One of the largest battles of the First World War was the Battle of the Somme. It was the largest on the Western Front, and lasted five months. At the time it was referred to as the Somme Offensive, taking place near the river Somme in France. The main intention of the Somme Offensive was to divert the attention of the Germans from Verdun, where the French had suffered heavy losses. Early in 1916, the French had proposed a joint French-British offensive across the river Somme to score a victory for the Allies. On July 1 that year, the battle began. The British army launched the attack on north of the Somme with fourteen infantry divisions, while the French attacked astride and south of the Somme with five divisions. Canada entered the battle as the Canadian Corps on August 30, taking part in a number of attacks in the months of September through November. With over 600,000 losses for both the Allies and the Germans, the results of the Somme seemed pointless, but what Canada took from Somme were important lessons that would improve their tactics later in the war. Changes would be made to the design of shells, the use of artillery, and planning and coordination strategies on the battlefield. The Canadian Corps had already experiment with some of these ideas in the final months of the battle, and would have them fully refined for future battles, such as Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele.