Many guidebooks cover the Somme offensive in 1916, the five-month struggle that has come to be seen as one of the defining episodes in the history of the fighting on the Western Front during the First World War. But no previous guide has concentrated on the first day, 1 July 1916, when the British Army suffered around 60,000 casualties. That is why, on the centenary of that great battle, this new volume in Pen & Sword's Battle Lines series is so timely. In a series of tours that can be walked, biked or driven, expert authors Jon Cooksey and Jerry Murland take the visitor along the eighteen-mile front line that was the starting point for the Somme offensive, from Gommecourt in the north to Maricourt in the south. The tours allow the visitor to trace the entire course of the opening day on the ground. In vivid detail the authors describe what happened, where it happened and why and which units were involved, and point out the sights that remain for the visitor to see.
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 431 g
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm
"The original edition of this guidebook was among the first battlefield related books that I amassed when I first started out as a Guide. It was very much ahead of its time in its content as its style of presentation. The unique selling point of this guidebook is however not its high standard of presentation, it is the range of military history it captures. As you would expect the Somme's First World War battlefields are examined in detail but it is the inclusion of the 1346 Crecy campaign and the 1940 Blitzkrieg that make this such a useful book. An ideal starting point if you are planning a technology themed Battlefield Study."--Despatches, Summer 2016
"I've used a host of Battlefield Guides during my many trips to Civil War battlefields. This guide ranks right up there with some of the best I've seen. There's plenty of information within it's pages to help make a visit to the Somme quite detailed. With all the "as is now" photos it will be easy to pick out important land marks as they look today. Things change, especially over one hundred years!! I enjoyed how the authors presented each section with historical context, units that participated in action in the area one is in, and some of the notable figures that were involved. The text is well written, and matches with the pictures perfectly. I like this book a great deal, and would be an essential piece to my travel kit when going over there!! Even if I never make a trip to the battlefield, this book will be a good jump off point to further my interest in WWI in general, and this battle in particular. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the War to end all wars or anyone traveling to visit the field over there."--IPMS/USA