We have taken the opportunity with our 2021 editions of the OFFICIAL HISTORY OF THE GREAT WAR – FRANCE AND BELGIUM series to redesign the covers and print on 140g silk paper. This official history was the grandest ever produced in Britain, and its purpose was to provide “within reasonable compass an authoritative account, suitable for general readers and for students at military schools”. Due to the number of full-colour maps bound in each volume, previous attempts to reprint this valuable reference either floundered, or were produced with the maps in monochrome. At last, the acclaimed work of the official cartographers who had 90,000 maps at their command can be examined as they intended – in full colour.
France and Belgium 1916. Vol I. Sir Douglas Haig’ s Command to the 1st July: Battle of the Somme. OFFICIAL HISTORY OF THE GREAT WAR.
This volume covers the first six and a half months of Haig’s command of the BEF, culminating with the opening day of the Somme. Prior to that it gives a comprehensive account of the expansion and reorganization of the BEF from August 1914 to July 1916 as well as details of the bitter fighting on the British front from 19 December 1915 to 13 June 1916. The description of each action is followed by the German account. After discussion of the plans and preparations for the offensive the history devotes the remaining 180 plus pages to the 1st July, a corps by corps, division by division account of that first day beginning on the right with XIII Corps which achieved the only British success on that fearful day. German accounts are given and appendices provide order of battle details.