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A comprehensive account of one of the most infamous battles of the First World War – The Somme. With many lives lost a lot has been written about mistakes and wrong decisions made but Hart tries to look at these in a less damning way than other historians have. He analyses why decisions were made by those in charge in an unbiased fashion and gives us great insight not only in to those leaders but also the minds of the ordinary soldiers fighting their own individual battles.
On 1 July 1916, Douglas Haig's army launched the 'Big Push' that was supposed finally to bring an end to the stalemate on the Western Front. What happened next was a human catastrophe: scrambling over the top into the face of the German machine guns and artillery fire, almost 20,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers were killed that day alone, and twice as many wounded - the greatest loss in a single day ever sustained by the British Army. The battle did not stop there, however. It dragged on for another 4 months, leaving the battlefield strewn with literally hundreds of thousands of bodies.
The Somme has remained a byword for the futility of war ever since. In this major new history, Peter Hart describes how the battle looked from the point of view of those who fought it. Using never-before-seen eyewitness testimonies, he shows us this epic conflict from all angles. We see what it was like to crawl across No Man's Land in the face of the German guns, what it was like for those who stayed behind in the trenches - the padres, the artillerymen, the doctors. We also see what the battle looked like from the air, as the RFC battled to keep control of the skies above the battlefield.
Publication date: 15/06/2006
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
|Publication date:||15th June 2006|
|Publisher:||Orion Publishing Co|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, History,|
|Categories:||European history, First World War,|
Peter Hart was born in 1955. He went to Liverpool University before joining the Sound Archive at the Imperial War Museum in 1981. He is now Oral Historian at the Archive.More About Peter Hart