The First Day on the Somme: 1 July 1916


The first day on the Somme was the blackest day of slaughter in the history of the British Army. Middlebrook has drawn on official sources, local newspapers, soldiers’ writings and on the recollections of survivors to write this history.

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SKU: 9780141981604 Category:


The soldiers receive the best service a historian can provide: their story is told in their own words – Guardian

‘For some reason nothing seemed to happen to us at first; we strolled along as though walking in a park. Then, suddenly, we were in the midst of a storm of machine-gun bullets and I saw men beginning to twirl round and fall in all kinds of curious ways’

On 1 July 1916, a continous line of British soldiers climbed out from the trenches of the Somme into No Man’s Land and began to walk towards dug-in German troops armed with machine-guns. By the end of the day there were more than 60,000 British casualties – a third of them fatal.

Martin Middlebrook’s now-classic account of the blackest day in the history of the British army draws on official sources from the time, and on the words of hundreds of survivors: normal men, many of them volunteers, who found themselves thrown into a scene of unparalleled tragedy and horror.

Additional information

Weight 0.349 kg
Dimensions 19.8 × 12.9 × 2.6 cm






xxi, 426 , 16 unnumbered of plates




940.4272 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K