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Why was the Battle of the Somme important in WWI?

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babyryan95 | Honors

Posted April 17, 2012 at 2:11 AM via web

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Why was the Battle of the Somme important in WWI?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 17, 2012 at 2:21 AM (Answer #1)

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The Battle of the Somme was mainly important for the fact that it led to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people over the course of a few months.  The battle caused the deaths of an estimated 300,000 soldiers on both sides.  Outside of this, it had little clear impact on the way the war was fought or its outcome.

The Battle of the Somme was a horrible miscalculation.  The British command felt that a huge artillery barrage would render the Germans unable to defend themselves.  They were wrong, and the Germans were able to kill huge numbers of British.

There are historians who say that the battle had important results.  Some say it reduced the German army so much that it was badly weakened.  Others say it helped the British army learn important lessons about how to fight to avoid such horrific casualties in the future.

These effects are a matter of speculation.  What is clear is that this was a horrible battle that helped cement the reputation of WWI as a war of terrible slaughter due to poor decisions on the part of high commanders.

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