Verdun & Somme
...Germany in the Great War, from Pen & Sword
Title: Verdun & Somme
Author: Joshua Bilton
Publisher: Pen & Sword
This is the third volume in a series of five which is filled with archive photos that focus on Germany in the Great War, this one looking at 1916. Having said that, I felt that with the title focussing on Verdun and Somme, it doesn't immediately tell you that it actually covers a much broader area than that suggested, well, to me anyway.
A 234-page soft-cover book packed with well captioned photos that tell the story of the Great War from the German side of things. There are 7 chapters, each of which starts with a couple of pages of text to set the individual situations, the rest of the story is contained in the captions to the wide selection of archive images. The chapters cover the Western Front; the Eastern Front; Mountain Warfare; Turkey; the Flying Service; Naval Service; and finally, the Home Front. Many of the things we read about WW1 do often focus on the Trench Warfare of the Western Front, but for Germany there was of course a much wider war to be considered in 1916. Yes, there were the significant battles of Verdun and the Somme, but in the same year the High Seas Fleet battled the Royal Navy and there was still fighting in Poland, and Turkey. New weapons were coming into use which also meant that both sides were going through a learning curve. In the final chapter it also considers the war for the civilian populating of Germany, when the Allied blockade led to severe shortages of food and vital raw materials and these led to widespread privations on the Home Front. Photos illustrate plenty of elements of each story, even with hospitals that dealt with healing/rehabilitation of badly wounded soldiers.
Some fascinating images, with informative captions, and interesting to see from the German side of the story. Some incredible pictures and maybe this will help many get a good understanding on the 'other' side of the 'War to End all Wars'.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our review copy.