On 1 July 1916, 150,000 British men emerged from their trenches to assault the German lines near the River Somme. For seven days previously, the enemy’s position had been relentlessly shelled, but the line had withstood the bombardment, and the British infantry found the German machine guns waiting. The assault failed disastrously, and at massive human cost. The British army suffered 60,000 casualties in just the first day. German and British army veterans recall their experiences of the Battle of the Somme.

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Bitesize Secondary, History
First broadcast:
11 January 2008

The class could study the planning and progress of the first day of the Somme. They could then write a short script for a news report on the battle. They should consider that details may have been edited or censored to hide the true scale of the loss of life.