Somme (department)

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Somme
Amiens, hotel de prefecture (7).JPG
Prefecture building of the Somme department, in Amiens
Blason departement fr Somme.svg
Coat of arms
Somme-Position.svg
Location of Somme in France
Coordinates: 49°53′N02°25′E / 49.883°N 2.417°E / 49.883; 2.417 Coordinates: 49°53′N02°25′E / 49.883°N 2.417°E / 49.883; 2.417
Country France
Region Hauts-de-France
Prefecture Amiens
Subprefectures Abbeville
Montdidier
Péronne
Government
   President of the General Council Daniel Dubois
Area
1
  Total6,170 km2 (2,380 sq mi)
Population
 (2016)
  Total572,744
  Rank 44th
  Density93/km2 (240/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number 80
Arrondissements 4
Cantons 23
Communes 772
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Somme (French pronunciation:  [sɔm] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is a department of France, located in the north of the country and named after the Somme river. It is part of the Hauts-de-France region.

In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-five departments are in metropolitan France, and five are overseas departments, which are also classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; the last two have no autonomy, and are used for the organisation of police, fire departments, and sometimes, elections.

France Republic in Europe with several non-European regions

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Somme (river) river in Picardy, France

The Somme is a river in Picardy, northern France. The name Somme comes from a Celtic word meaning "tranquility". The department Somme was named after this river.

Contents

The north central area of the Somme was the site of a series of battles during World War I. Particularly significant was the 1916 Battle of the Somme. As a result of this and other battles fought in the area the department is home to many military cemeteries and several major monuments commemorating the many soldiers from various countries who died on its battlefields. The 1346 Battle of Crécy, a major English victory early in the Hundred Years' War, also took place in this department.

World War I 1914–1918 global war starting in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Battle of the Somme battle of the Western Front, World War I

The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British Empire and French Third Republic against the German Empire. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on both sides of the upper reaches of the River Somme in France. The battle was intended to hasten a victory for the Allies and was the largest battle of the war's Western Front. More than three million men fought in the battle and one million men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history.

Cemetery Place of burial

A cemetery or graveyard is a place where the remains of dead people are buried or otherwise interred. The word cemetery implies that the land is specifically designated as a burial ground and originally applied to the Roman catacombs. The term graveyard is often used interchangeably with cemetery, but a graveyard primarily refers to a burial ground within a churchyard.

Geography

The Somme department is in the current region of Hauts-de-France and is surrounded by the departments of Pas-de-Calais, Nord, Aisne, Oise and Seine-Maritime. In the northwest, it has a coast on the English Channel. The main rivers are the Somme and its tributaries (Avre, Ancre and Noye, the Authie) as well as the Bresle.

Regions of France France top-level territorial subdivision

France is divided into 18 administrative regions, which are traditionally divided between 13 metropolitan regions, located on the European continent, and 5 overseas regions, located outside the European continent. The 12 mainland regions are each further subdivided into 4 to 13 departments, while the overseas regions consist of only one department each and hence are also referred to as "overseas departments". Similarly, Corsica is a "territorial collectivity" that also consists of only a single department. The current legal concept of region was adopted in 1982, and in 2016 what had been 27 regions was reduced to 18. The overseas regions should not be confused with the overseas collectivities, which have a semi-autonomous status.

Hauts-de-France Administrative region of France

Hauts-de-France is the northernmost region of France, created by the territorial reform of French Regions in 2014, from a merger of Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy. Its capital is Lille. The new region came into existence on 1 January 2016, after the regional elections in December 2015. France's Conseil d'État approved Hauts-de-France as the name of the region on 28 September 2016, effective 30 September 2016.

Pas-de-Calais Department of France

Pas-de-Calais is a department in northern France named after the French designation of the Strait of Dover, which it borders.

Principal towns

Most Populous Somme communes [1]
RankCommuneCantonArrondissementPopulation
1 Amiens Amiens-1, Amiens-2,
Amiens-3, Amiens-4,
Amiens-5, Amiens-6,
Amiens-7
Amiens 132,699
2 Abbeville Abbeville-1
Abbeville-2
Abbeville 23,821
3 Albert Albert Péronne 10,054
4 Péronne Péronne Péronne 7,702
5 Doullens Doullens Amiens 6,497

Battles of the Somme

At the beginning of the First World War, during the Race to the Sea of September and November 1914, the Somme became the site of the Battle of Albert. The battle was a five-day engagement between 25 and 29 September, with the French Tenth Army attacking at Albert and pushing toward Bapaume, and the German Sixth Army counter-attacking back towards Albert. The line settled around the town of Thiepval and remained there until July 1916, when the Battle of the Somme was fought on and around the same ground.

Race to the Sea Period early in the First World War on the Western Front

The Race to the Sea took place from about 17 September – 19 October 1914, after the Battle of the Frontiers and the German advance into France, which had been stopped at the First Battle of the Marne (5–12 September) and was followed by the First Battle of the Aisne (13–28 September), a Franco-British counter-offensive. The term describes reciprocal attempts by the Franco-British and German armies to envelop the northern flank of the opposing army through the provinces of Picardy, Artois and Flanders, rather than an attempt to advance northwards to the sea. The "race" ended on the North Sea coast of Belgium around 19 October, when the last open area from Dixmude to the North Sea was occupied by Belgian troops who had retreated after the Siege of Antwerp. The outflanking attempts had resulted in a number of encounter battles but neither side was able to gain a decisive victory.

Battle of Albert (1914) A battle during the First World War

The Battle of Albert began on 25 September 1914, in what became known as the "Race to the Sea", during the First World War. It followed the First Battle of the Aisne as both sides moved northwards, trying to turn the northern flank of their opponent. The Second Army, began to assemble at Amiens in mid-September and was directed by General Joseph Joffre, the Generalissimo of the French Army, to attack near Albert.

Bapaume Commune in Hauts-de-France, France

BapaumeFrench pronunciation: [](listen) is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France.

That Battle of the Somme was one of the most costly battles of World War I, by the number of troop casualties, as Allied forces attempted to break through the German lines along a 40 kilometres (25 mi) front north and south of the River Somme. The Allies had originally intended the Somme to be the site of one of several simultaneous major offensives by Allied powers against the Central Powers in 1916. However, before these offensives could begin, the Germans attacked first, engaging the Allies at the Battle of Verdun. As this battle dragged on, the purpose of the Somme campaign (which was still in the planning stage) shifted from striking a decisive blow against Germany to drawing German forces away from Verdun and relieving the Allied forces there. By its end the losses on the Somme had exceeded those at Verdun.

German Empire empire in Central Europe between 1871–1918

The German Empire, also known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918.

Central Powers group of countries defeated in World War I

The Central Powers, also Central Empires, consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria - hence also known as the Quadruple Alliance —was one of the two main coalitions that fought World War I (1914–18).

Battle of Verdun battle on the Western Front during the First World War

The Battle of Verdun, was fought from 21 February to 18 December 1916 on the Western Front. The battle was the longest of the First World War and took place on the hills north of Verdun-sur-Meuse in north-eastern France. The German 5th Army attacked the defences of the Fortified Region of Verdun and those of the French Second Army on the right (east) bank of the Meuse. Inspired by the experience of the Second Battle of Champagne in 1915, the Germans planned to capture the Meuse Heights, an excellent defensive position with good observation for artillery-fire on Verdun. The Germans hoped that the French would commit their strategic reserve to recapture the position and suffer catastrophic losses in a battle of annihilation, at little cost to the Germans dug in on tactically-advantageous positions on the Meuse Heights.

While Verdun would bite deep in the national consciousness of France for generations, the Somme would have the same effect on generations of Britons. The battle is best remembered for its first day, 1 July 1916, on which the British suffered 57,420 casualties, including 19,240 dead—the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army to this day. As terrible as the battle was for the British Empire troops who suffered there, it naturally affected the other nationalities as well. One German officer, General D. Swaha, famously described it as "the muddy grave of the German field army". By the end of the battle, the British had learned many lessons in modern warfare while the Germans had suffered irreplaceable losses. British historian Sir James Edmonds stated, "It is not too much to claim that the foundations of the final victory on the Western Front were laid by the Somme offensive of 1916".

British Army land warfare branch of the British Armed Forces of the United Kingdom

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.

Brigadier General Sir James Edward Edmonds was a British First World War officer of the Royal Engineers. Edmonds became the Director of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence on 1 April 1919 and was responsible for the post-war compilation of the 28-volume History of the Great War. Edmonds wrote nearly half the volumes, including eleven of the 14 volumes dealing with the Western Front. His task was not completed until the final volume was published in 1949.

For the first time the home front in Britain was exposed to the horrors of modern war with the release of the propaganda film The Battle of the Somme , which used actual footage from the first days of the battle.

The Somme experienced war twice more in the First and Second Battles of the Somme of 1918.

Demographics

Population development since 1801:

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1801459,453    
1806494,642+1.49%
1821508,710+0.19%
1831543,924+0.67%
1841559,680+0.29%
1851570,641+0.19%
1861572,646+0.04%
1872557,015−0.25%
1881550,837−0.12%
1891546,495−0.08%
1901537,848−0.16%
1911520,161−0.33%
1921452,624−1.38%
1931466,626+0.31%
1936467,479+0.04%
1946441,368−0.57%
1954464,153+0.63%
1962488,225+0.63%
1968512,113+0.80%
1975538,462+0.72%
1982544,570+0.16%
1990547,825+0.07%
1999555,551+0.16%
2006564,319+0.22%
2011571,211+0.24%
2016572,744+0.05%
source: [2]

Politics

Current National Assembly Representatives

ConstituencyMember [3] Party
Somme's 1st constituency François Ruffin La France Insoumise
Somme's 2nd constituency Barbara Pompili La République En Marche!
Somme's 3rd constituency Emmanuel Maquet The Republicans
Somme's 4th constituency Jean-Claude Leclabart La République En Marche!
Somme's 5th constituency Stéphane Demilly Union of Democrats and Independents



Tourism

See also

Related Research Articles

Western Front (World War I) Main theatre of war during the First World War

The Western Front was the main theatre of war during the First World War. Following the outbreak of war in August 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne. Following the Race to the Sea, both sides dug in along a meandering line of fortified trenches, stretching from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier with France, which changed little except during early 1917 and in 1918.

Verdun Subprefecture and commune in Grand Est, France

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First Battle of the Marne First World War battle

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Battle of Amiens (1918) A battle during the First World War

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Bloody April

Bloody April was the British air support operation during the Battle of Arras in April 1917, during which particularly heavy casualties were suffered by the Royal Flying Corps at the hands of the German Luftstreitkräfte.

Ovillers-la-Boisselle Commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Ovillers-la-Boisselle is a commune in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France.

<i>Plan XVII</i> Joseph Joffre, Commander-in-Chief of the France Army

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Hundred Days Offensive Military campaign during World War I

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Beaumont-Hamel Commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Beaumont-Hamel is a commune in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France.

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Fricourt Commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Fricourt is a commune in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France.

Gommecourt, Pas-de-Calais Commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Gommecourt is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Hauts-de-France region of France.

Hébuterne Commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Hébuterne is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Hauts-de-France region of France.

Bray-sur-Somme Commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Bray-sur-Somme is a commune in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France.

Contalmaison Commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Contalmaison is a commune in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France.

Mametz, Somme Part of Carnoy-Mametz in Hauts-de-France, France

Mametz is a former commune in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France. On 1 January 2019, it was merged into the new commune Carnoy-Mametz.

French Army in World War I

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Serre-lès-Puisieux village in Hauts-de-France, France

Serre-lès-Puisieux is a village in the commune of Puisieux in the Pas-de-Calais department in Hauts-de-France in northern France.

References

  1. "Insee - Populations légales 2013". Insee . Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  2. Site sur la Population et les Limites Administratives de la France
  3. http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/