The Allies bombarded German trenches for seven days and then sent 100,000 men over the top to attack the German lines. The day was a disaster for the British. The Germans weathered the artillery fire in deep trenches and came up fighting. As the British soldiers advanced, they were mown down by machine gun and rifle fire. In total, 19,240 British soldiers lost their lives. It was the bloodiest day in the history of the British army. However, the French had more success and inflicted big losses on German troops. In spite of heavy British losses, Douglas Haig, the British general, agreed to continue the attack.