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The battle of the Somme.

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History coursework. The battle of the Somme. The Battle of the Somme came about because the Allies started to think that trench warfare was getting them no where and they decided that they needed to do something to end the war. They decided the best place for this was on the river Somme. The main burden of the attack was put upon the New British Fourth Army lead by General Rawlinson. The plan was that the fourteen British divisions were going to attack along a fourteen mile long front. They were going to bombard the Germans for several days and kill as many of them as possible so they could easily walk across no mans land and control the enemy trenches. ...read more.


It lasted five days and on the 30th June, the night before they were to go into the enemy trenches the Ulstermen were at Thiepval wood. At 7:30 am on the 1st July 1916 the gunfire and bombardment stopped and some of the Ulster division battalions advanced, covered by the smoke, into no- mans land. The men were to walk, not run because this was seen as fear and their enemies would recognise this. A journalist said "When I saw the men emerge through the smoke and form up as if on parade, I could hardly believe my eyes." They then walked into the German machine guns. What came next was absolute carnage. After two days the Ulster Division had 5, 500 soldiers, dead, wounded or missing. ...read more.


He died in 1953 and his medal is in the Regimental Museum of the Rifles in Belfast. The 36th Ulster division was practically wiped out and on the 11th July 1916 they left Piccardy. They were very different men from those who arrived in France a couple of months before. In the decades after the Somme the words Thiepval, Ancre and Somme were embroidered onto the banners of the Orangemen. Sadly in the years after the battle people thought of it as a Protestant and Unionist sacrifice and do not remember the sacrifice of other Irishmen during the battle and the memory of the soldiers from the south of Ireland and the Nationalists from the North who sacrificed their lives also would be forgotten because of the extremes of Nationalism and Unionism. ...read more.

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