Guilemontis one of the villages on the Circuit of Rememberance The route is well marked and takes you through the battlefields of the Somme between Peronne and Albert . The village is very quiet a few houses and lots of fields nothing out of the ordinary. Till you see the military cemeteries in the fields and you get a feel for what happened here.
The first photo shows the main street on the right of
picture you can see the small sign for the Circuit of Rememberance
A house in the village
One of the most decisive and largest of battles during the World War I was fought at the village of Guillemont, located near river Somme in northern France.
The battle, fought between July to November 1916, later on became famous as the Somme Offensive resulted in an unprecedented 1.5 million causalities.
The battle front spread from Guillemont to the nearby town of Peronne, where today there is a memorial in memory of those who laid down their lives in the bloody battle. Guillemont was considered a German stronghold during those days.
Strategically the battle was a ploy by the Allies consisting of the British and French armies to draw Germanys attention away from the Battle of Verdun. The British and French forces lay on either side of Guillemont, which made it difficult for them to operate in unison. This made Guillemont an important stronghold of the Germans. A week of heavy artillery bombardment preceded the battle. During this period, the British Army fired over a 1.6 million shells.
They also planted several mines under the German front-line trenches.
They had dug three large tunnels in which about 20 tons of explosives were stored in each of them.
It was on 18th August 1916 that a strategic offensive was launched by the British and French forces.
The French attacked Maurepas near Guillemont, which while the British forces attacked around Guillemont.
The German forces stationed at the place could not peg back the offensive and finally the British forces managed to capture Guillemont.
The battle is also remembered for one more reason today. This battle marked the debut of the tank. It was during September 1916 that British tanks made their presence felt literally, helping its forces to gain the upper hand during trench warfare. They were able to withstand machine gun fire and cross barbed wire fences effortlessly. Even the tanks could not deter the spirits of the valiant Germans though, who fought fiercely.
No side could claim victory in the Battle of Somme. This was because the Allied forces, consisting of the British and French armies, could not capture more than 8 kilometers, which was well short of their target. The British had in the processe lost around 400,000 soldiers during the battle. This would roughly calculate a soldier lost for every centimeter of territory gained. Even though the British forces were able to capture Guillemont, was a disaster for them because of the huge number of causalities.
The Cemetery at Guillemont
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