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Experiences of the Great War

Haig continues attrition despite casualty rate

Douglas Haig's diary entry for 2 July 1916 shows that he knew about the casualty rate at the Somme on 1 July, but that he remained determined to press on:

'A day of downs and ups. I visit two casualty-clearing stations. They were very pleased at my visit, the wounded were in wonderful spirits. Reported today that total casualties are estimated at over 40,000. This cannot be considered severe in view of numbers engaged and the length of front of attack. By nightfall the situation is much more favourable than when we started today.'

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