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The Other Side of the Wire Volume 2: The Battle of the Somme. With the German XIV Reserve Corps, 1 July 1916 [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Ralph J. Whitehead
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 Feb 2013
Volume 1 of 'The Other Side of the Wire' told the story of the German XIV Reserve Corps from the initial invasion of the Somme in Northern France in 1914 to the final hours before the momentous battle of 1 July 1916. Volume 2 covers the epic Battle of the Somme and takes the reader through the story of 1 July 1916 as seen from the German defenders. Each part of the great battle, from Gommecourt in the north to Curlu on the bank of the River Somme, is presented from the German perspective of the men who defended their sectors against the British and French offensive. The story of the Germans fighting on the Somme on 1 July 1916 is presented using first hand accounts and regimental histories to provide the reader with a part of the battle long ignored in most histories written since the war. Hundreds of illustrations of the men who fought on the Somme on 1 July are presented to the reader, many previously unpublished from the author's personal collection. Numerous maps provide additional details to help the reader follow the flow of action on that historic day. Perhaps the most unique aspect of the book is the presentation of the casualty lists of the units that took part in the battle as they were published in the weeks following the battle in the German 'Verlustlisten'. Never before have the German losses been identified and presented to the public in this manner. It is the hope of the author to provide the reader with the human face of the men in Field Grey who faced one of the mightiest onslaughts ever seen in history. By providing these details, illustrations and casualty details a true portrayal of the men who fought on 1 July on 'the other side of the wire' can finally be presented. This superb Great War title is being published in a strictly limited edition hardback run of 750 copies, each copy individually numbered and signed by the author.

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The Other Side of the Wire Volume 2: The Battle of the Somme. With the German XIV Reserve Corps, 1 July 1916 + The Other Side of the Wire Volume 1. With The German XIV Reserve Corps On The Somme, September 1914-June 1916
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Helion & Company Ltd; Har/Com Lt edition (15 Feb 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907677127
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907677120
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16.5 x 3.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 423,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This book is an astonishing achievement, a triumph for Ralph Whitehead, whose patient detective work on the surviving German sources over many years has presented us with previously undreamt of precision to the thorny problem of German casualty figures … Whitehead has also succeeded in providing the most comprehensive description of the First Day of the Somme from the defenders' perspective which has ever appeared in print … This was a dreadful day for British arms, but an awesome German achievement and we should be grateful to Ralph Whitehead for describing it so skilfully. --Jack Sheldon

The date 1 July 1916 is indelibly etched into the consciousness of British society. This day saw the largest loss of life in any one day in the long history of the British army on the Somme battlefield. Despite this, events from the other side of the hill have largely remained a mystery for English-language readers. No longer. Ralph Whitehead has added immeasurably to our understanding of this fateful day. This meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated volume provides a clear picture of the experiences of the German defenders on this day and the methods they used to defeat the British attack. This volume will revolutionize our view of 1 July 1916 and is an essential read for any scholar of the First World War. --Dr Robert T. Foley, Reader in Defence Studies, King's College London

About the Author

Ralph Whitehead is a graduate of C.W. Post College in Greenvale, New York where he concentrated his studies in 19th and 20th Century American and 20th Century European history. He is currently the head of a Fraud Investigative unit for a national insurance carrier and has enjoyed a 34-year career in the insurance field. He has been actively studying the Great War for many decades and has established himself as an expert on the German Army of 1914-1918 with a special interest in German casualties. He has been a member of several well-known Great War groups including the Western Front Association, The Imperial German Military Collector's Association and is a member of the Great War Archaeological Group 'No Man's Land'. He has been a contributor to numerous Great War books including the Pals series and the Battleground Europe series. Ralph was an historic advisor to YAP Films on their series 'Finding the Fallen' that involved Great War archaeology. He currently resides with his wife in the small village of Fayetteville located in the historic Central New York region. The village was named in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette following the War of American Independence. This is Ralph's second book, and he is already working on this volume's sequel, which will complete the story of the German XIV Reserve Corps through their experiences of the final two years of the First World War.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly Detailed. 24 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent perspective of a tragic battle from the other side which is often overlooked in the UK, the events being over-shadowed by the huge British losses.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 20 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have a collection of roughly 250+ books on WW1 and a fair amount on WW2. Vol 1 is in my opinion one of the best WW1 history books in my collection, infact for me it's up there as my favourite military history book full stop (along side Jason D Marks Island of Fire). The research is second to none and he puts a human face to the Corps ( unlike many other WW1 books he actually has photos of a lot of the men mentioned within).

So Vol 2 has finally arrived and I have had it ore ordered for awhile, I really don't want to miss out on it as not only will it be superb it's great owning a numbered edition thats signed. Though this volume seems to only cover the first day of the Somme battle and the other book took us from the Wars start to the day before the Somme battle I'm sure it will be full first person narratives, photos and detailed analysis.

I will say Jack Sheldons books on the German Army is another superb series that any military history lover should also buy I didn't think anything could beat them..Mr Whitehead in my humble opinion did. (Though Jack Sheldons works are absolutely superb)

Though Vol 1 can no longer be bought signed and in hardback..it is being released in paperback this year and I suggest anyone with an interest in Military history go and buy it.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars other side of the wire volume 2 review 2 Sep 2013
By hugo woolf - Published on Amazon.com
This gem of a book is a must for anyone who wants to know what the British and French really achieved on the Somme on 1 July 1916 once they went over the top. Most British Somme books only report what went on in No Man's Land and in and behind the the British front line. This book reveals the German panic and fears as the British and French troops penetrated their front trench system. it is full of German testimony. Understanding the ins and outs of the complicated German front line network during the battle would be hard were it not for the fact that the author has used detailed maps that enable the reader to follow what is described. As a result I found the account all the more fascinating. It will be interesting to see whether this account alters the analysts' verdict on the British attack and Haig's strategy. The story told in this book could be used to show that Haig's planning was not so bad after all since the British very nearly broke through the German lines. I should add the book is beautifully presented with glossy pages for text and photos alike. it is a collector's item since only 750 copies of this hardback version have been printed.
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