At 7.30 am on 1 July 1916, the Battle of the Somme opened when the first waves of the British troops went 'over the top'; by the end of the day nearly 60,000 had become casualties on the 18-mile front; one third of these men had been killed. During the following 140 days the relentless, appalling slaughter continued. By mid November, when the winter weather had set in and the battleground had become a sea of mud, the offensive was halted. The British and French armies had advanced six miles. The combined Allied and German losses were over a million men; 420,000 of those were British. "The Fierce Light" contains a selection of prose and poetry from 38 contemporary British, Australian and New Zealand writers who fought during the Battle of the Somme. Men from different backgrounds tell their terrible stories in powerful and vivid language. The extracts from their published works, depicting the horrendous bloodshed and destruction they experienced, are placed in chronological order between 1 July and 18 November 1916. Details of the action in which the writer was involved preface each extract.
Publisher: The History Press Ltd