The Somme and the End of the War

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  • The Somme and the End of the War
    • In July 1916 the British army launched an attack on the German lines along the River Somme.
      • Before the attack that was a seven day artillery bombardment on the German trenches. The commanders thought all the Germans were wiped out.
        • When the shelling stopped, the British climbed out of their trenches and following instructions walked slowly across No Man's Land.
          • Unfortunately during the shelling the Germans had been sheltering underground in specially prepared dugouts and survived.
            • German machine gunners killed 20,000 British troops and wounded almost 40,000 others.
    • In April 1917, the USA entered the war on the side of the Allies. Germany knew that defeat was inevitable.
      • The German commander on the Western Front, Ludendorff, made one last attempt to win the war. Half a million were transferred to the Western Front from the Russian campaign.
        • On 21 March 1918, General Ludendorff launched 'Operation Michael' along the Rivers Aisne and Marne. Allied troops were pushed back as the Germans advanced.
          • But the best German soldiers were killed making the breakthrough. His army was short or supplies and lacked reinforcements.
            • On 18 July the Allied forces organised a counter attack. By August the lost land had been recovered and the Germans were in retreat.
              • The Germans surrended at 11, on the 11th day of the 11th month 1918.

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