John Boileau says YES
It was a battle that should never have occurred.
There was no sound military reason for a British attack on the Somme at a location of no military importance. The British were unprepared for a massive summer assault and would have preferred to wait until the fall.
The terrain favoured the defender, who was exceptionally well-prepared.
The British soldiers were largely raw volunteers. Their artillery support was inadequate and lifted forward too soon.
The detonation of mines shortly before zero hour alerted the Germans and allowed them to man their defences. The first assault began at 7:30 a.m., when the defenders could clearly see the attackers.
There were a staggering 30,000 casualties within the opening hour, but medical facilities had been told to ant...