Well the problem was the Brits used the wrong kinds of shells to shred the barbed wire so it was still in tact. The German trenches were so good that most Germans survived, and the barrage along with the explosion of charges under parts of their trenches gave them ample warning of an impending attack. So when the Newfoundland Regiment and its 780 men fit for duty went "over the top" and advanced the couple hundred yards towards the German trenches that first morning, the Germans were prepared and their barbed wire was largely intact. Within 30 minutes it was all over, out of 780 men only 68 would be fit for duty the following day. Most of those lost never made it past their own barbed wire. Some died along the way in the open of "No Mans Land", and others died on the German wire. To this day it remains the worst casualty rate for any unit for a single days action in modern warfare. The men, being part of the "new army" were generally not trusted to be as disciplined as the "old army" of professionals in 1914. They were trained to advance straight forward in a fast walk, in close formation, towards the enemy. This made them easy targets for German machine gunners, many of whom often stopped shooting when the British started to retreat having tired of killing so many. It was a gallant show of discipline and valor by the Brits. One person remarked that this sort of thing was evidence that "Lions were led by Asses" and that the Generals of the British Army had no idea how to fight this kind of war and were destroying good men needlessly in the pursuit of a failed strategy.
The Somme was a complete failure. The allied forces suffered almost 630,000 casualties to the German 400,000. That first day alone, when the Newfoundlers died, 57,000 other British casualties were suffered. To put that in perspective that is roughly the casualties suffered by both sides over three days at the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War.