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Ghosts on the Somme (Hardback)

Filming the Battle, June - July 1916

WWI Somme 1916

By Alastair H Fraser, Steve Roberts, Andrew Robertshaw, Foreword by Roger Smither
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781844158362
Published: 19th March 2009
Last Released: 18th January 2010



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The Battle of the Somme is one of the most famous, and earliest, films of war ever made. The film records the most disastrous day in the history of the British army - 1 July 1916 - and it had a huge impact when it was shown in Britain during the war. Since then images from it have been repeated so often in books and documentaries that it has profoundly influenced our view of the battle and of the Great War itself. Yet this book is the first in-depth study of this historic film, and it is the first to relate it to the surviving battleground of the Somme.

The authors explore the film and its history in fascinating detail. They investigate how much of it was faked and consider how much credit for it should go to Geoffrey Malins and how much to John MacDowell. And they use modern photographs of the locations to give us a telling insight into the landscape of the battle and into the way in which this pioneering film was created.

Their analysis of scenes in the film tells us so much about the way the British army operated in June and July 1916 - how the troops were dressed and equipped, how they were armed and how their weapons were used. In some cases it is even possible to discover what they were saying. This painstaking exercise in historical reconstruction will be compelling reading for everyone who is interested in the Great War and the Battle of the Somme.

'This book is the product of careful and painstaking historical detective work, and the three authors deserve the thanks of everyone with an interest in the British army of the First World War'

Professor G Sheffield, Military Illustrated

'Ghosts on the Somme' is a painstaking detailed analysis of every second of the film... Overall it is an admirable piece of work and a very good book. It is perhaps, given the level of detail, one for Great War or film buffs rather than the general reader or WW1 beginner, but most would find it enjoyable and thought-provoking reading.

The Long, Long Trail
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Walking into Hell 1st July 1916 Memoirs of the First Wold War (Hardback)

The 1st July 1916 was the blackest day in the history of the British Army when 60,000 unsuspecting men of the British 4th Army advanced into the teeth of a hurricane of German fire. This well-illustrated anthology examines the events of that terrible day from two very different perspectives. The vivid eyewitness account of the battle from the soldier's point of view is provided by Edward Liveing of the London Regiment. After joining the London Regiment in 1914, Liveing was deployed to both Palestine and to France, where he was wounded at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. This book describes his…

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