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The Battle of the Somme was one of the largest battles of World War Iand among the bloodiest in all of human history.

A combination of a compact battlefield, destructive modern weaponry and several failures by British military leaders led to the unprecedented slaughter of wave after wave of young men. On the first day alone the British endured more than 57, casualties.

Naughty single women in Durham nearly 20, British troops killed on day one of the infantry assault was so high it remains the single worst day in British military history. The campaign, staged along an mile stretch around the Somme River in France, was a t French and British offensive to expel German forces.

The location and timing of the attack was also intended to relieve pressure on Verdun, where French troops were enduring a punishing German attack. British General Sir Douglas Haig ordered a week-long artillery bombardment of more than a million shells starting on June The Live chat of shells was intended to wipe out German barbed wire, front line trenches, artillery—and the morale of the German army.

In fact, more than half of the artillery shells failed to detonate, most of the German dugouts remained undamaged and their wire barricades remained largely intact. The terrain around the Somme Horny women seeking men Albany va made up primarily of chalk, which the Germans had found well-suited for trench warfareincluding a deep networks of fortified trenches, complete with rear supply fortifications and buried communication lines.

The advancing soldiers could not move quickly since most were carrying some 60 pounds of gear, including picks, sandbags and shovels to shore up enemy positions that they believed had been blown out by artillery and abandoned. Also exacerbating the slaughter was the fact that the advancing troops, in seeking out openings in the German barbed wire, ended up clustering at the gaps, making them easy targets.

Despite the shockingly heavy losses of July 1, General Haig and other military leaders d the attacks the next day — and the next. A British tank crossing a trench on its way to attack Thiepval on September 25, during the Battle of the Somme.

Credit: Lt. Over the course of the campaign both sides fired artillery shells by the tons, unleash streams of machine gun fire, spray chemical weapons, fire flamethrowers, and British troops deployed tanks for Lady wants nsa Rainbow City first time. Casualties just kept rising as the Somme became a grueling battle of attrition.

Haunting photos from the battle of the somme

British commanders swiftly learned from their devastating showing in the early days of the battle and adjusted their tactics. In the end, the Allied forces advanced a mere six miles.

But the devastating losses on both sides showed that any territory fought on the Western Front would be hard-won. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you.

Live TV. This Day In History. History Vault. Haunting Photos from the Battle of the Somme.

Battle of the Somme.