The Other Side of the Wire. Volume 2

The Battle of the Somme. With the German XIV Reserve Corps, July 1916

Ralph J. Whitehead

Date Published :
July 2022
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
400 b/w photos, maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781804510407
Pages : 482
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available


Volume 1 of 'The Other Side of the Wire' told the story of the German XIV Reserve Corps from the initial invasion of the Somme in Northern France in 1914 to the final hours before the momentous battle of 1 July 1916. Volume 2 covers the epic Battle of the Somme and takes the reader through the story of 1 July 1916 as seen from the German defenders. Each part of the great battle, from Gommecourt in the north to Curlu on the bank of the River Somme, is presented from the German perspective of the men who defended their sectors against the British and French offensive. The story of the Germans fighting on the Somme on 1 July 1916 is presented using first hand accounts and regimental histories to provide the reader with a part of the battle long ignored in most histories written since the war.

Hundreds of illustrations of the men who fought on the Somme on 1 July are presented to the reader, many previously unpublished from the author's personal collection. Numerous maps provide additional details to help the reader follow the flow of action on that historic day. Perhaps the most unique aspect of the book is the presentation of the casualty lists of the units that took part in the battle as they were published in the weeks following the battle in the German 'Verlustlisten'. Never before have the German losses been identified and presented to the public in this manner. It is the hope of the author to provide the reader with the human face of the men in Field Grey who faced one of the mightiest onslaughts ever seen in history. By providing these details, illustrations and casualty details a true portrayal of the men who fought on 1 July on 'the other side of the wire' can finally be presented.

This superb Great War title is being published in a strictly limited edition hardback run of 750 copies, each copy individually numbered and signed by the author.

About The Author

Ralph J. Whitehead specializes in military history.


“This book is an astonishing achievement, a triumph for Ralph Whitehead, whose patient detective work on the surviving German sources over many years has presented us with previously undreamt of precision to the thorny problem of German casualty figures … Whitehead has also succeeded in providing the most comprehensive description of the First Day of the Somme from the defenders' perspective which has ever appeared in print … This was a dreadful day for British arms, but an awesome German achievement and we should be grateful to Ralph Whitehead for describing it so skilfully.”

- Jack Sheldon

“The date 1 July 1916 is indelibly etched into the consciousness of British society. This day saw the largest loss of life in any one day in the long history of the British army on the Somme battlefield. Despite this, events from the other side of the hill have largely remained a mystery for English-language readers. No longer. Ralph Whitehead has added immeasurably to our understanding of this fateful day. This meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated volume provides a clear picture of the experiences of the German defenders on this day and the methods they used to defeat the British attack. This volume will revolutionize our view of 1 July 1916 and is an essential read for any scholar of the First World War.”

- Dr Robert T. Foley, Reader in Defence Studies, King's College London

"Helion has produced a first-rate book of the highest quality. Ralph Whitehead has written a book that is a critical addition to any aspiring military historian of a professional or casual background. This book is recommended in the strongest possible terms".

- Canadian Military History Journal

"This book covers so much that it needs to be read by everyone who knows the Allied versions [of 1 July 1916] ... "

- Stand To! The Journal of the Western Front Association

“… an outstanding achievement, and an essential read for anyone interested in the Great War or men at war.”  

- Newsletter of the NY Military Affairs Symposium

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