25/9/1916 The Somme: another British and French assault

The Somme offensive is a joint Anglo-French affair. However there is no single commander of the Allied armies, making coordination between the British and French difficult. Since the first attacks in July, the two armies have operated independently with very few simultaneous attacks.

Today though the British and French both attack the Germans. After a heavy bombardment the infantry move forwards in the afternoon. The British leave their tanks behind today, with the infantry advancing behind a creeping barrage.

Both the British and French make impressive gains. The British overrun the ruined village of Morval, arriving there almost as soon as the creeping barrage lifts, catching the Germans coming out of their shelters. The French liberate the village of Raincourt.

The success is not total: in some areas, German wire remains intact, slowing advancing troops. And the gains are incremental, with no sign that the advancing troops will be able to smash through to the open country behind the enemy lines. But still, the Allied commanders are pleased with the day’s progress.

British troops at Morval (Wikipedia)

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