The Anniversary of the Battle of Bazentin Ridge 14 July 1916

Chris Cherry

Map of the Battle of Bazentin Ridge

The opening of the Battle of Bazentin Ridge marked the start of the second major phase of planned advances by the British and Commonwealth Allied forces on the Somme in 1916. The Somme offensive has generally been characterised as an utter failure on the part of the military planners to understand the landscape and the nature of trench warfare. Coupled to their perceived unswerving commitment to advancing wave after wave of soldiers in a constant terrible slaughter of attrition, day after day until the last man stood on the field.

It is true that the casualty rates add substance to that perception. Indeed it has well been documented that the first day saw casualties on a tiny strip of French countryside in the tens of thousands from all combatants. But what is less known or appreciated in some areas is that in fact the planners were very much aware of…

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