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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent account of the British Army's worst ever day, 8 Oct 2012
This review is from: Somme 1 July 1916: Tragedy and Triumph (Campaign) (Paperback)
I had my reservations when I bought this book - one can get tired of the general obsession with the first day of the Battle of the Somme, at the expense of understanding the whole battle. Lasting until late autumn 1916, the later stages are equally fascinating and saw notable successes at Montauban, Bazentin, Longueval, High Wood (eventually), Flers etc.. The cream of the German army was crippled and the course of the war was changed. Arguably.

The sub-title of the book, "tragedy and triumph", gives a hint that the author gives a good balance as he explores both the ghastly massacre and utter failure in the north of the battlefield at Serre and Beaumont Hamel, the near-success but eventual failure at Thiepval, but also the considerable success at Mametz and Maricourt, from where the next, much more successful, phases of the battle were launched.

From north to south the author gives us the names and locations of every battalion, brigade and division involved, and how they fared. There are plenty of photos, and the maps are among the most useful in any book. On a recent trip to the Somme the maps in this book were the ones I found myself using most.

The 96-page format of these "Campaign Series" Osprey books ensures clarity and brevity, but there is enough detail for the serious student of the Great War (I have a B.A. in history and find plenty of value and interest here), whilst the excellent maps and photos will make it fascinating for the teenager who is studying WW1 for their History GCSE, and perhaps spending one of those long exhausting but utterly rewarding day-trips visiting the Somme.

My copy, now much-thumbed, was purchased second-hand on Amazon, and I often consult it; I would recommend it to school-children and PhD students alike.
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Somme 1 July 1916: Tragedy and Triumph (Campaign)
Somme 1 July 1916: Tragedy and Triumph (Campaign) by Andrew Robertshaw (Paperback - 11 May 2006)
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