A veritable mountain of shell-casings left over from the British bombardment.
The British had one gun firing for every 20 meters of the line.
The plan called for British and French troops to leave their trenches at 7:30 am and cross No-Man’s Land. The artillery barrage would move in to the German rear lines. It was believed that almost no resistance would be left in the battered first line.
Unfortunately for the British, their artillery had failed to destroy barbed wire in No-Man’s Land, or to knock out German machine-gun nests. Even though trench raids had confirmed this piece of worrying news in the days before the attack, few lacked confidence. Brigade-General Rees of the 94th Brigade exhorted to his troops that they were “about to fight in one of the greatest battles in the world, and in the most just cause…
Remember that the British Empire will anxiously watch your every move. Keep your heads, do your duty, and you will utterly defeat the enemy.”