The Battle of the Somme lasted from July 1, 1916, until Nov. 18, 1916. The battle was a major offensive by the Allied army on the western front during World War I. The attack is infamous for over 57,000 British casualties on the first day.
The battle plans were conceived by the French as a joint French and British offensive. However, due to a German offensive in Verdun, France, the British ended up committing the most troops. British Commander-in-Chief Douglas Haig commanded the offensive, which had the primary goal of substantially reducing the German reserves. The acquisition of territory was a secondary goal in the offensive.