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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1st July 1916: The Battle of the Somme
The first day on the Somme, 1 July 1916, was the opening day of the Battle of Albert (1–13 July), the name given by the British to the first two weeks of the Battle of the Somme. Nine corps of the French Sixth Army, the British Fourth and the Third armies, attacked the German 2nd Army of General Fritz von Below, from Foucaucourt south of the Somme northwards to Serre, north of the Ancre and at Gommecourt, which was 2 miles (3.2 km) beyond, in the Third Army area. The objective of the attack was to capture the German first and second positions from Serre south to the Albert–Bapaume road and the first position from the road south to Foucaucourt.
The German defence south of the road mostly collapsed and the French had "complete success" on both banks of the Somme, as did the British from Maricourt on the army boundary, where XIII Corps took Montauban and reached all its objectives and XV Corps captured Mametz and isolated Fricourt. The III Corps attack on both sides of the Albert–Bapaume road was a disaster, making only a short advance south of La Boisselle, where the 34th Division had largest number of casualties of any Allied division on 1 July. Further north, the X Corps attack captured the Leipzig Redoubt, failed opposite Thiepval and had a great but temporary success on the left flank, where the German front line was overrun by the 36th Division, which then captured Schwaben and Stuff redoubts.
German counter-attacks during the afternoon recaptured most of the lost ground north of the Albert–Bapaume road and fresh attacks against Thiepval were costly defeats. On the north bank of the Ancre, the attack of VIII Corps was another failure, with large numbers of British troops being shot down in no man's land. The VII Corps diversion at Gommecourt was also costly, with only a partial and temporary advance south of the village. The German defeats from Foucaucourt to the Albert–Bapaume road, left the German defence on the south bank incapable of resisting another attack and a substantial German retreat began, from the Flaucourt plateau to the west bank of the Somme close to Péronne, while north of the Somme, Fricourt was abandoned overnight.
Several truces were observed to recover wounded from no man's land on the British front, where the Fourth Army had lost 57,470 casualties, of whom 19,240 men were killed. Nine Victoria Crosses were subsequently awarded. The French had 1,590 casualties and the German 2nd Army lost 10,000–12,000 men. Orders were issued to the Anglo-French armies to continue the offensive on 2 July and a German counter-attack on the north bank of the Somme by the 12th Division, intended for the night of 1/2 July, took until dawn on 2 July to begin and was destroyed.
The offensive continued until 18th November, after which due to weather conditions and lack of resources it was ended. In that time, the Allies had advanced six miles across a 16-mile front, at the cost of 481,842 British soldiers and about 250,000 French. The Germans lost 236,194 soldiers. One of the main objectives, to distract the Germans from their offensive at Verdun, failed. That battle continued, though the Germans also failed at Verdun.
The cost of the battle, bourne mainly by the British, and the negligible gains have been a source of grief and controversy in Britain ever since.
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
Shift 1 of the Weekend Job
TV Comedy Night
Twitter Followers = 2,286 (up 3)
Never-followed unfollowers eliminated = 0
Unfollowers unfollowed back = 0
New Followers followed back = 2@CroftEdwards, @foodieduud
Spammers not followed back = 1
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
A very Yin-Yang time! Sleepwise, all caught-up and I'm enjoying working with my clients. Son is off to Belarus, which wasn't my preference but his journey is going smoothly so far. Missus has developed a new psychotic behaviour, which I now have to manage. I used to get really upset at her relapses and setbacks but I've now come to accept that she is mentally ill with no cure and not to suffer alone, but spread the information.
My most crucial life-lesson is that none of these events is "me" or is any reflection on me. They are just waves that the universe emanates. This understanding has given me a wonderful peace of mind. So long as I keep up with my disciplines, I can maintain this level of superconsciousness and enjoy the movie.
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
All that stuff going on in your head - which of it is "you"?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
Dry and cloudy in the morning, showers in the afternoon, sunny spells before dusk
1004 millibars and static
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
A balloon gives my kids a solid hour of entertainment:
3 minutes of fighting over who gets the balloon
57 minutes of crying after it pops :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
Classic Benny Hill
A normal, healthy amount of food for an average teenager or adult is about 1,800- 2,600 calories a day. During a bingeing episode, it is not unusual for someone to eat 20 to 25 times that amount, which is more than 50,000 calories - roughly equivalent to an entire extra-large pepperoni pizza, a tub of ice cream, a package of cookies, a bag of potato chips, and an entire cake. Bulimics might engage in this type of eating several times a day.
9. ZEN WISDOM
Perception, not seeing, is believing