Another new addition to the very popular Images of War series. This book covers the British on the Somme in 1916. The author has provided clear text to accompany the outstanding selection of images. The war artist was still very important during the Great War but photographic output was immense. Much Recommended
NAME: Images of War, The British On The Somme 1916, rare photographs from wartime archives FILE: R2448 AUTHOR: Bob Carruthers PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: soft back PAGES: 128 PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWI, World War One, World War 1, First World War, Great War, trench warfare, Western Front. BEF, British Expeditionary Force, North West France, Belgium ISBN: 1-47383-781-2 IMAGE: B2448.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/j8bxgr6 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: Another new addition to the very popular Images of War series. This book covers the British on the Somme in 1916. The author has provided clear text to accompany the outstanding selection of images. The war artist was still very important during the Great War but photographic output was immense. Much Recommended This book covers the Somme of 1916 in all its visual horror. The images are remarkably crisp even though the processing and storage of images from this period has not always been the best. Although the American Civil War saw the increasing use of photographs, the camera had not advanced much in the half century from there. Many images were still recorded on glass plates and most cameras had a basic fixed lense. This makes the images in this book all the more remarkable for their composure and detail. By 1916, the Western Front had settled into a war of attrition from fixed defences that stretched from Switzerland to the Channel Coast. Neither side was able to come up with a battle-winning new approach and this condemned the troops on this front to the violence and filth of trench warfare with the almost continuous artillery exchanges, the terror of mining and counter-mining, and the command of the machine gun. The Battle of the Somme in 1916 has come to epitomise the futility of war and the horror that was peculiar to the Great War when the best of a generation on both sides was shredded, many remains sinking into the deep mud, only to emerge in 100 years and maybe for many years yet to come. However, it was a turning point even if that was not obvious at the time, to be little recognized years later by historians. The battle seemed to go on for ever, as remarked by those who fought there. There were three phases. In the beginning, the artillery mounted a prolonged and sustained bombardment to soften the German troops. The infantry climbed out of the trenches and was promptly shredded by machine guns and rifle fire from the German forces that had survived the bombardment. The British continued in the face of these losses, sustained by men and supplies that were brought up by convoys of motor vehicles. Railways were used, including narrow gauge trench railways. Gas was deployed and gas sentries were used to give alarm. Crude gas hoods were issued and provided a level of protection. The many underground rooms along the trenches were fitted with gas curtains at the doorways that provided some protection. By the third phase of the battle, tanks were deployed for the first time. They were too few in number, still requiring some development and less than entirely reliable, but they showed great promise. By the end of the battle, British commanders could see the glimmerings of hope that they could use new technology to create a break through. Much was to be made of the American forces who arrived for the final stage of the war, but although they were very welcome and made a valuable contribution that was largely to cancel out what would have been a German advantage in moving troops from the East, as Russia was removed from the war. The final victory owed much to lessons learned during the Battle of the Somme which came near the mid point of the war. The rare photographs reproduced in this book speak volumes about all aspects of the battle. The horrors of this combat make words like 'enchanting', 'delightful', and 'fascinating' seem inappropriate to describe the images but as works of art and faithful records they are all of that. This is an enthralling account in words and images.