A five-month offensive between July and November 1916 in the Somme river area in France. It began with a massive week-long British artillery barrage that proved futile, since the Germans just sheltered in their dug-outs until the shelling stopped, then machine-gunned waves of British troops who were crossing no-man's land. On the first day alone the British lost 60,000 men. The battle ended in a stalemate, after torrential rain turned the trenches into a quagmire. There were more than 650,000 casualties on both sides, and although British had relieved the French at Verdun, they had only advanced about five miles.