Centenary of the Somme

somme

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.British_Mark_I_male_tank_Somme_25_September_1916

Facts:

– 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

– A mine was blown under a German stronghold 10 min before the scheduled time of attack. It was the loudest man made sound in somme-page-pic1history at that point

– Two cameramen were allowed to film during the first days of battle, producing the most iconic images of the war.

 

4 Comments

  1. Tom Threadgill

    Hi, J’nell. I’m much more of a WWII buff, but am gradually learning more about WWI. It’s striking how you really can’t understand the origins of the 2nd world war without knowing about the first one. The battles in WWI were so stagnant. Thanks for sharing the info!

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      History is just a big domino effect. We think events are stand alone, but they never are. I was always a big WWII buff myself and only recently became interested in WWI. It was such a turning point in history as well as warfare, the ancient methods clashing with modern technology for the first time, and many of the WWII leaders having their first experiences of battle like Hitler and Patton. The History channel did a great mini series a few years ago that did a great job with explaining how these wars came to be and the key players. http://www.history.com/shows/the-world-wars

      Reply
      1. Tom Threadgill

        Have you seen this: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheGreatWar.

        Guess what I’ll be watching?

        Reply
        1. J'nell (Post author)

          Ooh! Adding to watchlist. I love finding new stuff.

          Reply

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