The First Day on the Somme

Martin Middlebrook

* Revised edition with a new introduction published to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of the Somme

* One of the great classic books to emerge on the Great War.

* The First Day on the Somme covers in depth the most tragic and significant 24 hours of British military history.

* Martin Middlebrook has an unparalleled reputation as a militar
Date Published :
May 2016
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781473877160
Pages : 384
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.5 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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After an immense but useless bombardment, at 7.30 am. On 1 July 1916 the British Army went over the top and attacked the German trenches. It was the first day of the battle of the Somme, and on that day the British suffered nearly 60,000 casualties, two for every yard of their front. With more than fifty times the daily losses at El Alamein and fifteen times the British casualties on D-day, 1 July 1916 was the blackest day in the history of the British Army. But, more than that, as Lloyd George recognised, it was a watershed in the history of the First World War. The Army that attacked on that day was the volunteer Army that had answered Kitchener's call. It had gone into action confident of a decisive victory. But by sunset on the first day on the Somme, no one could any longer think of a war that might be won.

Martin Middlebrook's research has covered not just official and regimental histories and tours of the battlefields, but interviews with hundreds of survivors, both British and German. As to the action itself, he conveys the overall strategic view and the terrifying reality that it was for front-line soldiers.

About The Author

Martin Middlebrook has written many other books that deal with important turning-points in the two world wars, including The First Day on the Somme, Kaiser's Battle, The Peenemünde Raid, The Somme Battlefields (with Mary Middlebrook) and The Nuremberg Raid 30-31st March 1944 (all republished and in print with Pen and Sword).

Martin Middlebrook is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and lives near Boston, Lincolnshire


"Ground-breaking work that shows the human tragedy of the disastrous attack of the British Army on July 1, 1916."

- World War One Historical Association

"I’ve used a host of Battlefield Guides during my many trips to Civil War battlefields. This guide ranks right up there with some of the best I’ve seen. There’s plenty of information within it’s pages to help make a visit to the Somme quite detailed. With all the “as is now” photos it will be easy to pick out important land marks as they look today. Things change, especially over one hundred years!! I enjoyed how the authors presented each section with historical context, units that participated in action in the area one is in, and some of the notable figures that were involved. The text is well written, and matches with the pictures perfectly. I like this book a great deal, and would be an essential piece to my travel kit when going over there!! Even if I never make a trip to the battlefield, this book will be a good jump off point to further my interest in WWI in general, and this battle in particular. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the War to end all wars or anyone traveling to visit the field over there"


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