This article provides some positive details about the Battle of the Somme from the day after which shows that the full extent of what had actually happened was not yet known or was not being reported. Note the positive spin in the text below about how well the battle was going.



Battle Continues to Advantage

Paris, July 2

North of the Somme the battle continued to-day to our advantage in the region of Hardecourt and Curlu. East of this latter village we have carried a quarry which had been powerfully organized by the enemy. South of the Somme we have obtained a footing in the second line of German trenches at numerous places. Between the river and Assevillers the village of Frise has fallen into our hands and also Merefucourt wood, farther east. The number of unwounded prisoners captured by the French soldiers during the two days fighting who have been counted, is more than 6,000 of which at least 150 are officers. Some cannon and much other material has also fallen into our hands. Thanks to very complete and very efficacious artillery preparation, and thanks also, to the plan of our infantry, our loss has been very small.

Battle of the Somme in Full Progress

Paris,  July 2

The Battle of the Somme is now in full progress and marks the opening of the Franco-British offensive, long expected, as a critical, if not the decisive stage of the war. Early reports to-day show that the Entente Allied forces are sweeping forward along a twenty-five mile front. The French already have taken about 6,000 prisoners, while the Allied lines have expanded within the last twenty-four hours by nine villages and fifty square miles of French territory, held till now by the Germans. The fighting lines extend between a great number of small villages, which are usually devoted to textile industries, while in the outlying agricultural sections the level fields are chiefly devoted to beet culture for the extensive sugar production of France. The intense bombardment of the last four days was the signal for advance over these level fields beginning at 7:30 o'clock yesterday morning. The Allied artillery then lengthened the range so as to cut off all communication between the first German line and German reserves in the rear. This made it impossible for the Teutons to utilize their perfect organization for shifting of troops and for bringing up reinforcements.

It is thought by French military observers that the Germans miscalculated the intentions of the Entente Allies, and expected attacks further to the north. The villages which the French captured at the first sweep include Dompierre, Becquincourt, Bussa and Foy. These and the towns taken by the British, Montauban and Mametz, were all found to have been strongly fortified by the Germans. The Allies, profiting from their experience in this war, quickly threw up strong earthworks around the villages thus taken, in order to protect them against counter attacks. It was not before night, however, that the Germans were able to deliver any counter attack This was centered against the French position on the outskirts of Hardencourt. It was repulsed with heavy losses, ending in precipitate retreat. In addition to the military success the Terrain was overrun by the Allied troops. It has exceptional strategic importance. Four of the towns captured by the French are only seven miles west of Perronne, the chief rail highway from the German centre at Cologne to the German front in the region of Noyou and Soissons.

Source: The Evening Telegram, July 3, 1916


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