On 1 July 1916, Douglas Haig's army launched the 'Big Push' that was supposed finally to bring an end to the stalemate on the Western Front. What happened next was a human catastrophe: scrambling over the top into the face of the German machine guns and artillery fire, 19,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers were killed - the greatest loss in a single day ever sustained by the British Army. The battle did not stop there, however. It dragged on for another four months, leaving the battlefield strewn with the bodies of over a million men - and all for the sake of just a few miles of land. The Somme has remained a byword for the futility of war ever since. In this major new history of the war, Peter Hart describes how the battle looked from the point of view of those who fought it. Using never-heard-before interviews taken from the Imperial War Museum oral archives and made them part of the abridged text from the book this will be a unique audio full of passion, joy and heart rending stories.
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'On the first day of the Somme the British suffered 57,470 casualties, 19,240 fatal. No two words sum up the futility of war as succinctly... Hart's advice is that instead of blaming ... General Haig as usual, we should take other factors - recent European history, the state of the British empire, sweeping changes in weaponry - into account and above all keep an open mind. This is fact fleshed out with eyewitness accounts, and Tim Pigott-Smith's firm but fair reading perfectly captures the mood.' -- Sue Arnold The Guardian
About Peter Hart
Peter Hart was born in 1955. He went to Liverpool University before joining the Sound Archive at the Imperial War Museum in 1981. He is now Oral Historian at the Archive. Tim Pigott-Smith is perhaps best known for his role in The Jewel in the Crown, but he is an actor of wide range and experience on film, television and the stage. TV work includes North and South and Innocents. Films include The Remains of the Day, Bloody Sunday and Gangs of New York.
The Somme by Peter Hart
Used - Very Good
Orion Publishing Co
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