.  Ronayne, Ian. A Gunner's Great War: An Artilleryman's Experience from the Somme to the Subcontinent. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Military, 2012. Print.  Livesey, Anthony, and Jeremy Moore. Great Battles of World War I. New York: Macmillan, 1989. Print. Books used:

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