Battle on the Somme in History

Historical Events


Battle of InterestBattle of the Somme

1916-06-30 British General Douglas Haig reports "The men are in splendid spirits" the day before the Battle of the Somme began
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A large mine placed by a British tunneling unit explodes under German positions on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. At the time it was one of the largest explosions ever and one of the loudest man-made noises.
A large mine placed by a British tunneling unit explodes under German positions on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. At the time it was one of the largest explosions ever and one of the loudest man-made noises.

Five Miles of Mud Costs a Million CasualtiesFive Miles of Mud Costs a Million Casualties

1916-07-01 First day of the Battle of the Somme: the British Army suffers its worst day, losing 19,240 men (WWI)
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Over the top: Thousands of British soldiers scrambled out of their trenches and were dead within minutes
Over the top: Thousands of British soldiers scrambled out of their trenches and were dead within minutes

Historic Invention1st Use of Tanks in War

1916-09-15 First use of tanks in warfare, "Little Willies" at Battle of Flers-Courcelette, part of the Battle of the Somme
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Battle of Flers–Courcelette.: Mark I tanks fill with petrol on the day tanks were first used in war, September 15, 1916
Battle of Flers–Courcelette.: Mark I tanks fill with petrol on the day tanks were first used in war, September 15, 1916

BattleBattle of Interest

1916-10-05 Adolf Hitler is wounded in the left thigh by an exploding shell during the Battle of the Somme

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler

BattleBattle of Interest

1916-11-18 British General Douglas Haig finally calls off the 1st Battle of the Somme in World War I after more than 1 million soldiers had been killed or wounded

WWI General Douglas Haig
WWI General
Douglas Haig
  • 1918-03-21 -28] During WW I Germany launches Somme offensive
  • 1918-03-23 German forces advance 14 miles to the Somme River (WW1)

BattleBattle of Interest

1918-04-21 World War I: German fighter ace Baron Manfred von Richthofen "The Red Baron", shot down and killed over Vaux sur Somme in France, Canadian pilot Arthur Roy Brown credited with the kill

World War I Fighter Ace The Red Baron
World War I Fighter Ace
The Red Baron

Famous Birthdays


Person of interestDouglas Haig

1861-06-19 Douglas Haig, British fieldmarshal (Sudan, WWI), nicknamed "Butcher Haig" due to mass casualties under his command during the Battle of the Somme, born in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh (d. 1928)

WWI General Douglas Haig
WWI General
Douglas Haig
  • 1875-08-26 John Buchan, Scotland, Gov-Gen of Canada/writer (Battle of Somme)

Famous Deaths

  • 1916-07-01 William Booth, English Test cricket batsman (WWI 2 Tests), dies at the Somme at 39

Person of interestDouglas Haig

1928-01-29 Douglas Haig, British fieldmarshal (Sudan, WWI) nicknamed "Butcher Haig" due to mass casualties under his command during the Battle of the Somme, dies from a heart attack at 66

WWI General Douglas Haig
WWI General
Douglas Haig