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The Battle of the Somme

Cheshire Regiment trench Somme 1916

The Somme Offensive (also known as the Battle of the Somme) occurred between 1st July and 13th November 1916.

The Somme is a river in northern France and it is called the Battle of the Somme because the attacks happened around the river.

For five days before the battle, the British army had shot non-stop at the German trenches to destroy them and the barbed wire in front of them.

Thinking that most of the German defence was destroyed, at 7:30 on the morning of 1st July, the British generals told all of the British soldiers to get out of their trenches and walk slowly over to the German trenches.

This proved to be fatal however as the German line hadn't been weakened as much as expected and nice weather on the day made it perfect for the Germans to see them coming and thus aim their attacks clearly at them.

It is considered to be the worst battle of the First World War for the British, with about 60,000 casualties in the first day alone and over 350,000 by the end.