The five and a half month long Somme campaign in the summer and autumn of 1916 was a defining moment in the history of the British Army. From the disastrous opening day on 1 July to the final attacks in November, each large battle and minor action is given equal treatment inside these pages. The book concentrates on the British Army's repeated efforts to first break through the enemy lines,and then to wear down the German in a bloody war of attrition. By compiling information from the Official History and the printed histories we get a balanced view of the most talked about side of the campaign, the British side. You will find plenty of information on the reasoning behind each battle and the objectives. There is discussion on artillery bombardments, tactics, zero hours, the terrain and insights into the successes and failures of each attack. Over ninety new maps chart the day by day progress of Fourth and the Reserve Armyacross the rolling chalk downs of the Somme. Together the narrative and mapsprovide an insight into the British Army's learning curve during that fateful summer; a learning curve which set the scene for future battles on the Western Front.We can see the hard lessons learnt and the solutions used to solve a multitude of problems, from communication and all arms co-operation, to the inclusion of tanks and the growing role of the Royal Flying Corps.
Where possible the men who made a difference are mentioned; the men who lead the assault companies and bombing teams, those who cut the wire and led the survivors into the German trenches, those who stopped the counterattacks and those awarded the Victoria Cross. Discover the real Somme campaign fought by the British Army and learn how its brave soldiers fought hard to achieve their objectives.
ANDREW RAWSON is a freelance writer who has twenty-five books to his name. He has written eight books for Pen and Sword's 'Battleground Europe' series and three reference books for The History Press 'Handbook' series.He has edited Eyes Only: The Top Secret Correspondence between Marshall and Eisenhower and Organizing Victory: The War Conferences 1941 - 1945. He has also written Baghdad Operators about the ex-Special Forces work in post-war Iraq. He has a master's degree with Birmingham University's history department.