Featuring Newly Discovered Accounts from Around the World.
No conflict better encapsulates all that went wrong on the Western Front during World War I than the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The tragic loss of life and stoic endurance by troops who walked towards their death is an iconic image - but this critically-acclaimed bestseller, on the four months of battle, shows the extent to which the Allied armies were in fact able to break through the German front lines again and again.
In eight years of research, Hugh Sebag-Montefiore has found extraordinary new material from Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, and the British - from heartbreaking diaries and letters to hitherto unseen Red Cross files - recounting their experiences amid the horror of war. It has been hailed as the best book about the battle, which, though not an Allied victory, was the beginning of the slide towards German defeat.
Hugh Sebag-Montefiore's best-selling books are Enigma- The Battle for the Code, Dunkirk- Fight to the Last Man and Somme, a Sunday Times top ten bestseller. He lives in north London with his wife and three children.
Comprehensive, authoritative and meticulously researched... [Of recent publications] it is the weightiest and best written. -- Simon Humphrey Mail on Sunday Having read almost everything that has been written on this battle, I can vouch this is the best account yet. -- Gerard DeGroot The Times Comprehensive, authoritative and meticulously researched... [Of recent publications] it is the weightiest and best written -- Simon Humphrey Mail on Sunday The author's combination of thoughtful analysis with first-hand testimony from army soldiers, cameramen and diarists lends a gritty immediacy -- Ian Thomson Observer Hugh Sebag-Montefiore's heroes are the junior officers and the ordinary soldiers. Their voices emerge loud and clear in his pages . . . The best historians of the war have always made good use of the words written by the participants themselves, but few have done so as effectively as here -- Nick Rennison Daily Mail In his previous book, Dunkirk, one of Sebag-Montefiore's talents as a historian is never to lose sight of the variety of individual experience. It is impossible to read this book without being stuck afresh by the ripples of mourning and anxiety spreading out from the battlefield in France -- Daniel Todman The Financial Times A beautifully crafted, blow-by-blow account with deep insight into the lives of these diverse young men Kirkus Reviews Sebag-Montefiore tells it with gusto, a remarkable attention to detail . . . The sense of confusion, anxiety, uncertainty, and intrepid courage which characterized this disastrous campaign is captured more successfully than any other existing account -- Richard Overy Daily Telegraph Magisterial, exemplary, heartbreaking. So original is the material, and so inventive is Sebag-Montefiore's approach . . . that this well-known tale is rendered strange again. Written with great style and sensitivity, superbly illustrated with many original plates and beautifully drawn maps, Sebag-Montefiore's brilliant new study will set the benchmark for a generation -- Saul David David Telegraph
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