The Somme 1916 - Beyond the First Day (Kindle)
Beaucourt and Mametz Wood to the Butte de Warlencourt
In their second Visitor’s Guide to the 1916 Battle of the Somme Jon Cooksey and Jerry Murland focus on the series of secondary battles that were key stages in the five-month struggle that followed the start of the offensive on 1 July. They take the visitor – and the reader – across the entire battlefield, covering in graphic detail sites where actions took place that are almost as famous as the Somme itself in the history of the First World War, including Mametz Wood, High Wood, Deville Wood, Guillemont, Ginchy, Pozieres and Flers. They also provide tours of the less-well-known but equally interesting sites which played important parts in the offensive as a whole.
In a sequence of routes that can be walked, biked or driven they describe what happened in each place, identify the units involved, highlight the experience and exploits of individual soldiers, and point out the notable sights, monuments and cemeteries.
This highly illustrated guidebook is essential reading for visitors who wish to enhance their understanding of the Battle of the Somme and the war on the Western Front. It is also the ideal companion volume to The First Day of the Somme: Gommecourt to Maricourt by the same authors.
I am a huge fan of these battlefield guides, prepared by knowledgable authors who knioow their subject, but which allow for the individual battlefield visitor to make their own schedule and devote the time to their own specific interest rather than being confined by the schedule of a guided tour. Excellent value for money and a really well prepared guide.Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland
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As expected from Cooksey and Murland this is a concise yet well defined guide to the Somme after July 1st 1916. To those of us who walk the battlefield I sense that whilst the events of the first day are rightly centre stage in most visits, the later battles hold at least as much value to the visitor. Guillemont alone is a tactical masterclass in the role of terrain in determining the outcome of battle and moving away from the cemetery and better understanding how the geography unlocked the German defence of Guillemont is well supported by this book. The other walks are equally good. Recommended.Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide