Title: Somme Into the Breach
Author: Hugh Sebag-Montefiore
Webpage: Hugh Sebag-Montefiore
Narrator: Roy McMillan
Publisher: Penguin Books
Website: Penguin Books
Listening Length: 19h:46m
Synopsis: No conflict better encapsulates all that went wrong on the Western Front than the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The tragic loss of life and stoic endurance by troops who walked towards their death is an iconic image. Despite this, this book shows the extent to which the Allied armies were able repeatedly to break through the German front lines. The author has uncovered some remarkable stories, as yet unknown, of action and heroism in the face of battle. He weaves these first-hand experiences, creating a remarkable portrait of life at the Front.
An amazing telling of the events leading up to and through the events of the Somme offensive in 1916. The wide and intelligent use of quotes from those that took part really helps the reader (and listener) to get a true sense of the misery, calamity and horror to which the men were subjected, and also to the understanding among them of the idiocy of some of what they were being ordered to do. It is an advocate of the “donkey general” line of thought, although there is a good review of whether this is a justified perception. A very well structured book that starts with the northern campaigns of the offensive and travels southwards, to those areas where the most significant advances were made. The narration by Roy McMillan gets the message over, but is rather monotone.
What others thought at the time of writing
Amazon.co.uk; 48 reviews, of which 96% were 3* or more, giving an average of 4.3*
Amazon.com; 17 reviews, of which 88% were 3* or more, giving an average of 4.0*
Goodreads.com; 224 ratings (38 reviews), with 99% of 3* or more, giving an average of 4.1*
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