Through German Eyes: The British and the Somme 1916 (Phoenix Press) Paperback – 2 Oct 2008
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Excellent idea... fascinating first-hand reports... enlightening. (LITERARY REVIEW)
'Christopher Duffy's subtle and intelligent book... is a refreshing addition to the literature of the Western Front experience' (Patrick Bishop DAILY TELEGRAPH)
fascinating records of the interrogations... show what soldiers thought weeks, if not hours after coming out of the front line. (THE OBSERVER)
Duffy's book is crisply written and an easy read. (THE SCOTSMAN) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The key battle of the First World War from the German point of viewSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
To see oursels as ithers see us!"
The words of Robert Burns have already captured the impact of this book.
At last we are seeing more books based on research of the available German Great War archives and this book is a superb addition, mainly because it helps to answer the question `How' rather than `What'.
What happened during the Battle of the Somme is largely a matter of record and has been addressed by many authors, but in general there are few books that attempt to explain the process and psychological framework that conditioned the participants. In other words we know what happened, but how did the men prevail over such dreadful conditions and circumstances? That this book examines the issue `from the other side of no-man's-land' is very useful and the image we have of British POW's under post capture questioning (one hesitates to use the term interrogation) is of men released from the horrors of battle and ready to impart information to an enemy with whom they shared much. The clever use of interrogators who shared values with the captured is highlighted. German airmen would tend to question British airmen as the shared values of aviators encouraged conversation.
The willingness of POW's to impart what they considered as unimportant information actually assisted the Germans in gaining the insight into the British character that was one of their main objectives.
This is a book that any serious Great War researcher or enthusiast should have, and will attract the general reader because it is presented in a very readable style. It is provocative, erodes many preconceptions, and adds significantly to the wider understanding of how men reacted to the circumstances of their service and capture.Read more ›
Anyone who has heard of the Battle of the Somme is aware that it was one of the key battles of the Great War and also learnt of the horrific waste of human life - especially on that fateful 1st July day, when no less than 58,000 British troops became casualties or were killed in action. This fact alone has left a lasting legacy of an image of British incompetency and brave "Tommies" being sent to their certain deaths by blundering generals, therefore branding the initial attack and following sequence of events a disaster.
Just as the title implies, this volume deals with the battle from the German perspective and will provide the reader with a very different view of the thought processes all those years ago. Contrary to modern British belief, the Germans did not believe the British troops were useless, in fact as the author's research now reveals, they had a great and growing respect for the professionalism, performance and mentality of their enemy - especially as they were mostly volunteers.
The German view of the British and events at the time has only just come to light and therefore the contents of this volume will make fascinating reading.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic book, the Germans were surprised how good we were, the Somme wasn't a disaster - more people would realise this if they read this book. Read morePublished 13 months ago by J. A. Durowse
Great War addicts need and must read, this superbly researched History of the Somme Battles, simply because it puts the story straight. Read morePublished 23 months ago by twyfordwasp
Needed this book for a forthcoming trip and it will greatly add to my tour. The author, an acknowledged expert, writes straightforwardly and offers good advice on specific tours... Read morePublished on 25 April 2014 by M. C. Best
Although this book wasn`t quite what I expected I thoroughly enjoyed it. Having been brought up on a diet of books from the allied perspective it has been a bit of an eye opener... Read morePublished on 5 April 2011 by Steve the ref
Well-researched, comprehensive and fast-moving. I got this for Xmas last year and it languished at the bottom of the gift pile until November. Read morePublished on 13 Dec. 2010 by D. Spencer
The idea of showing the Somme campaign from the point of view of the Germans is an important idea. However World War 1 is one of the areas of history where there is a glut of books... Read morePublished on 20 July 2010 by J. Duducu