The Somme

The Somme

The Darkest Hour on the Western Front

Book - 2008 | 1st Pegasus Books ed.
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On July 1, 1916, the British Army launched the "Big Push" that was supposed to bring an end to the horrific stalemate on the Western Front between British, French and German forces. What resulted was one of the greatest single human catastrophes in twentieth century warfare: scrambling out of trenches in the face of German machine guns and artillery fire, the British lost over twenty thousand soldiers during the first day. This "battle" would drag on for another four bloody months.Expertly weaving together letters, diaries, and other first-person accounts, Peter Hart gives us a compelling narrative tribute to this infamous tragedy that epitomized the futility of "the war to end all wars."
Publisher: New York : Pegasus Books, 2008.
Edition: 1st Pegasus Books ed.
ISBN: 9781605980164
Branch Call Number: 940.4272 Har
Characteristics: 589 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm


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Aw_19 Aug 18, 2017

It's an authoritative work but a bit too ponderous for me. Also, too long. I couldn't finish it and gave up after 70 pages. I think the author overuses long block quotes. There's virtually one on every page. And while I appreciate hearing the voices of those who fought in the battle, the quotes are not always the most readable.

I would only recommend this for WWI and military history buffs seeking an intensely detailed recounting of the battle.

Apr 13, 2013

An amazing book, top notch! Very well researched, with tons of personal narratives, a book like this is about as close as we can get to actually being there. The vivid descriptions found in this book bring the true horror of the Somme back from the mists of time and memory. It is also a moving tribute to those who fought and died there, in 1916.

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