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The Hell They Called High Wood: The Somme 1916 (Pen & Sword Military Books) [Paperback]

Norman Terry
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: 14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

19 Feb 2009 Pen & Sword Military Books
The Somme was surely one of the bloodiest rendezvous for battle of all time. High Wood, dominating the Bazentin Ridge, was the fiercely contested focal point of the battle. The Germans showed great determination and sacrifice defending the feature and it was not until September that it finally fell to the attackers. Ironically the successful divisional commander was rewarded with dismissal for "wanton waste of men". This exceptional book not only paints a graphic and gruesome picture of the fighting but sheds light on the problems of high command.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (19 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844158977
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844158973
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 212,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Well Researched Classic 14 Jun 2005
By E. A. Redfearn TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
The battles of High Wood which dominated the Bazentin Ridges on the Somme was one of the great epics of the Somme Battles of 1916. First attacked on 15 July, 1916, it was not cleared of the enemy until 15 September during the so called Battles of Flers and Courcelette. The area around the wood became a landscape of horror which epitomised all that was dreadful of trench warfare. Miles and miles of trenches were dug, the wood gradually disappeared to the terrible shelling it endured during those two awful months. And when it was finally cleared, only a few Germans were left alive to be taken prisoner. Terry Norman has written a well researched book explaining much detail about how and why the struggle for High Wood lasted so long, and why the Germans were so reluctant to give it up. My only quibble however, is that the photographs are not as good as they should have been; although the maps are more than adequate. Students of the Somme must add this to their collection. A very good read indeed.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent account of a critical battle 9 May 2009
Format:Hardcover
Terry Norman's account of the fierce engagements around High Wood in the summer of 1916 serves as a model of clarity with clear maps, extensive first hand accounts and a cogent and perceptive narrative. The strategic importance of High Wood to both British and German armies is amply demonstrated, as are the tactical features (such as supporting machine gun fire from enfilading German trenches) which made High Wood such a persistent obstacle to the British advance on the Somme. There are also interesting insights regarding High Wood's place in the overall German defence line which utilised other areas of difficult ground such as Trones Wood and Delville Wood. The events around High Wood from the earliest contact to the final assault by the 47th (London) Division are set out in separate chapters. A final chapter deals skilfully with the legacy of the battles around High Wood for the surviving combatants. In all, a really excellent addition to any library and essential reading for anyone interested in the Somme campaign of 1916.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remembering High Wood 14 Sep 2009
By Slo
Format:Paperback
My Great Uncle was killed at High Wood on 20th July, 1916. When I looked into the events surrounding his battalions movements, this book was invaluable in bridging the gap between war diaries and the wider battle at the Somme. It was to hard to find this book when I was researching this about 10 years ago, so it's great to see this invaluable book published once more. The fact that High Wood is not well known, despite the scale of horror, demonstrates just how much carnage there was throughout WW1. And it's important to remember that young men from all over the world died at High Wood, as the book illustrates. RIP.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Madness on the Somme 8 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very interesting read of a thorough and detailed coverage of this part of the Battle of the Somme. Includes extracts from letters, accounts, etc from soldiers of different ranks so that it provides evidence of the mayhem and madness of the repeated attacks. Brings to life a realisation of what one of my relatives went through - he sadly lasted only two thirds through the 64 days of battle.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meticulously researched 26 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a book for anyone seriously studying WW1. Meticulously researched, there is no part of the battle for High Wood that is not covered. It helps to either know the area or have a map in front of you, although there are plenty dispursed throughout the book. A must for anyone with an interest in the Battle of the Somme.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read if you are visiting the somme 9 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
excellent read, been reading the book while walking the fields leading up to and around the wood its self ,following in the steps of those battalions who suffered and died while rawlinson was writing in his diary that he was able to ` sleep like a top'.
the book left me informed, saddened and with a re enforced opinon of the british senior generals who didnt give a toss for the men under them, that they were totally inept and callous beyond belief
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Read this book prior to visiting High Wood researching the death of my Grandfather, Harry Barker on 20th July 1916 on the perimeter of High Wood. ( no known grave ) It made the visit so much easier to understand what our troops went through. A fantastic book for anyone researching WW1.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 9 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Hell seems too light a word! It was a superb read why can't the maps be made larger?
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