Report on operations: first day of the Battle of the Somme

Extract (including map) from a report on operations of the 29th Division (VIII Corps) on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916.

Almost 20,000 British army officers and men were killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. This report covers the unsuccessful assault of the 29th Division (VIII Corps) on the German line at Beaumont Hamel. One of the reasons given for its failure was that the area of land to be covered by advancing troops was too great - a criticism that has been levelled more generally against Haig's tactics at the Somme. The extent of casualties on the day is illustrated starkly by the fate of the Newfoundland Battalion: only 40 of the 750 men from the battalion involved in the attack returned unharmed. The rest were either wounded or killed.
Catalogue reference: WO 158/327 (1 Jul 1916)

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