Many guidebooks cover the Somme offensive in 1916, the five-month struggle that has come to be seen as one of the defining episodes in the history of the fighting on the Western Front during the First World War. But no previous guide has concentrated on the first day, 1 July 1916, when the British Army suffered around 60,000 casualties. That is why, on the centenary of that great battle, this new volume in Pen & Sword's Battle Lines series is so timely. In a series of tours that can be walked, biked or driven, expert authors Jon Cooksey and Jerry Murland take the visitor along the eighteen-mile front line that was the starting point for the Somme offensive, from Gommecourt in the north to Maricourt in the south. The tours allow the visitor to trace the entire course of the opening day on the ground. In vivid detail the authors describe what happened, where it happened and why and which units were involved, and point out the sights that remain for the visitor to see.