No conflict better encapsulates all that went wrong on the Western Front than the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The tragic loss of life and stoic endurance by troops who walked towards their death is an iconic image which will be hard to ignore during the centennial year. Despite this, this book shows the extent to which the Allied armies were in fact able repeatedly to break through the German front lines. By focusing on the first-hand experiences of both Allied and enemy soldiers, the author weaves a remarkable portrait of life at the Front.
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Hugh Sebag-Montefiore's best-selling books are Enigma: The Battle for the Code and Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man. He lives in north London with his wife and three children.Review:
Magisterial, exemplary, heartbreaking. So original is the material, and so inventive is Sebag-Montefiore's approach . . . that this well-known tale is rendered strange again. Written with great style and sensitivity, superbly illustrated with many original plates and beautifully drawn maps, Sebag-Montefiore's brilliant new study will set the benchmark for a generation -- Saul David * David Telegraph * Having read almost everything that has been written on this battle, I can vouch this is the best account yet. -- Gerard DeGroot * The Times * Comprehensive, authoritative and meticulously researched... [Of recent publications] it is the weightiest and best written. -- Simon Humphrey * Mail on Sunday *
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