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Ginchy, the capture of which enabled the British and French armies to

make much bigger attacks, capture more ground and inflict heavy

casualties on the German defenders,

Flers–Courcelette where the British used tanks on the battlefield for the

first time.This was where New Zealand made its first major contribution

on theWestern front and here also Canadian soldiers used the recently

developed tactic called the creeping barrage, advancing behind a wave of

artillery fire.

Thiepval in September which became the worst month for casualties for

the Germans as they struggled to withstand the preponderance of men

and material fielded against them.

Ancre in October and November which was the last big British operation

of the year.

Beaumont Hamel where the 1st Battalion of the Newfoundland

Regiment, lost two-thirds of its entire strength in an hour.

Air power came into its own at the Somme. From the start of the campaign

squadrons of Allied aeroplanes established air control over the battlefield,

bombed German depots and lines of communications and brought down the

long, sausage-shaped kite balloons which the Germans used as observation

platforms.The opposing sides struggled to maintain the lead in aircraft


Before such a battle, vast stocks of ammunition and stores had to be accumulated

within a convenient distance of the front. Miles of new railways were built, and

narrow gauge tracks were laid in trenches and old roads were improved and new

ones constructed.A hundred and twenty miles of water mains were laid. Scores

of miles of trenches were dug for assembly, assault and communications, and

numerous gun emplacements and observation posts made ready and all of these

preparations had to be made under enemy fire.

The Battle of the Somme was the beginning of modern all-arms warfare for the

British Army and where it began to learn to fight as a mass army, something the

continental armies had been doing since the outset of the war. BothVerdun and the

Somme also laid bare the effects of industrialisation on war. Fighting was now

shaped by the pace of factory production and by its most obvious output, artillery.