6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Living and dieing in a sea of mud,
This review is from: The German Army on the Somme 1914-1916 (Hardcover)
Let me start with my only small criticism of this book.
When I first started reading this book I thought I had made a mistake in buying it. I put it down and instead read another book I had purchased at the same time on the Somme Battles. I realised that the book failed, for me, in putting each account into its overall context within the main battle. So my recommendation is if you know very little about the Somme then spend a couple of hours on the internet bringing yourself upto speed on its pure scale and slaughter and why it was fought to maximise the reading of this book.
It was only after having a clearer perspective on the overall battle did the brillance of this book come to life. Here was an eye level personal view of the battle as reported by German men in their reports and letters. Suddenly point 152 on some battle map comes to life as you start to understand what it was like to be there.
After days of constant artillery fire you can feel the sudden release in their accounts when they finally get to crawl out of their mud shelters and man their Machine Guns.
Two things struck me as I read this book. One was the fact that by the time the Artillery had finished its work there were basically no trenches left, men fought over and died in a sea of mud holes. Two that these men who lived ordinary lives before the war, became extraordinary in the suffering they endured and the friends they lost.
This book is a worthy addition to any collection of books. Put it this way, I immediately purchased his book on Passchendaele.