Title THE BIG PUSH: A PORTRAIT OF THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME.
Publisher Cassell, London, 1961, first edition.
Seller ID 24795
177 pp, 8vo (8 3/4" H), hard cover in dust jacket. B&w photographs, maps. "At half past seven on the morning of the first of July 1916, along a front extending for eighteen miles in the valley of the Somme, an intensive bombardment which had conti nued since dawn lifted, and fourteen divisions of British troops stumbled out of their trenches to attack the enemy. This was the climax of Sir Douglas Haig's carefully conceived plan to break the interminable deadlock of trench warfare on th e W e s t ern Front, and score a resounding and dramatic victory over the German forces. Haig's design foundered within a few hours among the defences of Fricourt, La Boisells, and Thiepval, at the appalling cost of twenty thousand British soldier s k il le d an d thirty-five thousand wounded. - But the official dates for The Battle of the Somme are from 1st July to 18th, November 1916. The 'Big Push' went on, the preliminary bombardments, the attacks, the horrifying slaughter - every single c as ual ty be ing measured in terms of individual pain, misery, and sacrifice. Belief in the High Command that prolonged shelling must reduce an entrenched enemy to inertia and impotence, easy prey for advancing infantry, died hard. It persiste d t hro ugho ut the aut umn and into the following year, when the same ghastly pattern was repeated at Passchendaele. It was not fully discredited till the full potential of armoured vehicles was realized and military concepts, bred in minor theat res of w ar be for e th e tur n of the century, were rejected. - (This book) provides a critical, and immensely readable analysis of the policy, planning, and action of the British and French armies at the Battle of the Somme, a battle in which the cas ualti es of the Briti sh arm y alone exceeded those suffered by it during the whole of the Second World War. An important historical account of a great military blunder, it is also a vivid portrait of the tragedy, the unspeakable horror, and t he co urage, which are commo n to an y war at any time, but which were peculiarly intensified in France and Flanders from 1914 to 1918." Book is lightly cocked, has light edge wear at top/bottom of spine and at corners, light wrinkling at top/bo ttom o f spine , light brow ning on edges o f text block. Dust jacket has been price clipped, has moderate edge wear, tiny chips/tears at top/bottom of spine and flap-folds, light soiling at top/bottom edges, two scuffs on rear panel, old tape on inside of top/ bottom o f spin e. Very Good-/Go od+