Almost 100 years ago, in April 1918, Allied and German troops stood down from the second Battle of the Somme River.
On the ground, it was a German “victory” that advanced their lines by almost 40 miles closer to Paris.
In the big picture, the Germans not only shot their “Big Bertha” shells toward the French capital, they also shot their wad. American soldiers made their first entry in World War I, joining their French and British brothers in arms during the 15-day battle. The war ended in November of that year.
We don’t remember the grisly roll call of casualties during WWI.
In this second battle of the Somme, nearly 400,000 soldiers were killed or wounded in their trenches and in no-man’s-land between the lines. About 100,000 men on both sides were taken prisoner.
That amounts to more than 33,000 casualties a day during the battle.
That’s too many dead men. Too many Gold Star mothers.
Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2015