A major new history of the most infamous battle of the First World War, as described by the men who fought it. 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. All this is put in the context of the background to the battle, and Haig's overall strategy for the Western Front, making this the most comprehensive history of the battle since Lyn MacDonald's bestselling work over 20 years ago.
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Rescuing from history the heroes on the front line whose bravery has been overlooked, and giving voice to their bereaved relatives at home, Hugh Sebag-Montefiore reveals the Battle of the Somme in all its glory and misery, helping us to realize that there are many meaningful ways to define a battle when seen through the eyes of those who lived it.
2016 is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme 'There was hardly a household in the land', writes Lyn Macdonald, 'there was no trade, occupation, profession or community, which was not represented in the thousands of innocent enthusiasts who made up the ranks of Kitchener's Army before the Battle of the Somme...' The year 1916 was one of the great turning-points in British history: as the youthful hopes of a generation were crushed in a desperate struggle to survive, and traditional attitudes to authority were destroyed for ever. On paper, few battles have ever been so meticulously planned. Yet while there were good political reasons to launch a joint offensive with a French Army demoralized by huge casualties at Verdun, the raw troops on the ground knew nothing of that. A hundred and fifty thousand were killed in the punishing shellfire, the endless ordeal of attack and counter-attack; twice that number were left maimed or wounded. Here, almost for the first time, Lyn Macdonald lets the men who were there give their own testimony. Their stories are vivid, harrowing, sometimes terrifying - yet shot through with humour, immense courage and an astonishing spirit of resilience. 'What the reader will longest remember are the words - heartbroken, blunt, angry - of the men who lived through the bloodbath...a worthy addition to the literature of the Great War...'Daily Mail Over the past twenty years Lyn Macdonald has established a popular reputation as an author and historian of the First World War. Her books are based on the accounts of eyewitnesses and survivors, told in their own words, and cast a unique light on the First World War. Most are published by Penguin.
"Despite superior air and artillery power, British soldiers died in catastrophic numbers at the Battle of Somme in 1916. What went wrong, and who was responsible? This book meticulously reconstructs the battle, assigns responsibility to military and political leaders, and changes forever the way we understand this encounter and the history of the Western Front"--Publisher description.
An engrossing literary novel about a family mystery, revenge, and forgiveness by the bestselling author of Norwegian Wood and The Bell in the Lake The Sixteen Trees of the Somme is an intricately plotted and enthralling novel by the award-winning author of Norwegian Wood and The Bell in the Lake. An international bestseller and longlisted for the Dublin Literary Prize, it tells the story of Edvard and starts at his family’s tree farm in Norway, where he was raised by his grandfather. The death of Edvard’s parents when he was three has always been a mystery but he knows that the fate of his grandfather’s brother, Einar, is somehow connected. One day a coffin is delivered to the farm for his grandfather, long before the grandfather’s death––a meticulous, beautiful, and unique piece of craftsmanship with the hallmarks of a certain master craftsman––raising the thought that Einar isn’t dead after all. Edvard is now driven to unravel the mystery of his parents’ death. Following a trail of clues from Norway to the Shetland Islands to the battlefields of France and sixteen ancient walnut trees colored by poison gas in World War I, Edvard ultimately discovers a very unusual inheritance. Spanning a century and masterfully navigating themes of revenge and forgiveness, love and loneliness, The Sixteen Trees of the Somme displays the rich talents of Lars Mytting––whose novels have sold over a million copies worldwide––in a story that is utterly compelling and unforgettable.
The Battle of the Somme was one of the costliest campaigns of the First World War, with tens of thousands of casualties on both sides, drawn from all corners of the world. To describe each day of the battle, 141 fallen casualties have been chosen and through their eyes the full scope of the horror of the Somme emerges. The poignancy of their personal tragedies reminds us of the great sacrifices made by ordinary men in this war to end all wars. ALEXANDRA CHURCHILL is an author, researcher and historian who has contributed to and appeared on numerous television documentaries, including Timewatch (BBC2), Fighting the Red Baron (Channel 4) and Titanic with Len Goodman (BBC1). Her first book, the critically acclaimed Blood and Thunder: The Boys of Eton College and the First World War, was published in 2014. Her second book, Over Land and Sea: Chelsea FC in the Great War (2015), was her first collaboration with Andrew Holmes. ANDREW HOLMES is a researcher and photographer who has been visiting the battlefields of the Great War for over twelve years. He collaborated with Alexandra Churchill on Over Land and Sea: Chelsea FC in the Great War (2015).
What really happened on the first day of the Somme? Much controversy has surrounded the Somme offensive relating to its justification and its impact upon the course of the war. General Sir Douglas Haig's policies have been the subject of considerable debate about whether the heavy losses sustained were worth the small gains that were achieved which appeared to have little strategic value. That was certainly the case on many sectors on 1 July 1916, where British soldiers were unable to cross No Man's Land and failed to reach, or penetrate into, the German trenches. In other sectors, however, breaches were made in the German lines culminating in the capture that day of Leipzig Redoubt, Mametz and Montauban. This book aims to highlight the failures and successes on that day and for the first time evaluate those factors that caused some divisions to succeed in capturing their objectives whilst others failed. An important new study, this book is certain to answer these questions as well as challenging the many myths and misconceptions surrounding the battle that have been propagated for the last 100 years. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.