Soldiers' views

Quite as many [soldiers] died on the enemy wire as on the ground. It was clear that there were no gaps in the wire at the time of attack. The Germans must have been reinforcing the wire for months. It was so thick that daylight could barely be seen through it.

 How did the planners imagine that Tommies [click for definition] would get through the wire? Who told them that artillery fire would pound such wire to pieces? Any Tommy could have told them that shell fire lifts wire up and drops it down, often in a worse tangle than before.

SOURCE FOUR: From an interview with Private George Coppard, who survived the Battle of the Somme.



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George Coppard photographed about 40 years after the war.



Key Points

1. The wire had not been cut.

2. The Germans had dug trenches so deep that the bombardment [click for definition] had not caused much damage.

3.As a general, Haig never personally visited the FRONT LINE.

4. There were 60,000 British casualties [wounded or killed] in just one day.

5. Many German prisoners were taken.

6. One Canadian battalion lost 700 out of 850 men

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