March 11, 2012
A mine explodes under Hawthorn Ridge on the first day of the Battle of the Somme at 7:20am.
The Hawthorn Ridge was detonated 10 minutes before any other mines and before the artillery barrage began to try and give the Allied forces a chance to try and rush the crater before the Germans could counter attack.
However, the plan failed miserably. The detonation of the mine, although completely successful itself, only managed to alert the German forces that the big attack they had been expecting had finally arrived, so when Allied forces did go over the top 10 minutes later, the entire German army along the Somme front had been alerted, and the Allied forces were completely massacred.
The troops who had advanced early to try and take the crater were almost completely wiped out as well. By 8:30 am, the only “gain” by the 29th Division was one company clinging to the western lip of the crater but by the end of the day this too was lost.

A mine explodes under Hawthorn Ridge on the first day of the Battle of the Somme at 7:20am.

The Hawthorn Ridge was detonated 10 minutes before any other mines and before the artillery barrage began to try and give the Allied forces a chance to try and rush the crater before the Germans could counter attack.

However, the plan failed miserably. The detonation of the mine, although completely successful itself, only managed to alert the German forces that the big attack they had been expecting had finally arrived, so when Allied forces did go over the top 10 minutes later, the entire German army along the Somme front had been alerted, and the Allied forces were completely massacred.

The troops who had advanced early to try and take the crater were almost completely wiped out as well. By 8:30 am, the only “gain” by the 29th Division was one company clinging to the western lip of the crater but by the end of the day this too was lost.

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