Review: Somme 1916 (Gliddon)


Somme 1916: A Battlefield Companion.

This is a purely reference work. The body of the book begins with daily “diary” entries beginning a year before the official start of the campaign, which include weather reports for most days. The majority of the text is taken up with alphabetical encyclopedia entries about the villages, cities and landmarks that appear in most memoirs. Many of the entries include photographs, which help to put a “face” on the place name. A large number of appendices list the divisions involved in the battle, with the names of their leadership.

The text is marred by many “hard” hyphenations that must have carried over from a prior edition, and which now appear mid-line instead of at the column edge. It’s too bad no thought was given to editing them out, because they do pose an annoying distraction from smooth reading.

This is a quality softcover book that’s too big and heavy to hold in the hand, and so must be consulted while open on a desk. Researchers and novelists will find a lot of interesting detail.

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