Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Friday, September 17, 2021

What the Opening Barrage at the Somme Looked Like

The start of the Somme bombardment as seen from a roadside gun battery, 24 June 1916. The bombardment lasted a week and was intended to obliterate German defenses and defenders. The artist, William Topham, depicts high explosive shells and white shrapnel bursts over the enemy lines, and provides a detailed description of his location. At this stage in the bombardment, the terrain, consisting mostly of farmers’ fields, remains relatively unscathed.

Opening of the Somme Bombardment
Painted by William Thurston Topham
Beaverbrook Collection of War Art 
Canadian War Museum

Click on Image to Enlarge
(Display Width 580px, View 1111px)

1 comment:

  1. I was in the artillery for 3 years. Very seldom do artillery people get to see their work except for 'close infantry support' and even then not always.