Also known as the Somme Offensive, the Battle of the Somme was initiated by the French and British against the German Empire while attempting to make ground on the Western Front during World War I. The battle lasted from July to November 1916 near the Somme River in northwestern France.
According to the History Channel, the first day of the battle led to 57,000 British casualties, the bloodiest day in that nation's military history. When British general Douglas Haig called the offensive to a halt, the British had suffered around 420,000 casualties, and the French suffered around 200,000 casualties. Though the French and British gained what they set to accomplish with the attack, most historians agree that it came at too great a cost.