Somme


Somme
/sɒm/ (say som)

noun
1. a river in northern France, flowing north-west to the English Channel. 225 km.
2. a department in northern France. 6175 km2. Capital: Amiens.
3. Battle of the, one of several battles that took place along the Somme River in 1916 and 1918 during World War 1 and in 1944 during World War II, especially the Allied offensive against German forces of July–November 1916 during World War I (also known as the Somme Offensive); one of the longest campaigns of the war; over one million casualties.
Between 1914 and 1918 most of the department of the Somme was ravaged by occupying armies and constant fighting. The first battle in the area (in 1914) was part of the ‘race to the sea’ as the Allies and the German forces tried to outflank one another by each trying to capture ground on the other’s northern flank in desire to reach and secure ports on the French–Belgian coast. This resulted in the north-westerly movement of both armies.
The 1916 offensive that became widely known as the Battle of the Somme or the Somme Offensive was planned by the Allies as a concentrated assault on German defences along the Somme River to achieve an immediate breakthrough to end the stalemate of trench warfare. It was also hoped to divert German reinforcements from the assault on Verdun. After five days of intensive artillery bombardment intended to destroy the first line of German defences, the main offensive began on 1 July, with an Anglo-French infantry advance across no-man’s-land, in the face of machine-gun fire, towards enemy trenches. The result was 58 000 British casualties, including 20 000 killed, but no breakthrough. Australian troops of the 1st, 2nd and 4th Divisions sent to reinforce the British army at Pozières, in the centre of the Somme front, made some gains in capturing German trenches, but at the cost of more than 23 000 casualties. The main offensive continued until 18 November, a day marked by the first snow of an exceptionally harsh winter; deepening mud and bitter weather brought a temporary halt to warfare as each side took to their winter quarters and re-formed their units. After four and a half months of fighting, casualties numbered more than one million killed, wounded or missing in action, with little gain to either side.
The Somme was also the scene of the German Spring Offensive from March 1918, and the Allied counteroffensive, including the battles of Amiens and Hamel , between July and September 1918. See also Villers-Bretonneux.

Australian English dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • somme — 1. (so m ) s. f. 1°   Terme de mathématiques. Résultat des quantités additionnées. La somme des unités. La somme des termes d une équation.    Dans le calcul aux différences finies, la différence prise en sens inverse. 2°   Particulièrement, une… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Somme — Verlauf der Somme Daten Gewässerkennzahl FR:  …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • sommé — sommé, ée 1. (so mé, mée) part. passé de sommer1. À qui on a déclaré qu il ait à faire telle ou telle chose. La place sommée de se rendre. •   Il se voyait pressé de tous côtés, sommé de sa parole, obligé de combattre contre les étrangers, ANQUET …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Somme —   [sɔm],    1) Département in Nordfrankreich, in der Picardie, am Mittel und Unterlauf der Somme, 6 170 km2, 556 000 Einwohner; Verwaltungssitz: Amiens.    2) die, Fluss in der Picardie, Frankreich, 245 km lang; entspringt 12 km nordöstlich von …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Somme — the Somme a river in northeast France, or the area close to this river where several important battles were fought during World War I. The biggest of these began in July 1916, when 60,000 British soldiers were killed or injured on the first day… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Somme [2] — Somme (spr. ßomm ), Departement im nördlichen Frankreich, nach dem Fluß Somme benannt, wird aus den ehemals zur Picardie gehörigen Landschaften Santerre, Amiénois, Vimeux, Ponthieu, Vermandois und Marquenterre gebildet, grenzt nördlich an das… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Somme — Somme, 1) (sonst Samara), Fluß im nordöstlichen Frankreich; entspringt bei Font S. in der Nähe von St. Quentin im Departement Aisne, wird bei Bray schiffbar, durchschneidet das gleichnamige Departement u. fällt nach einem Lauf von 27 Meilen in… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Somme [1] — Somme (spr. ßomm , im Altertum Samara), Küstenfluß im nördlichen Frankreich, entspringt bei Fonsomme, 10 km nordöstlich von St. Quentin im Depart. Aisne, fließt südwestlich, wendet sich dann nordwestlich, tritt in das Depart. S. ein, nimmt links… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Somme — (spr. ßomm), Fluß in Nordfrankreich, entspringt im Dep. Aisne bei Fonsomme, mündet nach 245 km unterhalb Saint Valery in den Kanal, durch den Saint Quentinkanal mit der Schelde, den Crozatkanal mit der Oise verbunden und von einem 156 km langen… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Somme — Somme, franz. Fluß, entspringt unweit St. Quentin, wird bei Bray schiffbar, mündet nach 27 Meil. unterhalb Abbeville in den Kanal, ist mit der Schelde und Oise durch einen Kanal verbunden. Das Depart. S., 112 QM. groß, mit 570000 E., ist… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Somme — Somme, batallas del ► Departamento del N de Francia, en Picardía, junto al canal de la Mancha; 6 170 km2 y 548 300 h. Cap., Amiens …   Enciclopedia Universal


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