Almost 20,000 young British and Empire soldiers - some aged just 15 - died in the opening hours of the battle, the bloodiest day in Britain's military history. During the following four and a half months of trench warfare, the Army suffered an average of almost 3,000 casualties a day.
By November 18, 1916, when the battle ended, the Allies had taken more than 600,000 casualties of whom more than 120,000 died. The German casualty rate was strikingly similar.
Monday, July 03, 2006
Last weekend was the 90th anniversary of the start of a battle that to this day goes a long way to explain the disconnect often seen between US and British ideas about how to wage a war. The Somme.