21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
This is indeed the Book of the Somme,
This review is from: The Imperial War Museum Book of the Somme (Pan Grand Strategy Series) (Paperback)
Malcolm Brown's Book of the Somme is powerful in its analysis of one of the greatest battles in British military history.
The book is written with great attention to detail, by an author who not only has a deep interest in this time period, but is also, and rightly so, recognised as one of the leading figures in World War 1 military history.
What makes the book so special is that it is not purely a factual narrative of the events from July to November 1916. Of course, the book does describe in depth the planning of the battle, the key strategists involved, and the intended outcomes, but it also contains many personal accounts in the form of letters and correspondance.
Malcolm Brown has made excellent use of both British and German archived material, and given the book a very personal touch. By doing this, he has ensured that we never forget the massive sacrifice given by normal everyday people.
The Battle of the Somme showed how decisive the machine gun, barbed wire and artillery were in modern warfare. It also demonstrated the arrogance of the British and the huge loss of life that was acceptable in this war of attrition. The French had learned their lesson at Verdun, the British would learn theirs at The Somme.
There are only two books you will need in your library of the Somme battle. This book by Malcolm Brown is one of them. The second is Martin Middlebrook's famed work The First Day on the Somme. Together they will provide a harrowing and thoughtful account of this famous battle.