The first day on the Somme, 1 July 1916, was the opening day of the Battle of Albert (1–13 July), the name given by the British to the first two weeks of the Battle of the Somme. Nine corps of the French Sixth Army and the British Fourth and Third armies, attacked the German 2nd Army (General Fritz von Below) from Foucaucourt south of the Somme northwards across the Ancre to Serre and at Gommecourt, 2 mi (3.2 km) beyond, in the Third Army area. The objective of the attack was to capture the German first and second positions from Serre south to the Albert–Bapaume road and the first position from the road south to Foucaucourt.

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dbo:abstract
  • The first day on the Somme, 1 July 1916, was the opening day of the Battle of Albert (1–13 July), the name given by the British to the first two weeks of the Battle of the Somme. Nine corps of the French Sixth Army and the British Fourth and Third armies, attacked the German 2nd Army (General Fritz von Below) from Foucaucourt south of the Somme northwards across the Ancre to Serre and at Gommecourt, 2 mi (3.2 km) beyond, in the Third Army area. The objective of the attack was to capture the German first and second positions from Serre south to the Albert–Bapaume road and the first position from the road south to Foucaucourt. The German defence south of the road mostly collapsed and the French had "complete success" on both banks of the Somme, as did the British from Maricourt on the army boundary, where XIII Corps took Montauban and reached all its objectives and XV Corps captured Mametz and isolated Fricourt. The III Corps attack on both sides of the Albert–Bapaume road was a disaster, making only a short advance south of La Boisselle, where the 34th Division had the largest number of casualties of any Allied division on 1 July. Further north, the X Corps attack captured the Leipzig Redoubt, failed opposite Thiepval and had a great but temporary success on the left flank, where the German front line was overrun by the 36th Ulster Division, which then captured Schwaben and Stuff redoubts. German counter-attacks during the afternoon recaptured most of the lost ground north of the Albert–Bapaume road and more British attacks against Thiepval were costly failures. On the north bank of the Ancre, the attack of VIII Corps was a disaster, with large numbers of British troops being shot down in no man's land. The VII Corps diversion at Gommecourt was also costly, with only a partial and temporary advance south of the village. The German defeats from Foucaucourt to the Albert–Bapaume road left the German defence on the south bank incapable of resisting another attack and a substantial German retreat began, from the Flaucourt plateau to the west bank of the Somme close to Péronne, while north of the Somme, Fricourt was abandoned overnight. Several truces were observed to recover wounded from no man's land on the British front, where the Fourth Army had lost 57,470 casualties, of whom 19,240 men were killed. The French had 1,590 casualties and the German 2nd Army lost 10,000–12,000 men. Orders were issued to the Anglo-French armies to continue the offensive on 2 July and a German counter-attack on the north bank of the Somme by the 12th Division, intended for the night of 1/2 July, took until dawn on 2 July to begin and was destroyed. Since 1 July 1916, the cost of the battle and the "meagre gains" have been a source of grief and controversy in Britain; in German and French writing, the first day of the Battle of the Somme has been little more than a footnote to the mass losses of 1914–1915 and the Battle of Verdun. (en)
dbo:causalties
  • British: 57,470 including 19,240 killed
  • French: 7,000
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  • *
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  • 1916-07-01 (xsd:date)
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  • In the German ten-day casualty accounting period 1–10 July, there were 46,319 casualties and 7,539 men sick.
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  • See theAftermathsection
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  • 6 divisions
  • 13 British divisions
  • 6 French divisions
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  • The first day on the Somme, 1 July 1916, was the opening day of the Battle of Albert (1–13 July), the name given by the British to the first two weeks of the Battle of the Somme. Nine corps of the French Sixth Army and the British Fourth and Third armies, attacked the German 2nd Army (General Fritz von Below) from Foucaucourt south of the Somme northwards across the Ancre to Serre and at Gommecourt, 2 mi (3.2 km) beyond, in the Third Army area. The objective of the attack was to capture the German first and second positions from Serre south to the Albert–Bapaume road and the first position from the road south to Foucaucourt. (en)
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  • First day on the Somme (en)
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  • First Day on the Somme (en)
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