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

Why was the Somme offensive launched in 1916?

Extracts from this document...


Why was the Somme offensive launched in 1916? The 1st July 1916 was indeed the bloodiest day of the First World War with Britain alone taking 58000 casualties on the first day. Hundreds of thousands of men were sent into the 30km front between Arras and Albert in France, along the Somme River. The idea was to put the German side of the river under severe artillery fire for eight day's hoping that would destroy most of the German forces. But because of the well built trenches of the Germans the British artillery was not able to penetrate their defenses. ...read more.


The battle of Verdun was a major battle that started in February 1916 and didn't end until December. I believe this was the most important reason because the Somme was originally supposed to be a French campaign with British support but because of the staggering numbers of loses the French were taking at Verdun they could not have as much of a say. Also if the Germans managed to beat the French at the battle of Verdun then it would leave Britain extremely vulnerable to attack from the German forces which put them in a good position to give terms for peace treaties and Britain could not let this happen. ...read more.


This was because although the German Navy had been defeated the British still lost more ships. All the failed battles mentioned build up to the fact that the British government needed to show the people of Britain that we did have a chance in the war. The last thing they needed was the collapse of trust inside the country. Another reason for the attack at the Somme was the fact that the stalemate between the trenches at the time needed to be broken. The government saw it as the perfect place to punch a whole through the enemy lines and destroy their trenches. This would leave German territory defenseless against the British, French and Russian onslaught. This would make us more in the position to dictate harsher peace treaties. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sam Marsh ...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 Britain 1905-1951 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 Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. Why was it Important that the Gallipoli Campaign should succeed?

    A general summary of source D is that it talks about lack of supplies and room for fighting. The evidence that agrees with the reasons why the campaign failed are that there wasn't a sufficient amount of supplies and men.

  2. 'The British offensive on the Sommewas doomed to be a disaster from the start ...

    would have done because they were ordered by over confident general to pack up all their belongings and to walk towards the German front line. So they did some of them even kicking footballs as they went, little did they know that they were in a race because the German

  1. The first major German offensive occurred at Verdun.

    These are the worst losses in British history for one single day. Source A: (From Sir Douglas Haig�s despatch, 23rd December 1916) This source shows us the objectives that Haig had defined for the Battle of the Somme, It is however dated after the battle had ended, on 23rd December 1916.

  2. World War I in France 1916 - the Somme and Verdun.

    The source shows the remains of a machine gun post that was completely destroyed by bombardment. However, the photograph could have been issued by the British government to boost morale and give faith to the troops in artillery. 2) I think that overall, Field Marshal Haig must be judged a

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