Battle of the Somme

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The battle of the Somme started on July 1st 1916 and ended around November 18th. The battle was in Picardy. The Battle of the Somme was part of the ‘War of Attrition’ phase of World War One. On the 3rd of August, 1914, Germany invaded Belgium. The next day Britain declared war, and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) went to France. For the first two months the armies fought aggressively against each other. These first meetings were called the ‘War of movement’. The Germany armies managed to get within 30 miles of Paris, but were eventually defeated at the Battle of the Marne, September 1914. A German chief said " Whether Britain's new army, men, kitcheners, barely trained, inexperienced volunteers could rise above their bloody losses, swallow the bitter pill of failure and still beat the finest army in the world." Towards the end of September, the Germans dug the very first trenches of the war. By November 1914 the trenches stretched all the way from Switzerland to the English Channel. This was a ‘Race to the Sea’. The advance of the British and French was stopped. The allies realized they would have to fight for their countries on the Western Front, and many other battles. The results were hundreds of thousands of casualties for the French.

For seven days and seven nights none of the soldier's ate or drank water. Britain were going to try one of the most difficult operation of war. A night assembly on the battle field and a dawn attack. At 3.20 am the waiting troops rushed in success. "They dared, they won" "The enemy should have to carve his way over heaps of corpses" Said a German Chief. Now as the British began to make some progress, the pattern of the battle emerged. Another British attack would be mounted to win the ground again, so it went on. Every knee was covered in German and British blood. Now the time of Endurance begins. In a week in July, the South Africans made their way to De Ville Wood. When they came out of it they homebred...
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