How Many Soldiers Were Involved In The Battle Of The Somme ?
It is very difficult to give an accurate count of the total number of soldiers who were involved in the Battle of the Somme as soldiers were constantly coming and replacing and reinforcing the one who had died or got injured during the course of the war. It is estimated that around 2,500,000 to 3,000,000 soldiers fought for British Expeditionary Force, and around 1,250,000 to 1,500,000 soldiers fought for Germany.
On the first day of the battle, 27 divisions, or around 750,000, of the Allied forces, and 16 divisions, or around 500,000, of the Germans ended up fighting each other. And, by the time the battle came to an end on 18th November 1916, around 100 divisions of the Allied forces had fought some parts of the battle, and around 50 divisions of the German forces had participated in the battle. Both sides ended up suffering heavy losses. The Germans and the British Expeditionary Force lost about 600,000 soldiers each, and this figure includes the wounded.
The Battle of the Somme was not a single battle, but a series of them that were fought on a stretch of around 40 kilometers. Prior to the actual start of the battle, the British Expeditionary Force bombarded the German front line for around 5 days to destroy their bunkers and barbed wires. The British forces thought this would allow them to walk through the No Man's Land and take over the German front line. However, it did not go as envisaged as the bombardment had no effect on the Germans, who were housed safely in their concrete bunkers. So, when the British soldiers actually started the battle, they experienced heavy losses. But the British persevered in this battle of attrition sustaining heavy losses.
It is estimated by the time the Battle of the Somme came to an end, both sides together had lost over million soldiers.
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