The Battle of the Somme started in July 1, 1916 and lasted until November 1916 between France and Germany. History considers this battle as the bloodiest of all battles in World War I. In the article “The Battle of the Somme”, the historical perspective of the Battle is outlined. This battle traces its origins from the many severe losses that the French had been experiencing at Verdun – to the east of Paris.
The British Allied High Command, taking sympathy with the French losses, decided to attack the Germans to the north of Verdun thereby driving the Germans away from the Verdun battlefield.
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The battle at the Somme started with a weeklong artillery bombardment of the German lines where an estimated 1. 7 million shells were fired. By November 1916, when the battle ended, the British had lost 420,000, the French lost nearly 200,000 men and the Germans 500,000. (“The Battle of Somme”) Many historians agree that the neither the French and British nor the Germans won in this costliest battle to date. For many years, those who led the British campaign have received a lot of criticism for the way the Battle of Somme was fought – especially Douglas Haig.
(“The Battle of the Somme”). This criticism was based on the many lives that were lost in the battle and the insignificant gains that either parties got in exchange for those massive losses. The British and French captured only a little more than five miles (8 km) at the deepest point of penetration—well short of their original objectives. The British themselves had gained approximately only two miles and lost about 420,000 soldiers in the process, meaning that a centimeter cost about two men.
(“Battle of Somme”) What does this tell us? There are no victors in wars, only losers. This fact bears tremendous implications not only on Western civilization but on all civilizations that wage wars against one another. BIBLIOGRAPHY Battle of the Somme. Wikipedia. 2000. (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Somme) Sheffield, Gary. The Somme, Cassell, 2003. The Battle of the Somme. 2000. (http://www. historylearningsite. co. uk/somme. htm)
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