Beaumont Hamel is a name which conjures up appalling visions of the catastrophic reverse suffered by men of VIII Corps, British Fourth Army on 1st July 1916, when thousands of men were killed and wounded for no gains whatsoever. Ninety years on, the events of that day still exert a powerful fascination for those interested in the great trench battles. This book, which covers the Old Front Line from Redan Ridge to the Ancre, describes how the defence of the area became so strong, the reasons for German early success during the battle and explains how the British defeat of July was transformed into victory, when the fall of Beaumont Hamel marked the final flicker of success, before the battle was mired to a standstill in the mud.
Educated at Inverness Royal Academy, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the Universities of Lancaster and Westminster, Jack Sheldon completed a thirty-five year career as a member of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment. In 1982 he graduated from the German General Staff course at the Fuhrungsakademie, Hamburg and went on to fill international staff appointments and to command an infantry training battalion. His final post before retirement in 2003 was as Military Attache Berlin. He now lives in France and has rapidly established himself as an expert in German First World War history. He was an honorary researcher for the Thiepval Visitor Centre Project, is a member of the British Commission for Military History and is the author of the highly acclaimed The German Army on the Somme 1914 - 1916, The German Army at Passchendaele and a number of Battleground Europe titles.