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Why was the Battle of the Somme 1916 such a disaster for the British Army?

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  • Essay length: 2043 words
  • Submitted: 19/06/2006
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University Degree 1900-1919

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Why was the Battle of the Somme 1916 such a disaster for the British Army?

Why was the Battle of the Somme 1916 such a disaster for the British Army?

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`Until 1916, Great Britain had played relatively little part in the serious fighting of the war. As Russia's Brusilov Offensive had ground to a halt, Italy had suffered in the Alps, Serbia had been overrun and more importantly France was close to breaking point at Verdun, the allies turned to Britain to make a more decisive contribution to their combined effort. There needed to be a great offensive to relieve the pressure elsewhere in Europe and perhaps to end the war altogether. With this in mind, the British high command devised a plan for a joint attack with the French at the River Somme. However, far from delivering a telling blow to the German army, the resulting battle became the most notorious British military disaster there has ever been.

`The overall plan had been to use the new British national army for the first time in this battle, and the preparation of these men for war had been ongoing since 1914. 'Kitchener's Army'

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