Michael Joseph, 1st ed., 1983. Xviii + 366 pp., photo-plates + maps. D.j., 24 x 15cm. Spine of d.j., faded ; small owner’s name stamp on f.f.e.p., o/w Nr.FINE. The Battle of the Somme, July 1916, was the epitome of all the horror and hardship of the First World War. It was a baptism of fire for numerous soldiers, one hundred and fifty thousand of whom lost their lives in it. No modern battle has ever been more meticulously planned but the front-line soldier knew little of the strategy. His object was to survive the relentless punishing shellfire and the ordeal of attack and counter-attack. Somme is a human chronicle of life as well as death, a vivid blend of military history and the immediacy of personal recollection told through little-known episodes and telling details.