The Somme: Herosim and Horror in the First World War

Front Cover
Macmillan, Jun 27, 2006 - History - 332 pages
8 Reviews
From one of our most distinguished historians, an authoritative and vivid account of the devastating World War I battle that claimed more than 300,000 lives

At 7:30 am on July 1, 1916, the first Allied soldiers climbed out of their trenches along the Somme River in France and charged out into no-man's-land toward the barbed wire and machine guns at the German front lines.

By the end of this first day of the Allied attack, the British army alone would lose 20,000 men; in the coming months, the fifteen-mile-long territory along the river would erupt into the epicenter of the Great War. The Somme would mark a turning point in both the war and military history, as soldiers saw the first appearance of tanks on the battlefield, the emergence of the air war as a devastating and decisive factor in battle, and more than one million casualties (among them a young Adolf Hitler, who took a fragment in the leg). In just 138 days, 310,000 men died.

In this vivid, deeply researched account of one history's most destructive battles, historian Martin Gilbert tracks the Battle of the Somme through the experiences of footsoldiers (known to the British as the PBI, for Poor Bloody Infantry), generals, and everyone in between. Interwoven with photographs, journal entries, original maps, and documents from every stage and level of planning, The Somme is the most authoritative and affecting account of this bloody turning point in the Great War.

  

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Review: The Somme: Heroism and Horror in the First World War

User Review  - Wesley - Goodreads

This book was sad,interesting, and a great memorial for the soldiers who fought and died at the Somme. See my full review on my blog: http://libraryeducated.blogspot.com/2... Read full review

Review: The Somme: Heroism and Horror in the First World War

User Review  - Adam DeVille, Ph.D. - Goodreads

The depressing and gratuitous slaughter of the Somme is recounted here by a premiere historian. Sad and infuriating to read. Read full review

Contents

To break through and win victory
11
There is much in the wind
31
Dead men
50
It looked like
91
Boys of the Bull
105
A bloody holocaust
121
A little uneasy in regard
134
This fantasy of woe
157
firstday objectives and the plan for a breakthrough
278
The first day of battle 1 July 1916
279
the attack on the German trench lines i July 1916
280
i July 1916
281
i July 1916
282
The eastern sector of the British line i July 1916
283
The fighting from 2 to 31 July 1916
284
The fighting in August 1916
285

I am in Gods keeping
172
Death
192
The Grand Design begins
205
The
225
November 1916
243
Europe on the eve of war June 1914
272
The Western Front line of trenches from the North Sea to the Swiss border
273
The British Expeditionary Force sector of the front under Haigs command
274
The Somme region before the battle
275
NewfoundlandBritain Gallipolithe Somme
276
Preparing for battle AprilJune 1916
277
The fighting in September 1916
286
The October Plan 1916
287
The fighting in October and from i to 11 November 1916
288
The fighting on the Ancre 1218 November 1916
289
The Somme battlefield March 1918
290
The Somme battlefield August 1918
291
British counties whose regiments fought on the Somme
292
Places in Britain mentioned in the text
293
Appendix Approximate size of army formations
305
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Sir Martin Gilbert was knighted in 1995 "for services to British history and international relations." Among his many books are The First World War (0-8050-7617-4), The Second World War, (0-8050-7623-9) The Day the War Ended (1945) (0-8050-7527-5), and Churchill: A Life (0-8050-2396-8).

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