June 30, 2017

Haunting Photos from the Trenches of the First World War

The Battle of the Somme, fought in northern France near the Somme River, was one of the biggest and bloodiest battles of the First World War. Starting July 1, 1916, the British and French Armies went head-to-head against Germany for a grueling four months. There was a staggering one million casualties, with the British alone facing 57,470 casualties just on the first day. These haunting photographs provide a glimpse into one of the bloodiest military battles in history.

Opening hours of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916

Men of the Royal Irish Rifles in the trenches during the opening hours of the Battle of the Somme on July 1, 1916. (Photo by Royal Engineers No 1 Printing Company/ IWM via Getty Images)

British Machine Gun Unit

British machine gunners firing during the Battle of the Somme. The battle was costly in terms of casualties, particularly for the British army who lost 57,470 soldiers on the first day of fighting alone. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

An artillery shell is hoisted into position by soldiers.

An artillery shell is hoisted into position by French and English soldiers. Artillery weapons caused 70% of all battle causalities. Heavy artillery included the French 75mm gun and Germany‚Äôs devastating 420mm howitzer, which was nicknamed “Big Bertha.” (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)

British troops during the Battle of Morval, 1916

British troops during the Battle of the Somme, September 1916. (Photo by: Photo12/UIG via Getty Images)

A British soldier - Battle of the Somme - 1916

A British soldier gazes out of a dug-out as the body of a dead German soldier lies nearby. (Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo)

British soldiers advancing under cover of gas and smoke.

British soldiers advancing under cover of gas and smoke. World War I saw the first use of chemical weapons in battle. This picture was captured by a stereoscopic card, or stereogram, which provided side-by-side images of the same scene from both the left and right eye perspective. When the images are looked at through a stereoscope–a set of binocular glasses–the images shift together into one, creating an illusion of depth. It was an earlier version of today's 3D glasses. (Credit: The Print Collector/Getty Images)

Soldiers crossing the river Ancre during the Allied attack on Thiepval Ridge.

Soldiers crossing the river Ancre during the Allied attack on Thiepval Ridge. This photo was also captured by a stereoscopic card. (Credit: The Print Collector/Getty Images)

German soldiers dead in shell hole between Montauban and Carnoy

German soldiers lay dead in a shell hole between Montauban and Carnoy. (Credit: Robert Hunt Library/Windmill Books/UIG via Getty Images)

Battle of Bazntin Ridge.

British and German soldiers wounded on their way to the dressing station near Bernafay Wood at the Battle of Bazentin Ridge. (Credit: Robert Hunt Library/Windmill Books/UIG via Getty Images)

A german soldier walking through the ruins of Peronne.

A German soldier walking through the ruins of Peronne, in northern France, in November 1916. (Credit: Ullstein Bild via Getty Images)