• July 1, 1916 – Battle of the Somme
o British launched offensive against Somme River
o Also known as the Somme Offensive, took place during the First World War between 1 July and 14 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, which, since invading France in August 1914, had occupied large areas of that country. The Battle of the Somme was one of the largest battles of the First World War; by the time fighting had petered out in late autumn 1916 the forces involved had suffered more than 1 million casualties, making it one of the bloodiest military operations ever recorded.
o The plan for the Somme offensive evolved out of Allied strategic discussions at Chantilly, Oise in December 1915. Chaired by General Joseph Joffre, the commander-in-chief of the French Army, Allied representatives agreed on a concerted offensive against the Central Powers in 1916 by the French, British, Italian and Russian armies. The Somme offensive was to be the Anglo-French contribution to this general offensive, and was intended to create a rupture in the German line, which could then be exploited with a decisive blow. With the German attack on Verdun on the River Meuse in February 1916, the Allies were forced to adapt their plans. The British Army took the lead on the Somme, though the French contribution remained significant.
o The opening day of the battle on 1 July 1916 saw the British Army suffer the worst one-day combat losses in its history, with nearly 60,000 casualties.
• Feb 1916 – Battle of Verdun
o One of the major battles during the First World War on the Western Front. The German High Command had failed to achieve its two objectives: 1) to capture the city of Verdun and 2) to inflict a much higher casualty count on its French adversary. By the end of the battle (December 1916) the... [continues]
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