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The Butte de Warlencourt

...a Battleground Somme guide, from Pen & Sword

Title: The Butte de Warlencourt
Author: Bob Paterson
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-52676-446-1

A new addition to the popular Battleground Somme series of battlefield guides, covering one particular aspect of the battle from 1916. A 202-page soft-cover book in the standard style of presentation for this series.
The book is split roughly in half, with the first half taking us through the story of the battle, from the build up to the fighting around the Butte, a small 'bump' in the surrounding flat countryside, which gave the German troops on top of it an excellent view across the surrounding countryside. It was a feature which did not fall to Allied troops during the battle in 1916. Plenty of detail of what happened, when and which units were involved. This part of the book divides the story across 5 chapters which include an overview of the battle, the successes in September & October at Martinpuich and Eaucourt l'Abbaye, the advance to Le Sars in October and rounding off their the attempts to capture the Butte de Warlencourt during October and November 1916. The second half of the book is devoted to a tour guide, with beautifully detailed tours of the area, two for walking and one for using a vehicle. Throughout there are plenty of maps, archive photos along with modern photos indicating the ground as you will see it today.
This is another fine addition to this series of Battleground guides. While guided coach tours are very popular, you are tied to a schedule so there are many of us who like to get in the car and 'do it yourselves' with the aid of a book like this and then control your own individual schedule. I admit this is my preferred option as when you don't know exactly what you will find that grabs your attention, you have full control over how you spend your time each day and can veer off or spend more time at certain locations if you find something you want to spend more time on. These guides are an ideal size to keep in your car or just pop in a backpack if you are walking or on a bike.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our review copy.


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