Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Somme

The Somme

Herosim and Horror in the First World War

Martin Gilbert

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"Gilbert has unearthed fascinating details of the campaign . . . An unforgettable read."—The Philadelphia Inquirer

At 7:30 a.m. on July 1, 1916, the first Allied soldiers climbed out of their trenches along the Somme River in France and charged into no-man's-land, toward the barbed wire and machine guns at the German front lines. In the months that followed, the fifteen-mile-long territory erupted into the epicenter of the Great War, marking a pivotal moment in both the war and military history as tanks first appeared on the battlefield and air war emerged as a devastating and decisive factor in battle. All told, there were more than one million casualties, with 310,000 men dead in just 138 days.

In this vivid account of one of history's most destructive battles, distinguished historian Martin Gilbert tracks the experiences of foot soldiers, generals, and everyone in between. With new photographs, journal entries, original maps, and military planning documents, The Somme is the most authoritative and affecting account of this bloody turning point in the Great War.

EXCERPT

Prelude

‘Chewing barbed wire'

In August 1914 the empires of Europe embarked on a war that each of them believed would be swift and victorious.

Austria–Hungary was confident it could crush Serbia within a few weeks, avenging...

Reviews

Praise for The Somme

"[Gilbert's] superbly written, absorbing recreations of innumerable small life-and-death struggles makes the book a fitting commemoration of the tragedy. " - Publishers Weekly

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About the author

Martin Gilbert

Sir Martin Gilbert was knighted in 1995 "for services to British history and international relations." Among his many books are The First World War, The Second World War, The Day the War Ended, and Churchill: A Life. He lives in London, England.

Martin Gilbert

©Sigrid Estrada

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