Here Comes The Kitchener's Army. The Battle of the Somme has a particular place in British social history. The opening day of the campaign on the 1st July 1916 is remembered as the worst day in British military history. As the mainly untried recruits of Kitchener's New Army went over the top they were annihilated by the waiting Germans. There were more than 60,000 casualties, nearly 20,000 of them dead. It was a campaign that began in the sweltering heat of summer and ended four and a half months later, bogged down in a sea of mud. This programme details the opening phase of the battle and explains why so many young men volunteered. As the battle ground on through the summer the losses among the troops became critical. This was the result of Field Marshall Kitchener's policy of 'attrition', this literally meant throwing thousands of troops against the German lines in the hope that sheer numbers would effect a victory. This policy has been a matter of controversy ever since. Many of the surviving troops found it difficult to forgive Haig, as have many historians and researchers since. This programme charts the final stages of the battle as the British army slogged its way across the devastated ground. Only a few miles had been gained for the loss of untold thousands of lives
Product Code: HI1030D
Author: Tyne Tees Television
Format: Region 0 PAL
Run time: 56 mins
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