The battle of the Somme was one of the biggest battles in WWI.
The war was between July 1 to November 1. The British attacked with 14 infantry divisions. While the French attacked with only 5 divisions. After the first day, 57,470 British men died. The British was able to push the Germans 3 miles back at the end of the first day.
The British had a very poorly artillery to back them up. 30% of the shells didn't even blow up.
On July 4, The British went into a huge hand to hand combat fight with the Germans. They were trying to take Mametz woods and nearby forests. The British lost another 25,000 casualties (Wounded and/or dead). The Germans had to have reinforcement from Verdun to reinforce their lines. "Then the order came down, dump everything and fix the bayonets, you have got to fight for it lads." Private Walter Hutchinson.
Towards the end of August, nearly 250,000 Germans have died. The German General now resigns.
The French have come up with new technology. They have created the Mark 1 tank. They used 48 tanks in one of their attacks. Only 21 made it to the front line and they only advanced 1.5 miles taking high wood. They sustained 29,000 soldiers that day.
Around mid-September, the Germans now have the advantage in the air. The Germans launch a huge air attack knowing they have advantage in the air. The attack was stopped by French artillery and their machine guns.
By mid November, the French and the British stopped doing offensives and dug in. In 141 days, they have moved the Germans back seven miles and failed to break the German defense. In March 1917, the Germans made a strategic retreat to the Hindenburg line rather than keep battling the battle of the Somme.