On 1 July 1916, Douglas Haig's army launched the 'Big Push' that was supposed finally to bring an end to the stalemate on the Western Front. What happened next was a human catastrophe: scrambling over the top into the face of the German machine guns and artillery fire, 19,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers were killed - the greatest loss in a single day ever sustained by the British Army. The battle did not stop there, however. It dragged on for another four months, leaving the battlefield strewn with the bodies of over a million men - and all for the sake of just a few miles of land. The Somme has remained a byword for the futility of war ever since. In this major new history of the war, Peter Hart describes how the battle looked from the point of view of those who fought it. Using never-heard-before interviews taken from the Imperial War Museum oral archives and made them part of the abridged text from the book this will be a unique audio full of passion, joy and heart rending stories.
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Peter Hart was born in 1955. He went to Liverpool University before joining the Sound Archive at the Imperial War Museum in 1981. He is now Oral Historian at the Archive. Tim Pigott-Smith is perhaps best known for his role in The Jewel in the Crown, but he is an actor of wide range and experience on film, television and the stage. TV work includes North and South and Innocents. Films include The Remains of the Day, Bloody Sunday and Gangs of New York.From Publishers Weekly:
Starred Review. Hart is the current master of an approach to military history developed by Martin Middlebrook and Lyn Macdonald. Direct quotations from participants establish the face of battle, then combined with a narrative/analytical backdrop contextualizing the personal experiences. As oral historian of Britain's Imperial War Museum, Hart has unrivaled access to relevant sources. This book, published in Britain in 2005, is a masterful synthesis of the human and the operational aspects of a campaign that increasingly defines the British experience in the Great War. Hart vividly presents the runup to the Big Push expected to end the war; the disaster of July 1, 1916, when the British army suffered nearly 60,000 casualties; and the numbing months of attrition as British troops bled against the German defenses. Hart describes the horror as reflecting not the stupidity of individual generals and politicians but the determination of nations to resolve their differences by a war fought to the finish. The British army learned how to fight battles like the Somme, built around fire power. But its learning curve was slippery with blood. Hart honors the men who paid the price. Photos, maps. (Jan. 7)
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Book Description Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ), 2005. Audio CD. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0752872389