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Combles was the largest village on the Somme in 1916 and fighting for its possession began in September 1916. Flanked by two large woods to the west - Bouleaux ('Bully') and Leuze ('Lousy') - these became the front line where men of the 56th (London) Division fought and died. The bastion of Combles finally fell to a combined English and French attack. Tanks were used here in their first action on the Western Front.
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About the Author
Paul Reed is a leading military historian, specializing in the two world wars. He has been visiting European battlefields for more than thirty years, and lived on the Somme for over a decade. He has worked as a researcher and battlefield guide, and is the author of several books on the Great War. He also regularly contributes to television programmes, such as Timewatch, Meet the Ancestors and Who Do You Think You Are? and was historical consultant to BBC1’s My Family At War.