Battle of the Somme begins

At 7:30 a.m., the British launched a massive offensive against German forces in the Somme region of France. In the past week, 250,000 Allied shells had shelled German positions near the Somme, and 100,000 British soldiers poured out of their trenches and fell in no man’s land on July 1, expecting to find the clear path for them. However, dozens of heavy German machine guns survived the artillery assault and the infantry was massacred. By the end of the day, 20,000 British soldiers were dead and 40,000 injured. It was the heaviest day in British military history. The disastrous battle of the Somme lasted more than four months, the Allies having covered a total of only five miles.

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