Deadly & Dreadful
The Battle of the Somme
By Pat Green
Location of Somme
Somme
5Ws (other than: War, Waste, Wretchedness,
Weapons and Woeful)

What Happened?
The Somme offensive was planned in 1915 as a joint British and French attack designed to wear down
the German Army’s reserves. The German attack at Verdun changed things dramatically. The French
soldiers left the Somme to reinforce Verdun, leaving the British forces to battle on.
Unfortunately, the British had two different battle plans and the result was a disaster. The British
bombed the German’s for 7 days to destroy their positions. The bombardment was so loud it could be
heard on the other side of the English Channel.
Thinking that the German trenches had been destroyed, the British soldiers went over the top on 1 July.
Weighed down by eqiupment the soldiers marched in long rows towards the German’s territory.
Tragically the bombardment had failed and the German machine-gunners quickly manned their
position and slaughtered the advancing British.
Of the 100,000 British troops involved, 20,000 were killed by nightfall, 40,000 were wounded – the
worst day in the British army’s histtory.
The battle went on for six months in the same way and by its end Allied casualities had risen to around
600,000 and German casualities to around 450,000.
5Ws (other than: War, Waste, Wretchedness,
Weapons and Woeful)
 Who was involved?
The Allies who were France, Italy and the armies of the British
Empire including: New Zealand, Australia, Canada, India,
Nepal, China. The Allies were led by Sir Henry Rawlinson and
General Haig, who couldn’t agree on a battle plan.
VERSUS
The Central Powers: Germany, the
Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
5Ws (other than: War, Waste, Wretchedness,
Weapons and Woeful)
 Why did it happen?
It happened because the French army had to reinforce Verdun which left
the British forces behind to fight the Germans.
The two British army leaders, General Haig and Sir Henry Rawlinson,
could not agree on a battle plan. Rawlinson favoured “bite and hold” a strategy involving attacking, winning and then consolidating the
enemy’s trenches. General Haig favoured an infantry breakthrough
followed up by a lightning cavalry advance..
The result was compromise and disaster. Eventually this battle, which
did not change the front line trenches much at all, involved over two
million men along a 30 mile front. British and French losses numbered
nearly three-quarters of a million men.
5Ws (other than: War, Waste, Wretchedness,
Weapons and Woeful)
 When did it happen?
The battle lasted six months from 24 June – 18 November
1916.
Cheering British soldiers before
Going into battle at Somme.
5Ws (other than: War, Waste, Wretchedness,
Weapons and Woeful)
 Where did it happen? Somme in Northern France along
a 30 mile (50 km) stretch.
Statistics
SOMME FIRST DAY
Unscathed
40,000 40%
Dead 20,000
20%
Wounded
40,000 40%
British forces go over the
Top to attack German
Trenches after bombardment
Statistics
Military Casualities Total World War 1
Central Powers Dead 4,390,544
14%
Allies and Russian Injured 12,800,706
40%
Centrals Powers Wounded 8,419,533
26%
Allies & Russian - Dead
6,349,352
20%
Statistics
Civilian Casualties Total World War 1
Allies and Russian Death from Military
Action 776,686 11%
Central Powers Death from disease
and malnutrition
2,330,000 32%
Allies & Russian Death from disease
and malnutrition
2,520,000 35%
Centrals Powers Military Action
1,620,720 22%
Classifying Chart
Peacekeeping Actions
President Woodrow Wilson
Peacekeeping Actions
1916 Woodrow Wilson

In December 19,16 after ten brutal months of the Battle of Verdun and a successful offensive against Romania, the
Germans attempted to negotiate a peace with the allies. US president, Woodrow Wilson, attempted to intervene
as a peacemaker, asking in a note for both sides to state their demands. Lloyd Gorge, Prime minister of Britain
considered the German offer to be a trick to create divisions amongst the allies.

Allied governments demanded restoration of damages, evacuation of occupied territories, reparations for France,
Russia and Romania, and a recognition of the principle of nationalities.

The negotiations failed and the Allied powers rejected the German offer. The Allied powers stated that they would
not start peace negotiations until the Central Powers evacuated all occupied Allied territories.
1919 Paris Peace Conference

After the war, the Paris Peace Conference imposed a series of peace treaties on the Central Powers officially
ending the war. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles dealt with Germany and building on the Wilson’s 14th point,
brought into being the League Of Nations on 28th of June 1919.

The League Of Nations was an inter-governmental organization. It was the first international organisation whs
principle mission was to maintain world peace.
Timeline of the Battle of Somme
German cavalry
patrols get to
within 8 miles
of Paris.
Britain
declares war
on Germany.
4 August 1914
5 August
1914
Germany
invades
Belgian
Germans marching into Brussels,
Belgium
3 September
1914
5 September
1914
Battle of
Marne
Timeline of the Battle of Somme
Allied artillery
bombardment
ofPrincipal
German
lines begins
Battle of
Somme
Allied
troops
land at
Gallipoli
October 1914
First Battle of
Ypres
April 1915
21 February 1916
Germans
launch attack
on Verdun
24 June 1916
Timeline of the Battle of Somme
Battle of Flers
Courcelette;
Allied attacks
fail to make
significant
gains
British fail
to break
through
German
lines.
British bombardment of Germans
1 July 1916
2-10 July 1916
British and
French go over
the top to the
German
trenches
12 July – 27
August 1916
Allied attacks
and German
counter
attacks
Supply lines
15-22 September
1916
Timeline of the Battle of Somme
United States
of America
join the Allies
13-18 November 1916
6 April 1917
British Gas Mask
Battle of
Ancree sees
Allies fail to
break through
German lines
French gas attack on German lines
Choices
British agree
on an
excellent
battle plan
Con
Pro
The British
would have
won at
Somme and
the war
would have
ended in
1916 and
saved lives,
money and
resources.
More
German
soldiers
would have
lost their
lives and
perhaps
civilians
too.
Neutral
countries e.g.
Sweden, could
have sent
peacekeepers
More
attempts to
negotiate
peace
Con
Pro
If both sides
could have got
together and
communicated
properly, they
could have
reached an
agreement to
end the war
earlier.
Getting
together to
talk about
their
differences
may have
made both
sides even
more angry
and even more
determined to
fight and kill
and destruct.
1st Choice
2nd Choice
Negotiate
Peacekeeping force
Pro
Con
There
would have
been less
fighting and
not as many
soldiers and
civilians
would die
from
military
actions.
Peacekeepers
may have
been killed
trying to
keep the
peace.
3rd Choice
British battle plan
And now for something interesting
….

My interesting story is about my great, great grandfather Colonel Claude
Horace Weston and Billy the dog.

My great, great grandfather was a Lieutenant Colonel of the Wellington
Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Force. He received a Distinguished
Service Order, was mentioned in dispatches, and was promoted to full colonel.

His wartime service included all the worst battles New Zealanders fought in;
Gallipoli, winter in Egypt, Flanders, the Somme, Messines and finally
Passchendale where he was severely wounded on 4 October 1917 and suffered a
permanent disability.

During his time in the trenches, Colonel Claude adopted a Sealyham puppy
called Billy, who became the mascot of the 3rd Battalion, Wellington Regiment
and here is their story….
Bibliography
 INTERNET SITES
 BOOKS
1.
1.
‘Leaders of World War 1’ by Stuart Ross
2.
‘Hidden Stories of the First World War’ by Jackie
Storer
3.
‘Nice Day for a War’ by Chris Slane and Matt Elliott
4.
‘World War 1 The Bloodiest Battle ever Fought’
5.
‘Eyewitness World War 1’
6.
‘Shand Family History’ by Ann Green
2.
www.Wikipedia.com

Aftermath of World War 1

World War 1 casualties,

League Of Nations
www.history.com


1916 Battle Of The Somme
Battles And Facts
3.
www.redcross.org.uk
4.
www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/somme

The Deadly & Dreadful Battle of Somme