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. The author has uncovered some remarkable stories, as yet unknown, of action and heroism in the face of battle. He weaves in these firsthand experiences, creating a remarkable portrait of life at the front.
©2016 Hugh Sebag-Montefiore (P)2016 Penguin Books Ltd
Very detailed, very well narrated but also complex. It would have required an interactive map to be able to keep track of locations of the action. The small maps in the ebook helped but still not enough.
Very well narrated.
Excellent account of the campaign. Intelligent use of contemporary accounts.
Does not shy away from the killing of those who surrendered.
Primarily from the allied point of view.
"A mixed bag."
An in depth and humane portrayal of the Battle of the Somme with a top-rate narration; sadly lacking narrative cohesion or any real original insight into the significance of these events.
"lest we forget"
whilst the details are horrendous and sometimes difficult to comprehend, it is a stark reminder of the sacrifice so many made.
"Narration at its finest"
Amazingly well read. The narrator has you transfixed and has the ability to take you back in time to those awful events of The Somme. Chasing accents of the different people involved adds a great sense of diversity that was prevalent on the battlefield. The 'British' army wasn't so British after all but made up of thousands of troops from across the globe. This book brings all these forces together into the mud and devastation of the tranches. Thank you for a wonderfully well read audio book.
very well read...a masterpiece on the subject, but it is not for the faint of heart.
the book deals with the battle on different levels, and is one I'm glad I purchased.
"excellent account of the somme battle"
A gripping account of the Battle combining soldiers accounts from both sides with a good tactical view of the battle. At times the accounts of the men's suffering is truly heartbreaking
Definitely well worth a read. Excellent coverage of the whole period of the battle. I am a New Zealander living in London & Gallopoli is the defining WW1 battle for our nation. Fascinating to read of ANZAC contribution here, not an area I know well. Sadly it appears our Australian cousins were better at protecting their countrymen from British Military Justice than we were.
I don't think there is anyone from later generations will ever understand the sacrifice that was allowed to happen & the lack of Information received by those back home. The losses on the first day are of course the most obvious, but for what was achieved, all seem truly pointless.
Whilst good, this audiobook desperately needs accompanying maps that you'd get with the actual book.
Best book on the Somme since Martin Middlebrooke's superb account of the first day, brilliantly read and new must have in all formats
Although most people will know the basic story, the depth of research is truly amazing.
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