British Infantryman vs German Infantryman: Somme 1916

British Infantryman vs German Infantryman: Somme 1916

by Stephen Bull, Peter Dennis
     
 

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The mighty struggle for the Somme sector of the Western Front in the second half of 1916 has come to be remembered for the dreadful toll of casualties inflicted on Britain's 'New Armies' by the German defenders on the first day of the offensive, 1 July. The battle continued, however, throughout the autumn and only came to a close in the bitter cold of mid-November.

Overview

The mighty struggle for the Somme sector of the Western Front in the second half of 1916 has come to be remembered for the dreadful toll of casualties inflicted on Britain's 'New Armies' by the German defenders on the first day of the offensive, 1 July. The battle continued, however, throughout the autumn and only came to a close in the bitter cold of mid-November. The British plan relied on the power of artillery to suppress and destroy the German defences; the infantry were tasked with taking and holding the German trenches, but minimal resistance was anticipated. Both sides incurred major losses, however; German doctrine emphasised that the first line had to be held or retaken at all costs, a rigid defensive policy that led to very high casualties as the Germans threw survivors into ad hoc, piecemeal counterattacks all along the line. Featuring specially commissioned full-colour artwork and based on meticulous reassessment of the sources, this engaging study pits the volunteers of Kitchener's 'New Armies' against the German veterans who defended the Somme sector in the bloody battles of July-November 1916.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The book is superbly written and has some very compelling period photos and superb art work that only enhance what is a pretty gruesome story that was so typical of the First World War. It is a book that draws in the reader and gives him a sense of what it was like [to experience war]. A book I fully enjoyed reading and can quite easily recommend to you.” —Scott Van Aken, www.modelingmadness.com

“A nice primer for anyone interested in the makeup of British and German units on the Western Front during this period. The opening pages cover the origins and recruitment of the British and German units, along with training, weapons, and tactics. There are some nice period photos that compliment equally nice drawings and paintings showing standard uniforms, weapons, etc. The leadership characteristics of the opposing officers are covered, as well as a section on Morale, Motivation and Logistics. I recommend it highly for anyone wishing to understand what soldiers on both sides had to endure during World War I.” —IPM/USA Reviews

“[this book] pits the volunteers of Kitchener's 'New Armies' against the German veterans who defended the Somme sector in the battles of July to November 1916. The book features innovative split-screen artwork, expert analysis combined with firsthand accounts and strategic and tactical maps.” —Model Retailer

Library Journal
04/15/2014
The "Combat" series compares specific military assets on each side of a campaign. In this volume, the author describes ordinary infantrymen on both sides of the trenches, effectively summarizing the movements and trials of the participants. A short segment explaining the recruitment, training, leadership, and logistics of each army is followed by a comparison of its effectiveness in three actions in the 1916 battle of the Somme—Serre, Thiepville, and Guillemont. A section of analysis and charts rounds out the presentation. Osprey's excellent maps and good selection of images make this a decent introduction to a very narrow slice of World War I history. VERDICT Short, affordable popular history that will appeal to readers unprepared for longer narratives. Supplemental.—Edwin Burgess (EB), U.S. Army Combined Arms Research Lib., Fort Leavenworth, KS

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781782009153
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
01/20/2014
Series:
Combat , #5
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
80
File size:
18 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

DR STEPHEN BULL is Curator of Military History and Archaeology for Lancashire Museums, with particular responsibility for local regimental collections, and is a consultant for the University of Oxford on World War I projects. He has previously worked at the National Army Museum and the BBC in London. A Member of the Institute of Archaeologists, he has also appeared in the TV series Battlefield Detectives, Lost Treasures, and Instruments of Death. His other books include six Osprey titles - two on World War I, and four on World War II.

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