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The Somme - From Defeat to Victory [DVD] [2006]

Ben Goddard (II) , Darren Black , Detlef Siebert    Exempt   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: £8.26 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Ben Goddard (II), Darren Black, Peter Stark, Benedict Sandiford, Adam Webb
  • Directors: Detlef Siebert
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Simply Media
  • DVD Release Date: 3 July 2006
  • Run Time: 59 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FMGT6W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,641 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

This BBC documentary provides a fresh perspective on the Somme. By comparing the assault on Thiepval by a company of the 2nd Salford Pals on July 1st 1916 with an attack on the same objective by men of the 12th Middlesex in September 1916, it reveals how tactics changed. The dramatisation of real soldiers' experiences provides a personal view of the fighting as never before.


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Somme - From Defeat to Victory 17 Aug 2009
Format:DVD
As you watch this impeccably researched 59min DVD, commisioned to mark the 90'th anniversary of the battle, and listen to the actual words of just a few of the men who fought and died in it; it puts the problems we face today into genuine perpective.

The programme centres around a few volunteers of the 2'nd Salford Pals Battalion/16'th Lancashire Fusiliers; as they attacked and were mown down, by their Westphalian opposite numbers in the 180'th Inf Regt, holding the French chateau of Thiepval on 1'st July 1916. It's hard to believe now, but 19,240 British soldiers were killed, with 37,000 wounded; on the first day of a battle which lasted six months!

This programme differs from many others however, in that it documents the entire Somme 'campaign' which continued on until December 1916. It illustrates how the British Army reacted to those losses; permitting use of initiative by junior officers, introducing combined attacks, creeping artillery barrages, first deployment of tanks, and use of aircraft for observation.

Using these radical new tactics, the British Army and their French allies eventually 'won' the battle of the Somme. German pressure on Verdun was reduced as they were forced to replace 500,000 casualties lost on the Somme; which enabled France to hold at Verdun. Total British casualties were 432,000, France lost 'only' 200,000, plus another 543,000 at Verdun!

This programme attempts to justify those losses by explaining how the Generals 'learned' lessons; and by applying those lessons, eventually emerged victorious from World War One.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MORE THAN A DAY. 23 May 2012
By DICKIE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a well made and very well researched film. First rate photography and acting. Both sides of the Somme story are told and this makes the viewer think deeply about the impact of not only this battle but the war has a whole.
The scenery and make up are excellent and what one would expect from the BBC production team. Uniforms are well researched and contain correct rank and divisional markings.
This is a great educational tool and I highly recommend it. If they ask of us this is what you should say, we gave our tomorrow for your today. Watch, learn, think and remember. Richard Longstaff.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Somme - From Defeat to Victory 29 Jun 2010
Format:DVD
I saw this programme when it was first broadcast on BBC and my immediate reaction was that it was the best produced documentary on The Somme that I have seen. It is a balanced and impartial account that reveals the limitations of the plan and tactics for the initial phase of the battle. However, it goes on to show how the Army adapted to the need for changes to those tactics and gives due recognition to the bravery and initiative of the fighting troops at regimental level. I have used the DVD as a scene setter for a low level battlefied tour and it brings home the reality of trench warfare most vividly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, informative and beautifully made 31 Dec 2011
Format:DVD
I've long had a minor interest in military history and recently decided to do some more reading up on the First World War. As I result I brought this DVD since the Amazon recommendations alluded that it was worth watching, glad to say I wasn't disappointed.

A well made and very informative documentary that covers the Battle of the Somme superbly. The cast acting, although not award winning, was certainly believable and added greatly to the feeling of drama. I'm not an historian so can't speak for the accuracy but assuming it is accurate it's certainly informative.
My only real complaints are that I felt it could have been longer, at 60 minutes it did feel a bit short and that they only covered a few units (British and German). It would have been nice to have a broader perspective of the whole battle.

All in all an excellent and beautifully made documentary and one worth purchasing if you're looking for information about the First World War.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT PRODUCTION 28 Mar 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Part documentary and part reinaction, this is excellent and gives the viewer a real insight into all aspects of life on the Western Front in 1916. Points out the often (conveniently) forgotten fact that the Allies actually WON the First World War.
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