Just another history lesson of World War One…..a conflict that few Americans know anything about and even fewer care.
I read constantly….my library contains about 2000 books and not one of them is a work of fiction. This is a review of the Battle of the Somme book…..
On 1 July 2016, a few Canadian Armed Forces personnel, mostly Newfoundlanders, journeyed to a monument in the north of France. They went to commemorate the centenary of Beaumont Hamel, one of many engagements which comprised the much larger World War I campaign known as the Battle of the Somme. As the padre intoned prayers in her lilting Newfoundland accent, the tone of the ceremony was sombre, even elegiac. On that same day in 1916, the infantry of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, a component of Britain’s imperial army, attacked German positions across open ground towards uncut barbed wire. The attack was a complete failure, the troops never breaching nor even reaching the German positions. Of this green regiment’s seven hundred and seventy officers and men, eighty percent were mown down in twenty minutes. Despite disasters of this nature all along the British line on 1 July, the Somme campaign persisted into November, and ended with over a million Anglo-French and German casualties.
The Battle of the Somme…..July 1916…..a conflict where many soldiers on both sides lost their lives….. By the end of the battle, the British Army had suffered 420,000 casualties including nearly 60,000 on the first day alone. The French lost 200,000 men and the Germans nearly 500,000.
Learn more of this horrific battle…..
I do this to keep the memory of these brave men and women alive….they should never slide from our memory.