Elegy: The First Day on the Somme by Andrew Roberts

By Andrew Roberts

On 1 July 1916, after a five-day bombardment, eleven British and five French divisions introduced their long-awaited 'Big Push' on German positions on excessive floor above the Rivers Ancre and Somme at the Western entrance. a few floor used to be won, yet at a bad fee. In killing-grounds whose names are indelibly imprinted on 20th-century reminiscence, German machine-guns - manned by way of troops who had sat out the hurricane of shellfire in deep dugouts - inflicted poor losses at the British infantry.

The British Fourth military misplaced 57,470 casualties, the French 6th military suffered 1,590 casualties and the German 2d military 10,000. And this was once however the prelude to 141 days of slaughter that will witness the deaths of among 750,000 and 1 million troops.

Andrew Roberts conjures up the pity and the horror of the blackest day within the heritage of the British military - a summer's day-turned-hell-on-earth through glossy army expertise - within the phrases of casualties, survivors, and the bereaved.

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Laid up after capture. Sold 1825. Lady Prevost (armed schooner) Dimensions LBP: 68ft / Breadth: 18ft 6in / Depth of Hold: 8ft / Draft: 9ft 6in Displacement 230 tons Complement 86 Armament 10 x 12lb carronades, 1 x 9lb long gun (pivot), 2 x 6lb long guns Built 1812, Amherstburg, Upper Canada Entered Service 1812, Provincial Marine Captured at Battle of Lake Erie, September 10, 1813. Commissioned as USS Lady Prevost afterwards. Sold 1815. Detroit (ship-rigged sloop-of-war) Dimensions LBP: 92ft 6in / Breadth: 26ft / Depth of Hold: 11ft / Draft: 12ft Displacement 305 tons Complement 150 Armament 1 x 24lb carronade, 2 x 24lb long guns, 1 x 18lb long gun (pivot), 6 x 12lb long guns, 8 x 9lb long guns Built 1813, Amherstburg, Upper Canada Entered Service 1813, Royal Navy Design believed based on Cruizer-class sloop-of-war.

Renamed Star in 1814. Converted to a transport in 1815. Paid off in 1816, and sold in 1837. Prince Regent (frigate) (see plate F) Princess Charlotte (frigate) Dimensions LBP: 121ft / Breadth: 37ft 8in / Depth of Hold: 8ft 8in / Draft: 17ft Displacement 756 tons Complement 280 Armament 2 x 68lb carronades, 16 x 32lb carronades, 24 x 24lb long guns Built 1814, Kingston, Upper Canada Entered Service 1814, Royal Navy Originally intended as a transport brig named Vittoria, Princess Charlotte was modified into a larger ship on the stocks by George Record.

ABOVE USS Superior, in ordinary after the War of 1812. A large oceangoing 44-gun frigate built for the United States during the War of 1812, it gave Chauncey's squadron temporary control of Lake Ontario. (AC) ABOVE RIGHT Sackett’s Harbor was the main base for the US Navy on Lake Ontario. By 1814 it was a major shipbuilding center, but the New York river network meant supplies either had to travel overland, or be shipped along the Lake Ontario coast from Oswego. (AC) The British flotilla on Lake Ontario in 1814, seen anchored off Oswego.

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