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Three Armies on the Somme The First Battle of the Twentieth Century

ISBN-10: 0307278379
ISBN-13: 9780307278371
Edition: N/A
Authors: William Philpott
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Description: For decades, the Battle of the Somme has exemplified the horrors and futility of trench warfare. Yet in Three Armies on the Somme,William Philpott makes a convincing argument that the battle ultimately gave the British and French forces on the  More...

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Book details

List price: $19.00
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/1/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 672
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.386
Language: English

For decades, the Battle of the Somme has exemplified the horrors and futility of trench warfare. Yet in Three Armies on the Somme,William Philpott makes a convincing argument that the battle ultimately gave the British and French forces on the Western Front the knowledge and experience to bring World War I to a victorious end. It was the most brutal fight in a war that scarred generations. Infantrymen lined up opposite massed artillery and machine guns. Chlorine gas filled the air. The dead and dying littered the shattered earth of no man's land. Survivors were rattled with shell-shock. We remember the shedding of so much young blood and condemn the generals who sent their men to their deaths. Ever since, the Somme has been seen as a waste: even as the war continued, respected leadersWinston Churchill and David Lloyd George among themjudged the battle a pointless one. While previous histories have documented the missteps of British command, no account has fully recognized the fact that allied generals were witnessing the spontaneous evolution of warfare even as they sent their troops "over the top." With his keen insight and vast knowledge of military strategy, Philpott shows that twentieth-century war as we know it simply didn't exist before the Battle of the Somme: new technologies like the armored tank made their battlefield debut, while developments in communications lagged behind commanders' needs. Attrition emerged as the only means of defeating industrialized belligerents that were mobilizing all their resources for war. At the Somme, the allied armies acquired the necessary lessons of modern warfare, without which they could never have prevailed. An exciting, indispensable work of military history that challenges our received ideas about the Battle of the Somme, and about the very nature of war. From the Hardcover edition.

List of Maps
Acknowledgements
Engagement
Three Armies
The Strategic Labyrinth
Planning the Attritional Battle
Preparing the Big Push
"Varying Fortune": 1 July 1916
Exploitation
The Battle of Attrition: August 1916
Behind the Lines
The Tipping Point: September 1916
Muddy Stalemate: October-December 1916
"Victory Inclining to Us"
Remobilisation
Decision in Picardy: 1918
Aftermath and Memory
Reflection
Appendix: A Note on Military Organisation, 1914-1918
Notes
Notes on Sources and Further Reading
Index

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