Eyewitness on the Somme 1916 by Matthew Richardson

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Synopsis

What was the soldier’s experience of the Battle of the Somme? How did the men who were there record their part in the fighting or remember it afterwards? How can we, 100 years later, gain an insight into one of the most famous – and contentious - episodes of the Great War?
Matthew Richardson’s graphic account, which is based on the vivid personal testimony of those who took part, offers us a direct impression of the reality of the battle from the perspective of the ordinary soldiers and junior officers on the front line.
He draws heavily on previously unpublished personal accounts – letters, diaries, and memoirs, some never before translated into English – to build up a multifaceted picture of the Somme offensive from the first disastrous day of the attack, through the subsequent operations between July and November 1916. In their own words, the soldiers who were caught up in the conflict recall in unflinching detail the fighting across the entire Somme battlefield.
The narrative features the recollections of British, Commonwealth, French and American soldiers, and interweaves their testimony with descriptions left by their German adversaries. For the first time in a single volume, the reader has the opportunity to explore all facets of this momentous five-month-long struggle.
Over 100 black-and-white contemporary photographs, many previously unpublished, accompany the text, whilst a selection of artifacts recovered from the battlefield is illustrated in colour. These striking objects bear silent witness to the ferocity of the battle, and often reflect some moment of personal tragedy.

 

About Matthew Richardson

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Matthew Richardson is Curator of Social History at Manx National Heritage. He has put together four highly acclaimed TT exhibitions in recent years, and has previously worked in this area with Dave Molyneux. In addition to his writing on the Isle of Man, he has published many books and articles on military history. His latest book, Leicester in the Great War, is due to be published by Pen & Sword in June 2014.
 
Published June 30, 2016 by Pen and Sword Military. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War. Non-fiction

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