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4.7 out of 5 stars
63
4.7 out of 5 stars
Somme
Format: Paperback|Change
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on 3 October 2017
Very good book, I learnt alot more about the Battle of the Somme, something I have been reading about by different authors. This book not only tells you about the Regiments it also gives you personnel stories of the men as well. Very good read.
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on 24 August 2017
Lyn MacDonald can do no wrong. Her knowledge and empathy for the subject make her books a must read.
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on 18 September 2016
Brilliantly and vividly told. They were eager to sign up and eager to fight. Such a pity they were led by such incompetent officers
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on 31 August 2017
the book was second hand but I deemed it good and I have read it
I have her other books and I think that she is a very good author
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on 19 April 2014
Really brought home what it was like and how terrifying it must have been for those poor boys - for thats what most of them were just boys.
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on 20 March 2013
Like all of Lyn Macdonald's other books it is well written and engaging. The template for the "Forgotten Voices" books which have folowed, this is an inspiring read
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on 26 September 2016
No Problem
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on 5 August 2000
I have never read a book before like this where I couldn't put it down but at the same time there was something each time I read it that brought a lump to my throat. I have nothing substantial as proof but I am fairly sure that both my grand-father and his brother fought on the Somme with the East Lancs and KOSB and even from my school years this period in history has always fascinated me.
The first hand accounts of feelings, sights and sounds shot through with an amazing courage and humour defy belief at times; you cannot truly appreciate what drove these men on in the appalling conditions they were serving. The Somme destroyed once and for all the glory of the Great War and this book illustrates the fate of a lost generation in a way that will leave you thinking about what you've read for some time after you've finished reading it...
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on 13 December 2009
I first read one of Lyn MacDonald's World War One books when a friend gave me "They called it Passchendale" and found it informative and an excellent read. Since then I have bought all of her books about WW1. Like the others Somme is told from the viewpoint of various participants from Generals to the footslogger interspersed by a very good narrative style from Ms MacDonald. At times it reads like a novel with characters you can identify with. At the same time giving the salient historical facts. The reader becomes involved unlike with normal recounting of battles. For anybody interested in WW1 I would suggest to start with 1914, Hope Springs then go through to 1915, Somme (1916) Passchendale (1917) and end wit 1918.
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on 3 February 2002
To add to the other reviews (and it *is* a triumph of research, and tells you pretty much all you need to know about the campaign), one thing puzzled me. The book doesn't seem to cover the first day of the battle, the day which most people think of when they think of the Somme. One moment, the troops are about to leap over the trenches - and then we're at the next chapter, and we've skipped several hours into the future.
I assume Ms MacDonald is trying to replicate the 'fog of war' that existed at the time - nobody in charge knew what had happened until several days later, and the people at home had to wait for months - but it's unsatisfying, somehow.
Still, it's a superb book, and you can't fault the sheer hard work MacDonald has put into it - not only did she interview many of the surviving British soldiers (this was back in 1983, so there were more of them), she actually visited the battlefield.
One other flaw, though, is that whilst she interviewed lots of British people, we don't learn much about the Germans. Given that they took just as many casualties in the battle as us, what must it have been like for them, sitting in their trenches, under a towering artillery bombardment, not knowing what was coming next? We don't find out, which is a shame.
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