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Definition of the Battles of the Somme from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

the Battles of the Somme

 
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two long battles that took place in the valley of the river Somme in northern France during World War I. In the first battle, which lasted from July to November 1916, more than a million British, French and German soldiers died. The second battle lasted two weeks in the spring of 1918, and almost half a million soldiers died. Very little ground or any other advantage was won by either side in these battles, which are considered among the most terrible in history.