• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In Military Terms was anything achieved by the British at the Battle of the Somme?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In Military Terms was anything achieved by the British at the Battle of the Somme? The Somme is sometimes thought of as a failure. It is not entirely fair to say that this is wholly true, as the Somme was, in certain ways, very useful to the British. General Douglas Haig wished for the Somme to punch through the German defences and then use cavalry to advance on Bapaume and ultimately win the war. This seems like rather an over optimistic plan, but not strictly impossible. Haig decided that to prepare the battle, a preliminary bombardment would be unleashed on the German trenches, believing that the German defences would be entirely obliterated and that after the bombardment had finished, the British would simply have to walk across no-mans land into the abandoned German trenches. ...read more.

Middle

At 7.30am the other two detonated on time, and the British Army's 750,000 men left the trench spanning 14 miles and began to walk across no mans land, straight into a blizzard of German machine gun fire. Some Divisions managed to complete their preliminary objectives regardless of the fierce German fire, for instance the 36th Ulster Division managed to capture a trench, but most of the other troops failed and resorted to small attacks on certain areas of the line. Some cavalry charges were attempted, but they were merely cut down by the German fire. By the end of the day, casualties were worked out at around 38,000 men, and about 19,000 men died - the single most casualties ever received in one day in British military history. ...read more.

Conclusion

In February 1917 the Germans retreated to their pre-prepared Hindenburg Line 18 miles back. The Hindenburg line was on high ground and was well fortified. The battle served quite an important purpose to the British, and that was training the somewhat rookie troops. By the end of the Somme, the survivors were well trained in attrition and trench warfare, making them more of a match for the better-trained Germans. The Somme also pressured the Germans to take up a defensive strategy on the Western Front. So, all in all, the Somme should definitely not be thought of as a failure on the British part, because despite losing a lot of men, the British did seem to come out on top. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1900-1939 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. The Battle of Verdun.

    about the reasons they wee fighting, and shows how many were disillusioned with the war. This was another attitude toward the battle of Verdun and as an example of this attitude Source B is very useful to historians. Both sources are very useful in informing us on the French attitude

  2. Field Marshall Haig: 'The Butcher of the Somme'?

    have slanted the information in his favour, to portray him in the best possible way. Perhaps he anticipated victory at the end of the battle, therefore allowing him to omit certain negative facts, as it would be more believable in victory and people would be less likely to challenge him afterwards.

  1. History Sourcework- Field Marshal Haig Final

    However, the purpose of the source, published in 1933 after Haig's death, allowing Lloyd George to deflect blame away from himself and on to Haig, while also glorifying his own role, despite the fact he employed this "terrible" general himself.

  2. Dear Diary, It was the start of the Christmas month and I was ready ...

    At the top on the grounds of no-mans land there is loads and loads of thick barbed-wire entanglements, wire protecting the trenches and the soldiers. I saw some tired guys at the top of the trench helping to build more barbed wire and this job involves carrying out 6 ft.

  1. The Battle of the Somme - source related study.

    that no-mans land would lie to the left of source b and the guard is looking to the right. This now explains the purpose of the photo. Source c shows us how dangerous it was to occupy trenches. Source c confirms the amount of deaths during certain periods of the battle of Somme.

  2. Dooms Day.

    The clouds had started to come up again blocking out the sun. We reached the base in a few hours and kept our distance from the searchlights and guard towers. As I approached closer I signalled three soldiers to take forward positions and Sergei stayed right next to me.

  1. The Battle of the Somme

    If the mines had been set off at 7.28 then this would have only given the Germans 2 minutes to prepare and maybe the lives of a few more soldiers would have been spared.

  2. The Battle of The Somme:

    The attack was planned for the 1st of August but the French requested that it be brought forward a month in hopes of diverting the enemy's efforts. Haig took over most of the planning and worked over it very slowly with General Rawlinson, whose Fourth army would lead the attack.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work