July 1st, 1916 (95 years ago today) marked the beginning of the Battle of the Somme. The Battle of the Somme was a three-and-a-half-month offensive by the Allies in World War I. Hoping to break through the German lines, the Allied forces, led by troops primarily from the British Commonwealth, attacked German positions along the north and south sides of the Somme River in northern France. This battle marked the first use of tanks in combat. Although the Germans were pushed back, the Allies failed to break through and the stalemate continued. The combatants suffered over one million casualties combined over the course of the months-long battle. Since British units were often drawn from the same local area, the 600,000+ British casualties and the wiping out of entire units in the battle profoundly shook British society. Try to imagine the effect of hundreds of young men from a single town being drawn into a unit, leaving, and never coming back. And the British “won” the war. The effects on German society were even worse.
World War I was an extremely unnecessary fratricidal war which brought Europe to its knees and laid the foundation for World War II and the final crippling blow to the West. If the West recovers from its current death spiral, it would do well to remember the results of massive fratricidal wars, millions of gravestones and civilizational decline, and to avoid ever fighting one again.