The Somme

  • by Peter Hart
  • Narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith
  • 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 this will be a unique audio full of passion, joy, and heart rending stories.


What the Critics Say

"[Hart] has produced a remarkably even-handed account....and the first-person accounts he has unearthed are rich in vivid images." (Sunday Times)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Somme

This facinating account of the Battle of the Somme had me totally absorbed from the first moment. Although Tim Piggott-Smith is an inspired choice as narrator it is, as both Jason and Jonathan point out in their reviews, hearing the actual voices of those who took part in the conflict that makes this a 5 Star recommendation.

Although, as Jonathan also points out, accounts of the numerous battles can lead to some confusion, I found that an internet search for a map of the Somme battlefield helped me greatly understand the (painfully) slow advance the British and Commonwealth forces achieved during the four month campaign. Highly recommended.
Read full review

- David

The Somme

This is a 'must have' for anyone even slightly interested in learning more about this time. It links commentary with actual archive interviews and is certainly enough to make any listener stop, think and begin to appreciate how lucky (and how thankful to the brave) you are to be about now rather than then.

Although some of the commentary appears much the same, relating to battle upon battle upon battle, it does go some way to illustrating what happened day after day and it desbribes vividly the futility of the situation.

Perhaps a morbid subject for some but I enjoyed listening very much and would highly recommend this title.
Read full review

- J-H2O

Book Details

  • Release Date: 21-06-2006
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Group Limited