on 25 August 2010
The first thirty pages provide an overview of the offensive, the objectives, the theory, methods and tactics adopted and the part played by each arm in the different phases of the attack. In this preamble, which takes the reader up to the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line in February/March 1917, Gough is mistakenly referred to as commanding Second Army (page 2) instead of Fifth (Reserve Army till 30 October1916). Then follows an illustrated guide to the battlefield which covers both French and British operations with maps and photos, focussing on the area Albert-Bapaume-Peronne and the valley of the Somme, taking in all the battles in which the BEF was involved during the four and a half months' campaign.
on 25 January 2015
This is not a review of this particular book, it is a review of the whole series of the re-published, faithfull, facsimilies of the Illustrated Michelin Guides To The Battle-Fields (1914 1918). There are many guides to the WW1 battle fields (the Holt's, After The Battle, Battleground Europe) but these guides are top of the list because they were written in 1919, when memories were fresh and the carnage still evident, as can be seen in some of the photographs..
Produced by the Michelin tyre company "In MemoryOf The Michelin Workmen And Employees Who Died Gloriously For There Country", each volume covers a major campaign/battle. There are descriptions of the area covered before, during and after the war, all well illustrated with maps of the battles and unit movements, panoramas of the battlefields and before and after black and white photographs. There are also contemporary maps of tour itineraries to the locations/actions described. One idiosyncrasy, the contents page is atthe back of the guide!
For many years I have owned several original first editions given to me by my late father's employer who was an officer in the Royal Horse Artillery during WW1 and re-visited some of the battlefields at the time of The King's Pilgrimage. Now, thanks to Naval & Military Press I have been able to fill the gaps in my collection. Although originally dating from 1919, these excellen guides are as much a part of the conflct as the places and events they describe.