Which Turning Point in Ww1 to You Consider to Be the Most Crucial?

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 143
  • Published : April 10, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
WW1 was a truly global war, with combat taking place in some way or another on each of the worlds 5 populated continents. Over 15 million people died and a further 20 million+ were wounded in what became known as ‘The Great War’. The war itself was by no means one sided and is littered with numerous turning points where, had events occurred differently, the whole direction of the war, and the result, might have differed. It is my opinion that the Battle of the Somme is the most crucial turning point of WW1. This might seem like a strange choice, given that this battle, above all, seems to represent the disastrous stalemate that locked the western front for most of the war. However in this essay I will argue that the Battle of the Somme achieved its central purpose, and began the inevitable decline and eventual defeat of Germany and her Central Powers allies. To begin it is necessary to briefly outline the nature and objectives of the battle itself. The Battle of the Somme was an epic battle that lasted from 1st July 1916 till the winter of the same year. It began with an 8 day bombardment of the German trenches, in which over 1 million shells were fired. The allies then proceeded to send wave after wave of men forward in a sustained but ultimately futile attempt to break through the German front line. In the first day the British troops suffered 65,000 casualties , and by the end of the war the combined allied forces had lost over 600,000 men – dead, seriously wounded or missing in action. The objective of the battle was to divert German men and supplies from their attack at Verdun, where the French troops were close to defeat. In this respect it succeeded, the French held on at Verdun and their line held. History has judged the battle, and its generals, harshly: branding Douglas Haig ‘The Butcher of the Somme’. However as I will go on to explain I believe that the Battle of the Somme achieved its objective and ultimately spelled disaster for the Germans and...
tracking img