Today is the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, one of the largest battles from WWI that lasted 141 days near the Somme River in France. More than 2 million soldiers were killed or wounded during one of the bloodiest battles in history, with the first day 1 July 1916 becoming the bloodiest in the British army ever recorded. They experienced some of the worst heat, rain, and mud that turned their trenches and battlefield into bogs where men often drowned rather than shot with bullets. By the end, British and French forces had penetrated 7 miles of the German occupied territory, the most since the Battle of the Marne over a year before.
The United States had yet to enter the war at this time, and sadly, many Americans are unaware of this great tragedy. In A Rolls Royce in No Man’s Land Gwyn, Ruthers and Captain William Crawford are thrown into the chaos where their lives and those that they care about are forever changed. It’s truly staggering what these brave men and women went through, and more than once I was humbled to weave in real details and people for Gwyn and Will’s story.
– Originally meant to be French led with the British in supports
– The tank made its first ever appearance
– Average Tommy carried over 50lbs of equipment when he went over the top
– Two cameramen were allowed to film during the first days of battle, producing the most iconic images of the war.