Over the days that followed, men were called upon to fight all day against overwhelming numbers and then march all night to escape. After three years in the trenches, men had to battle in the open without tanks and often without artillery support. As communications failed, battalion and company commanders found themselves having to command in what was essentially a desperate infantry struggle.
Each stage of the two week battle is given the same treatment, covering details about the most talked about side of the campaign, the British side. It explains how the British soldier time and again stood and fought. Over fifty new maps chart the day by day progress of each corps on each day.
Together the narrative and the maps explain the British Army’s experience during a fraught battle for survival. The men who made a difference are mentioned; those who led the advances, those who stopped the counterattacks and those who were awarded the Victoria Cross.
SOMME OFFENSIVE: MARCH 1918: BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCE
An account of the British Expeditionary Force’s defensive battle on the Somme in March and April of 1918. It starts with the huge German offensive along a 60 mile front on 21 March. Third and Fifth Armies then had to make a series of fighting withdrawals in which some battalions had to fight their way out while others were overrun. This follows the now established Rawson style of a chronological overall order, with army, corps and division events going from north to South.