> Skip to content
  • Published: 13 November 2017
  • ISBN: 9780141043326
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 656
  • RRP: $22.99

Somme

Into the Breach




The Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller on the greatest battle of World War One - with groundbreaking new material on the soldiers' experiences.

Featuring Newly Discovered Accounts from Around the World.

No conflict better encapsulates all that went wrong on the Western Front during World War I than the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The tragic loss of life and stoic endurance by troops who walked towards their death is an iconic image - but this critically-acclaimed bestseller, on the four months of battle, shows the extent to which the Allied armies were in fact able to break through the German front lines again and again.

In eight years of research, Hugh Sebag-Montefiore has found extraordinary new material from Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, and the British - from heartbreaking diaries and letters to hitherto unseen Red Cross files - recounting their experiences amid the horror of war. It has been hailed as the best book about the battle, which, though not an Allied victory, was the beginning of the slide towards German defeat.

  • Published: 13 November 2017
  • ISBN: 9780141043326
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 656
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Lyn MacDonald

Over the past twenty years Lyn Macdonald has established a popular reputation as an author and historian of the First World War. Her books are They Called It Passchendaele, an account of the Passchendaele campaign in 1917; The Roses of No Man's Land, a chronicle of the war from the neglected viewpoint of the casualties and the medical teams who struggled to save them; Somme, a history of the legendary and horrifying battle that has haunted the minds of succeeding generations; 1914, a vivid account of the first months of the war and winner of the 1987 Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award; 1914-1918: Voices and Images of the Great War, an illuminating account of the many different aspects of the war; and 1915: The Death of Innocence, a brilliant evocation of the year that saw the terrible losses of Aubers Ridge, Loos, Neuve Chapelle, Ypres and Gallipoli.

Her most recent book, To the Last Man: Spring 1918, has been published by Viking. All are based on the accounts of eyewitnesses and survivors, told in their own words, and cast a unique light on the First World War. 

Also by Lyn MacDonald

See all

Praise for Somme

Having read almost everything that is written on this battle, I can vouch that this is the best account yet. Sebag-Montefiore deserves congratulation for restoring humanity to this battle

Gerard DeGroot, The Times

Magisterial, exemplary, heartbreaking. So original is the material, and so inventive is Sebag-Montefiore's approach - telling each stage of the fight from the perspective of both the combatants and their families back home - that this well-known tale is rendered strange again. Written with great style and sensitivity, superbly illustrated with many original plates and beautifully drawn maps, Sebag-Montefiore's brilliant new study will set the benchmark for a generation

Saul David, Daily Telegraph

Sebag-Montefiore's combination of thoughtful analysis with first-hand testimony from army soldiers, cameramen and diarists lends a gritty immediacy

Ian Thomson, Observer

The best historians of the war have always made good use of the words written by the participants themselves, but few have done so as effectively as here. A moving record

Daily Mail

Related titles