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Kiwi Chateau - The Somme (Battle of)1st July - 18 November 1916A  ~ The 4th most costly battle in History. When I (Geoff) started creating these "Battlefields" pages, this page was my starting-point.Since then I have created some 20 other pages, yet have made LITTLE progress on "The Somme" ! For many people, the Battle of the Somme was the battle that symbolised the horrors of warfare in World War One.
This one battle had a marked effect on overall casualty figures and seemed to epitomise the futility of trench warfare. For many years those who led the British campaign have received a lot of criticism for the way the Battle of the Somme was fought a€“ especially Douglas Haig. This criticism was based on the appalling casualty figures suffered by the British and the French. By the end of the battle, the British Army had suffered 420,000 casualties including nearly 60,000 on the first day alone. The French lost 200,000 men and the Germans nearly 500,000.Ironically, "going over the top" at the Somme was the first taste of battle many of these men had, as many were part of "Kitchenera€™s Volunteer Army" persuaded to volunteer by posters showing Lord Kitchener himself summoning these men to arms to show their patriotism.
Why was the battle fought?For a number of months the French had been taking severe losses at Verdun a€“ to the east of Paris. To relieve the French, the Allied High Command decided to attack the Germans to the north of Verdun, therefore requiring the Germans to move some of their men away from the Verdun battlefield, thus relieving the French. After the war, Sir William Robertson, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, explained what this strategy was:" Remembering the dissatisfaction by ministers at the end of 1915, because the operations had not come up to their expectations, the General Staff took the precaution to make quite clear beforehand the nature of success which the Somme campaign might yield. The necessity of relieving pressure on the French Army at Verdun remains, and is more urgent than ever.
This is, therefore, the first objective to be obtained by the combined British and French offensive. However, orders from the army's political masters in London and Paris ensured that the battle would take place.


Just how backward military thinking was then is shown by the fact that the British put a regiment of cavalry on standby when the attack started to exploit the hole that would be created by a devastating infantry attack.
British military faith was still being placed on cavalry attacks in 1916 when the nature of war in the previous two years would have clearly indicated that cavalry was no longer viable.
This shows how conservative military thinking was during this war.The battle at the Somme started with a week-long artillery bombardment of the German lines. The logic behind this was that the artillery guns would destroy the German trenches and the barbed wire that was placed in front of those trenches. The use of artillery was heavily supported by Field Marshall Haig:" The enemy's position to be attacked was of a very considerable character, situated on a high, undulating tract of ground.
Defences of this nature could only be attacked with the prospect of success after careful artillery preparation. When the bombardment stopped, the Germans would have known that this would have been the signal for an infantry advance. They promptly moved to man their machine guns to face the British and French troops.The British soldiers advanced across a 25-mile front. By the end of the battle, in November 1916, the British had lost 420,000, the French lost nearly 200,000 men and the Germans 500,000.
A  I learned something from every man I met or exchanged emails with, and Lou taught me a few words in Spanish.A  Ole! In more than four and a half months, the Allied forces had advanced along a thirty-mile strip that was seven miles deep at its maximum.Lord Kitchener was a supporter of the theory of attrition - that eventually you would grind down your enemy and they would have to yield.
Many people found it difficult to justify the near 88,000 Allied men lost for every one mile gained in the advance.However, during the battle, media information on the battle was less than accurate. The following was written by John Irvine of the "Daily Express" on July 3rd 1916 - though his report would have been scutinised by the British military and government and he could only have used what information the military gave him:" A perceptible slackening of our fire soon after seven was the first indication given to us that our gallant soldiers were about to leap from their trenches and advance against the enemy.
Non-combatants, of course, were not permitted to witness this spectacle, but I am informed that the vigour and eagerness of the first assault were worthy of the best tradition of the British Army.


The message received at ten o'clock ran something like this: "On a front of twenty miles north and south of the Somme, we and our French allies have advanced and taken the German first line of trenches. It is too early to as yet give anything but the barest particulars, as the fighting is developing in intensity, but the British troops have already occupied the German front line. Many prisoners have already fallen into our hands, and as far as can be ascertained, our casualties have not been heavy. Some looked as if they were praying; they had died on their knees and the wire had prevented their fall. We can take a little walk, maybe get our feet wet, and then lie on a blanket and listen to the waves.
I do the same thing myself, when the mood strikes.A  And how about this for being an "in tune with women" kinda guy?A  A few days after I had ordered myself 2 new green dresses and several in black to add to my collection from a mail order company named Newport News, he sent an email asking:A  "So, what are you wearing right now?
A  For Christ Sake!!A  How about saving the Taxpayers a buck?A  In addition to that $6 million you've already blown by hovering and covering me, and scheduling a proper Face to Base meeting in your office; at my convenience?
Dramatic, but no drama.A  Short black skirt, or long black dress?A  Heels or boots?A  Camo, or commando? Until then, as in the end,there is much more to come.A A A  Once Upon a Time, a little mushroom popped through the moss covered ground of the Southeast Alaska Rainforest.
Grant, Attorney at Law, Juneau, AK From Wedding Bells to Tales to Tell: The Affidavit of Eric William Swanson, my former spouse AFFIDAVIT OF SHANNON MARIE MCCORMICK, My Former Best Friend THE AFFIDAVIT OF VALERIE BRITTINA ROSE, My daughter, aged 21 THE BEAGLE BRAYS!
HELL'S BELLS: THE TELLS OF THE ELVES RING LOUD AND CLEAR IDENTITY THEFT, MISINFORMATION, AND THE GETTING THE INFAMOUS RUNAROUND Double Entendre and DoubleSpeak, Innuendos and Intimidation, Coercion v Common Sense, Komply (with a K) v Knowledge = DDIICCKK; Who's Gunna Call it a Draw?



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