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Remembered Today:

The Somme by Peter Barton


Terry Carter
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Just received my copy of this book. Photographs, Maps and drawings all excellent. If you are a regular Somme visitor like myself, you cannot put this book down.

Terry

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Terry - viewed this in Waterstone's today.

I have the 'Battlefield of First World War' book which I would heartily recommend.

However, I do note that a great many of the pictures and panoramas in the Somme book already appeared in the previous volume.

Still it is a high quality production. Maybe I will be asking Santa for this and the DVD of Oh What a Lovely War in my stocking?

Persuade me it's worth it!

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"and the DVD of Oh What a Lovely War "

Has OWALW been officially released on video/DVD? Brilliant if so, rather than the poor pirate copies from eBay.

Chris

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Yes 'Oh What A Lovely War' has been released on DVD. I had mine delivered this week. The added extra is the Producer Sir David Attenborough and some of the original cast talking about making the film.

Terry

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I have the book "The Battlefields of the of the First World War" The unseen panoramas of the western front.

By Peter Barton.

Desmond You have answered my question as to content same as the original.

I was wondering about buying that Book. I think it is a little naughty selling it with out making reference to the original book. I would have been really fed up if I had ordered it and found out "I already had it" :angry:

Enjoy it Terry

Cheers

Paul

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Having read 'The Somme - a new panoramic perspective' I am amazed that it is just thought of as a rehash of the Somme chapter from the Battlefields of the First World War. The Somme is only given a small chapter in that book. This is much, much more detailed with newly found testimony from IWM and regimental museums. The detail on items that are regularly dismissed in other books is fantastic.

The new findings on the Russian Saps tunnels under no-man's land for 1st July (all along the front line) and the underground flamethrowers at Montauban (2 tons apiece) are incredible. Plus, hardly any mention was made of 2 July onwards in the Battlefields book. The rest of the battle is developed fully and there are some amazing 'then and now' shots. You certainly won't already have this stuff - it has never been shown before in detail.

Some of the panoramas are the same as shown before but what can you do? Go back and make them take more?! This is much more than a rehash of what went before and is a development of that original work. Can't recommend it enough.

Anyone else actually read it?

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Forton - at no stage did I refer to this volume as a re-hash. I merely pointed out that a sizeable number of the pics, diagrams etc have already appeared in the 'Battlefields' book.

I asked for further reviews which would convince me that purchase of the book is worthwhile.

Your precis has swung me towards further consideration.

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The new findings on the Russian Saps tunnels under no-man's land for 1st July (all along the front line) and the underground flamethrowers at Montauban (2 tons apiece) are incredible.

Peter was very clear that he wanted to offer some new interpretations / evidence rather than tell the usual story with a few nice pictures.

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Off to Amazon i go then. :D

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I am ordering or trying to. Can find Peter Barton on Amazon but cant find Oh What a Lovely War - and I have a small gap of someone in the UK to whom Amazon can deliver. Help please.

Also Hugh Clout books After the Ruins which I saw someone comment on. It is very very very expensive. Anyone comment on whether its worth it.

And ages ago Michelle Young reviewed Will Bird Thirteen Years After. Cant find on Amazon.

Please help with my Xmas stocking

Kathie

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Just checked out Amazon,they have OWALW for £11.39

Regarding Thirteen Years After,i have a Softback copy in A1 Condition for Sale,if interested PM me.. :D

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Guest Eoghan O'Neill

Those who are interested in Peter Barton's book might like to know that he will give an illustrated talk about The Somme in central London on Wednesday 22 November. Afterwards there will be the chance to meet Peter Barton informally over a glass of wine (included in the ticket price).

Details are as follows:

Time - Wednesday 22 November, 7:00pm

Venue - Royal Over-Seas League, Over-Seas League, Park Place, off St James's Street. Nearest tube: Green Park

Tickets: available for the concessionary rate of £4.50 by mentioning the Great War Forum. For further information & tickets call 020 7408 0214 ext 324 or email culture@rosl.org.uk

This post apears with the permission of the Forum Administrators as the League is a non-profit making Commonwealth organisation.

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I have bitten the bullet, Having read some of the posts.

Been informed by Amazon that it is on it's way.

Two books purchased within a month The Somme 90 years on

and Peters Book. Her indoors informs me the library is only

up the road :lol: Told her that i had bought this one for her. :D

Cheers

Paul

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Just checked out Amazon,they have OWALW for £11.39

Regarding Thirteen Years After,i have a Softback copy in A1 Condition for Sale,if interested PM me.. :D

Play.com are selling OWALW for £10:99 plus FREE postage

regards

Joan

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The Somme, and the following Arras, Passchendaele & Ypres titles are referred to by the publisher as "companion volumes".

Given the original book went out of print within months of publication and there are no plans to reprint I can see why they have not made any reference in the new titles to the previous one.

Still, regardless of comments I'm sure most of you will still buy all of them to adorn your shelves much like I will :)

Cheers

Ryan

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  • 1 month later...

Has anyone else read this book? I am amazed that there seems such little discussion on it whereas there was some much for ‘Battlefields of the First World War’. Perhaps the P.R. machine hasn’t got going yet? I had certainly never read about the use/misuse of the Russian Saps and the employment of 2 tonne fixed flamethrowers that were used on 1st July.

I found this thread that discussed the use of Russian Saps and it appears that many of those that posted were critical of their use. I would certainly suggest that you read the information given in this book and then you may reappraise your views. It certainly was not a matter of trying to get a whole battalion of men down a narrow tunnel. To suggest this besmirches the skill and creative thinking of the RE tunnellers who prepared these saps. The way in which they were intended to be used is described in great details with terrific drawings that make it very easy to understand their value. To read of a tunnelling officer who was there at the sap head looking back across no man’s land to see the Pals battalions being cut down as they emerged from the Gospel Copses is too poignant for words.

Anyone have other thoughts on this?

The rest of the book is A1 too. If not too late, certainly a top tip for a Christmas present.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Peter Barton's The Somme: Unseen Panoramas is currently on offer at Borders bookshops at half price - just £12.50.

Ciao,

GAC

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  • 2 weeks later...

I recently enquired when Peter Barton's next book was coming out, the reason being is that 'THE SOMME a new panoramic perspective' is so good.

It appeals to me for the following reasons -

The maps used are clear & easily understood.

Period photographs are shown alongside modern day photographs, showing a 'then & now' comparative.

The line drawings are informative and show unique features ( Russian saps/ fixed flame throwers).

overall it is 300+ pages of one of the best WW1 books I own, i cannot wait for the next one!

p.s. if it is available at only £12.50, race to the shop to snap one up

Mick D

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:) One of the best! Cannot wait to take it to the fields to compare current views!

Tony

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I have just finished reading mine, a superb book and cannot wait for the next.

The panoramas from then and now are fantastic quality [scanned them all too] and will be using them whilst I'm on my next visit

I have many books on the Somme and this one ranks with the bset that I have , the first chapter starts off with an insight into the work of the RE, stand pipes to the frontline, the geography of the region etc

The sections describing the actions are detailed with accounts from the troops themselves from letters and diaries, there are many heart touching accounts, whilst reading one can look at the battlefield as it was on the large panorama views

As mentioned before on the forum , the use of the Russian Saps on the Southern end of the Ancre attacks aided in the advance, the author identifies that the Northern commanders chose not to use the Saps in the same way, if one looks at the war diaries from Serre you can see that the command knew of the Saps, but during the attacks were not used?.....a question for the forum in its own right!

There are clear detailed maps from the Northern sector to the South, and progressive battle maps ,the 1916 aerial photographs are clear and show several locations , including High wood , Gommecourt etc

I need not go on for this price, just the panoramas on there own would have done but the rest makes it a must for anyone interested in this campaign

Well I'm all excited now, time for a lay down.............well done to all concerned

Andy

:rolleyes:

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  • 4 weeks later...

This arrived two days ago from Amazon along with some other items bought as a result of a quick flick through at Waterstones. I will confess to having only read one section properly (surprise, surprise... Gommecourt). The rest has been skimmed. It is beautifully put together and visually attractive. The 'Rehearsal' section looks very interesting and covers areas ignored to a great extent by previous books on the Somme.

So far so good.

But...

I may be nit-picking but when something comes out under the imprint of the IWM, attention to detail is important. After all, if not the IWM, then who?

First of all, the map of Gommecourt page 76: three British trenches incorrectly located and two German ones incorrectly named (Roberts and Stafford Avenues on the 46th Div. front should be one communication trench further south and Yankee Street on the 56th Div front should run to the front line in Y47; Focus trench is mis-named Fools trench [just south of the Foncquevillers-Gommecourt Road] and Becker Graben is called Oggler Graben). Also it is FonCquevillers not Fonquevillers. Barton then falls into the trap of equating the Kern Redoubt with the network of short trenches between the SE corner of Gommecourt Park and Gommecourt Cemetery on the southern side of it called by the British 'The Maze'. They are not one and the same.

Then text page 78: "All the 46th (North Midland) Division waves went over as planned".

Utter nonsense as anyone with any knowledge will know. At least half the waves falied to leave either the advance or front line trench.

Then "Despite orders from his superiors, during the afternoon the Divisional Commander, Major General the Honourable E J Montagu-Stuart-Wortley (actually Montagu Stuart-Wortley, no double hyphen. REAL nit-picking!!), refused to send more men into what he saw as a pointless endeavour".

Again, utter nonsense. Four, or five depending on the Brigade account, new attacks were timetabled for 1015, 1215, 1315, 1430 and 1530. Though Stuart-Wortley agreed with the principle of the attacks he didn't agree with the reasons. Higher authority still thought a link up with the 56th Division possible, S-W had accepted that the only reason for the attack was to extricate the Sherwood Foresters believed to be trapped in the German lines. The actual officers responsible for the eventual cancellation of the 1530 attack were Brig. Gen. Shipley, GOC 139th Brigade, who told Lt. Col. Goodman, 1/6th Sherwood Foresters not to attack if there was no smoke screen. Goodman decided the smoke screen was inadequate, used the discretion given him by Shipley and cancelled the attack. Because the 6th Sherwoods failed to move the 137th Brigade didn't go over either. Nothing to do with S-W.

Later, at the instigation of 46th Division (i.e. S-W), two platoons of the 5th Lincolns were sent over at midnight to try to make touch with the Sherwoods still thought to be in German lines (German accounts reckon they were wiped out by 1100) but lost their way, got hung up on wire and lost 3 officers and 45 men in the process. Another attack by the 138th Brigade was then cancelled by Division.

Same page, 56th Division section: ".. an advanced fire trench almost 3 kilometres long (see aerial on previous page) and a new communication trench 1.5 kilometres long - both dug in the space of one night, 26/27 May..."

Hmmm... the "aerial on previous page" is of "Fools (sic) and Foolery trenches" on the 46th Division's front not the 56th's. For "a new communication trench" try several shorter lengths of communication trench. And for one night, try three, the nights of the 25/26th, 26/27th and 27/28th May.

Then, slightly further on: "... the London Scottish advanced strongly towards Rossignol Wood, nearly reaching the point behind Gommecourt village where a rendezvous with the 46th Division had been pre-arranged."

Oh dear. The area where the London Scottish attacked was about 1200 yards to the SE of the Quadrilateral where the link up was supposed to take place. It was the 1/16th Queen's Westminster Rifles who were due to meet up with the 46th Division's men at the Quadrilateral.

I think I will stick to looking at the pictures from now on. I may just be unlucky and the Gommecourt section may be the only one so riddled with errors but should I chance it?

How very expensively disappointing.

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