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The Middlebrook Guide to the Somme Battlefields (Paperback)

A Comprehensive Coverage from Crecy to the World Wars

Military > Battlefield Guidebooks > WWI Battlefield Guides WWI > Battles & Campaigns > Somme WWI > By Year > 1916 WWI > By Year > 1918

By Martin Middlebrook, Mary Middlebrook
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 383
ISBN: 9781473879072
Published: 6th April 2016



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While best known as being the scene of the most terrible carnage in the WW1 the French department of the Somme has seen many other battles from Roman times to 1944. William the Conqueror launched his invasion from there; the French and English fought at Crecy in 1346; Henry V’s army marched through on their way to Agincourt in 1415; the Prussians came in 1870.

The Great War saw three great battles and approximately half of the 400,000 who died on the Somme were British – a terrible harvest, marked by 242 British cemeteries and over 50,000 lie in unmarked graves.

These statistics explain in part why the area is visited year-on-year by ever increasing numbers of British and Commonwealth citizens. This evocative book written by the authors of the iconic First Day on the Somme.is a thorough guide to the cemeteries, memorials and battlefields of the area, with the emphasis on the fighting of 1916 and 1918, with fascinating descriptions and anecdotes.

How can you tell the story of this huge battle, and give each area and aspect the justice it deserves. It is no easy task, but the author, thanks to a vast experience of the area, make an excellent attempt at it and consequently this book is an important one to put in a suitcase.   The books gives background on the routes to the Somme, alongside an overview of the 1916 area.  A map at the front of the book provides a key to the area maps such as the 1916 and the 1918 areas, alongside Doullens and Amiens....

Throughout, such personal stories are linked to maps so that you can check the key locations as you read through it, or dip into particular aspects which interest you.  The maps are clear and so helpful. At the back of the book is a very useful Appendices which covers details on the numbers of British Cemeteries and graves of which there are 243 on the Somme containing 153,443 British graves, of which 100,034 are identified. An excellent book to take to the Somme with you in order to Remember them all.

Jon Sandison, Freelance

As mentioned in

Spalding Today

As featured in.

Wartime Memories Project

A new guide by the author of the iconic First Day on the Somme.

WWI Historical Association

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Suffolk Free Press

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Bury Free Press

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Haverhill Echo

In this new book from Pen and Sword, they look at the region down through the ages, beginning with the Roman invasion period and coming forward to the last battle in 1918. Brilliantly conceived and beautifully executed.

Books Monthly, May 2016 - Paul Norman

About Martin Middlebrook

Martin Middlebrook has written many other books that deal with important turning-points in the two world wars, including The First Day on the Somme, Kaisers Battle, The Peenemnde Raid, The Somme Battlefields (with Mary Middlebrook), The Nuremberg Raid 30-21st March 1944 and Arnhem 1944 (all republished and in print with Pen and Sword).
Martin Middlebrook is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and lives in Lincolnshire.

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