The Battle of the Somme

Short History Of...

31-03-2024 • 56 mins

The Battle of the Somme was supposed to be the joint British-French offensive that would win the First World War. A string of battles spread over five months, it involved everything from cavalry charges, poison gas, and the debut of the tank. But the Somme was anything but victorious….on the first day alone, over 19,000 British soldiers were killed and more than 57,000 wounded, making it the single bloodiest day in British military history. So what was the Allied war plan, and how did it fail so spectacularly? What was its significance to the future progress of the war? And at what cost? This is a Short History Of the Battle of the Somme. Written by Dan Smith. With thanks to Alex Churchill, historian, director of the Great War Group, and author of the forthcoming ‘Ring of Fire: A New People’s History of the World at War, 1914’. Get every episode of Short History Of a week early with Noiser+. You’ll also get ad-free listening, bonus material, and early access to shows across the Noiser network. Click the Noiser+ banner to get started. Or, if you’re on Spotify or Android, go to Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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