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The Battles of Vimy and La Somme

  • Date Submitted: 03/13/2011 05:51 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 55.7 
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On August 4, 1914, Britain declared war on Germany. Their claim was to keep Belgium as neutrality but Britain also wanted to eliminate, or at least decrease, Germany’s power and dominance as a rivalry in trade of maritime and imperial interests. Britain had a long understanding with the French government, that once both countries were at war with Germany, British Forces would cross to France and fight with them. France’s main objective was to regain large areas of France they had once lost Germany.                                                                                                                                                                                                         The terrain of la Somme was composed of large, dry trenches as well as many dug outs that were favoured by the soldiers. Large, grassy land and intact villages located near the rear of the land were found by the battle field as well as the Somme River where soldiers could swim up to the front line in. The Germans advantageously placed themselves in trenches and fortified villages uphill, which meant British troops were forced to charge upwards to reach their objective, as well as crossing open land known as “No Man’s Land” to attack their adversaries. Because Germans were placed at a higher altitude, they had an advantage for artillery placement once they saw where the British were coming from. Throughout the 5 month battle, the British Empire composed of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Newfoundland, which totalled a

The attack was led by two British generals; Sir Douglas Haig and Sir Henry Rawlinson who had both drawn up plans for penetrating German defences.   Rawlinson’s plan was faulty and though Haig did not agree, he made no attempt to change the procedure. This attack led to one of the worst casualties in British Army history with 21, 392 dead, 35, 493 wounded and 585 imprisoned. His plan left the British at the mercy of the...


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