The Somme 1916

The Somme 1916

David O`Mara
ARRSE Rating
5 Mushroom Heads
A great many books have been written for people interested in touring the Somme, and finding out much more about the battles, the losses,, and the decisions behind so many of the attacks and retreats. Most that I have read cover the British sector, some cover the Muese and Argonne along with the American involvement, but it must not be forgotten that the French fought hard over a considerable section of the Somme.

This most interesting and informative book runs to 228 pages and is provided with hundreds of high quality black and white images, many original images that have not before been seen, along with contemporary photographs illustrated and annotated to show the course of the relevant battles.

It also contains maps showing both the German and the French sectors, all are clear and easy to read.

Chapter one

The book starts off with an introduction to the French army and its structure and armament, and a background to its evolution in the latter part of the war

Chapter two

This gives a background to the war of 1914-1918 and with the relevant maps and photographs you can easily follow the course of both armies as they fight their ground

Chapter three

this chapter concentrate son the battle of the Somme in 1916 and along with the relevant maps and photographs I was able to follow the battle easily, many of these images I have never seen, taken I presume during lulls in the battle, and showing the state of towns and villages and also the French military in action

Chapter four

Tours of the French Sector

all of the tours are clearly marked to allow you to see as much as possible of the battle and its aftermath, along with guides about driving, locations for parking, places to eat and stay, also welcome for first time visitors is a guide to clothing and footwear and the local conditions, and GPS locations as well in case you are using handheld devices

Tour 1 part 1 covers July and is really the North of the Somme

Tour 1 part 2 The continuing battle July to August

Tour 1 part 3 covers the period September to November

Tour 2 is broken down into two sections , Covering July November

and Tour 3 finishes with the actions of September and December

All of the tours are well laid out, although I found the maps hard to read as the book is A5 size, however with the relevant Michelin map it is easy to transpose the route, or indeed using a GPS device, many small and otherwise easy to miss memorials, and strong points are covered and illustrated , making the walks so much more memorable and educational

It's is a well laid out book and combines a great deal of knowledge and experience laid out in its easy to read format,
an excellent read, and a must for any one visiting this area and wishing to explore without missing so many cogent points of the battles.

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Joshua Slocum
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