BOOKS ABOUT THE
BATTLE OF THE SOMME

BATTLEFIELD GUIDES

BATTLEGROUND EUROPE SERIES - SOMME (Pen & Sword 1991 onwards)

- A whole series of battlefield guides to individual parts of the Somme battlefield by a variety of authors. These include almost every village, and most of the main woods. All are still in print 2002. For a full listing see the Pen & Sword web site.

Middlebrook, Martin - A Comprehensive Guide to the Somme Battlefields (Viking 1991)

- A complete and comprehensive guide to the battlefields in the whole Somme department, from the earliest times to World War Two, but mainly concentrates on the Great War. Every cemetery and memorial in the area is mentioned. Arguably the standard work on the subject. Still in print 2002.

Reed, Paul - Walking The Somme (Pen & Sword 1997)

- A walkers guide to the Somme battlefields, with fifteen walks along the whole front line from Gommecourt to Montauban, plus many of the other Somme sectors. Includes details of more than 50 Somme cemeteries, and many unpublished photographs. Still in print 2002.

GENERAL ACOUNTS

Brown, Malcolm - The IWM Book of the Somme (Sidgwick & Jackson 1996)

- Drawn from the numerous first hand accounts of the battle in the archives of the Imperial War Museum, the author has provided us with a very readable description of the fighting in 1916, from the point of view of those who were there. Paperback editions now available (2002).

Charlton, Peter - Pozičres (Leo Cooper 1986)

- Although a slightly biased account, it remains the best book about the Australians on the Somme in 1916. Out of print, with no recent editions.

Evans, Martin Marix - The Battles of the Somme (Weidenfield & Nicholson 1996)

- Although it is a large size, 'coffee table' type book, this is an excellent summary of the battle, with good photographs and excellent maps. Sadly out of print, but may be available from Osprey Publishing.

Giles, John - The Somme Then & Now (After The Battle)

- Originally published in the 1970s, this is the final edition before the author's death in 1991. It serves as an excellent introduction to the Somme area, has numerous Then & Now photographs, good maps and has inspired many generations of battlefield visitors. Still in print 2002.

Hart, Peter - Somme Success: The Royal Flying Corps & The Somme 1916 (Pen & Sword 2001)

- A good account of the role of the Royal Flying Corps in the Battle of the Somme 1916. Useful references and excellent photographs.

Norman, Terry - The Hell They Called High Wood (William Kimber 1984)

- A first class book about the terrific fighting for the key position of High Wood July-September 1916. Includes many first hand accounts. Now difficult to find, a new edition is due in 2002/3.

Uys, Ian - Delville Wood (Uys Publishers 1983)

- Now difficult to find, this excellent book provides a very full and vivid account of the fighting for Delville Wood from the perspective of the South African Brigade. Excellent maps, plus casualty lists, honours and awards and biographies of men who fought there.

REFERENCE BOOKS

Gliddon, Gerald - VCs of the First World War: Somme 1916 (Alan Sutton 1996)

- The standard reference work giving short biographies of all those who were awarded the Victoria Cross in the 1916 Battle of the Somme. Still in print 2002.

McCarthy, Chris - The Somme: The Day By Day Account (Arms & Armour Press 1993)

- A day by day diary of the Battle of the Somme, giving a summerised account of the action that day and the involvement in it of British and Commonwealth divisions. Good photographs and excellent maps from the Official History.

Westlake, Ray - British Battalions on the Somme (Leo Cooper 1994)

- A superb reference work, which contains the summaries of every war diary of every infantry battalion that fought on the Somme in 1916. This gives details of their movements, casualties and accounts of their actions on the Somme. Highly recommended. Still in print 2002.

 To buy Somme Books click here.

 ŠPaul Reed 2006

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