Forces War Records Offers Free Access to a NEW Interactive Map Until Midnight 3rd July

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 and French empires against the German Empire. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on both sides of upper reaches of the River Somme in France. It was the largest battle of the First World War on the Western Front; more than one million men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history.

To commemorate those lost on the Somme, Forces War Records is offering FREE access for a few days to an interactive map of Troop Movements based upon Order of Battle of Divisions (ORBATS). The offering includes a new interactive feature on the Forces War Records website.

You can start at

The following was written by the folks at Forces War Records:

WW1 Troop Movements – using Order of Battle of Divisions (ORBATS); a new interactive feature on the Forces War Records website.

Giving more details of army ancestors who served in the Great War of 1914-18, movements of his battalion, where he embarked, which battles he would have fought in, and in which locations and on what battlefronts he may have served. Specialist military genealogy website Forces War Records created this new function.

The ORBATS data, transcribed by Forces War Records, was used to produce this ‘moving’ audio-visual interactive map, which tracks step-by-step the progress of units throughout the course of the war, from the opening battle at Mons to the closing stages of the Spring Offensive and the Armistice. Pinpoint exactly where a unit was on a given date and trace the battles, actions and events it took part in, whilst listening to an account of the action that took place at each location.

The specialist data team has been working for 2 years to transcribe the official ORBATS, published by His Majesty’s Stationery Office, as well as numerous official histories of the Great War, to help create this in-depth record of military operations and engagements by the British Army.

What are ORBATS?

These are documents produced by the military that outline the hierarchical structure, command organisation and disposition of units for particular engagements undertaken by the Commonwealth and British Armed Forces. At the highest level they present a breakdown of the units involved in wider conflicts, the First World War in this case, including the names of divisional and brigade commanding officers and details of the organisation of the divisions, right down to battalion level, along with their attached units, for example from the Royal Artillery.

About Forces War Records

  • Specialist genealogy website, with over 300 years of military records
  • Over 10 million individuals’ records available to search
  • More than 2 million not found anywhere else online!
  • Accurate records professionally transcribed in-house
  • Extensive Historic Document Archive
  • Military experts in-house to answer customer queries
  • Monthly Magazine to help with research
  • NEW WW1 Troop Movements interactive ‘moving’ map


Could not find anything at all for my grandfather who fought in WWI.


    —> Could not find anything at all for my grandfather who fought in WWI

    As mentioned near the beginning of the above article, “Please note that this special offers starts tomorrow, June 30th. It is not available today.”


    Your grandfather was an American soldier, are you sure he fought in the fought in the battle of the Somme?


To clarify, Forces War Records is providing FREE access to the interactive MAP – WW1 Troop Movements, not free access to records.


    You must read about Field Marshall Earl Douglas Haig to get opposing views of this battle. At the time he was considered a hero since he has been considered much less. He commanded all allied troops at that time. He is the reason American troops were not put under his command. There was 60,000 troops killed on the first day of the Somme offensive.


It’s not complete. They admit the map only includes the records they have on their site. It’s misleading to say it’s a map of the battle of the Somme. It’s a great idea but too much is currently missing. (Yes I am looking at British units).


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