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Battle of the Somme: The Bloodiest Day In British Army History


At zero hour on July 1, 1916, the Allies launched one of the largest offensives of World War I on German positions near the Somme River in France. Of the 120,000 Allied troops who launched the initial attack, nearly 20,000 were killed, most of them in the first hour. Another 37,000 were wounded. This combination of 57,470 British casualties was greater than the total combined British casualties in the Crimean, Boer, and Korean Wars. The first day of the Battle of the Somme was the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army.

This is the story of the 141-day battle which resulted in over one million casualties. By its end, the British had only advanced a total of five miles.

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