The shadow of the Somme has lain across the 20th century. For many it is the ultimate symbol of the folly and futility of war. Others see it as a hallmark of heroic endeavour and achievement. This book offers perspective on the bitterly fought 1916 campaign; it also describes the later battles of the Somme in the Great War's final year, 1918. Using hitherto unpublished evidence from the archives of the Imperial War Museum, it tells its powerful and dramatic story through the letters and diaries of those who were there. Malcolm Brown has woven the many and varied accounts by well over a hundred participants - mainly British, but with not a few Germans - into a rich tapestry of experience.
Malcolm Brown has been a television documentary-maker and is the author of many books on military history, including Tommy Goes to War, the IWM Book of the Somme, and the IWM Book of 1918. He is a freelance historian at the Imperial War Museum.