1.5 millions casualties
The Battle of the Somme
On the first day alone, 57,470 British casualties were recorded. Through the three months of battle, 350,000 men were wounded or killed and 100 tanks lost, as were 782 Royal Flying Corps aircraft. Field Marshal Haig was dubbed the ‘Butcher of the Somme’, his belief in “war of attrition” (kill more of the enemy than you lose, and you’ll surely win) meaning he never changed his tactics despite their tragic flaws.
The British army has never lost more men in a single day. Between July and November, Britain and France gained only 5 miles of ground.