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24 Hrs at the Somme
24 Hrs at the Somme

24 Hrs at the Somme

1 July 1916


352 Pages, 5 x 7.75

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $17.95 (US $17.95)

Publication Date: August 2017

ISBN 9780753555484

Rights: US

Penguin Random House UK (Aug 2017)
WH Allen

Price: $17.95


A definitive account of the iconic battle, structured over 24 hours of a single shocking day

The first day of the Somme has had more of a widespread emotional impact on the psyche of the British public than any other battle in history. Now, 100 years later, Robert Kershaw attempts to understand the carnage, using the voices of the British and German soldiers who lived through that awful day. In the early hours of July 1, 1916, the British General staff placed its faith in patriotism and guts, believing that one "Big Push" would bring on the end of World War I. By sunset, there were 57,470 men who lay dead, missing, or wounded. On that day, hope died. Juxtaposing the British trench view against that from the German parapet, Kershaw draws on eyewitness accounts, memories, and letters to expose the true horror of that day. Amongst the mud, gore, and stench of death, there are also stories of humanity and resilience, of all-embracing comradeship, and gritty patriotic British spirit. However, it was this very emotion which ultimately caused thousands of young men to sacrifice themselves on the Somme.

Author Biography

Robert Kershaw is a former Para, having joined the Parachute Regiment in 1973, commanded 10 Para and left as a full Colonel in 2006. His active service includes tours in Northern Ireland, the first Gulf War (during which he was awarded the US Bronze Star), and Bosnia. He is the author of It Never Snows in September, War Without Garlands, and A Street in Arnheim.