Nigel Jones

Too Many To Speak Of

  • Martin Gilbert, 
  • Christopher Duffy, 
  • Sidney Rogerson, 
  • Gavin Stamp
 

Ninety years ago, at 7.30am on Saturday, 1July 1916, a summer day whose weather, as Siegfried Sassoon wrote, was ‘of the kind commonly described as heavenly’, whistles blew along the trenches of the Somme Front. Thousands of men, encumbered by sixty pounds of kit, climbed laboriously but obediently over the top and walked into No Man’s Land and history. It was the start of ‘the Big Push’: an offensive that has become a byword for the monstrous stupidity of war. Nearly a century on, as these four books attest, the myth of the greatest battle of the Great War looms as large as ever in the British national consciousness. 

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