The First Day of the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916, in many ways dominates our popular understanding of the Great War. Eager volunteers walk into machine-gun hell in No Man’s Land with huge losses. But a subject that looks straight forward is far more complex, as a quick read of any book on the 1st July will demonstrate. What can a film on the day tell us?
In contrast to the Mons 1914 DVD I reviewed today, this is a very different film made available by Pen & Sword Digital. It is clear as soon as it starts that this is a film made by someone who understands how television works. It is presented by a professional presenter, which makes a great deal of difference, and the contributors talk well, in a way a general audience will understand. The focus of the film is about the story, with much less about the structure of the army and its units. In this way it presents the material well, with clarity and understanding. The film is well shot and the sound is excellent as well. It will appeal to the WW1 enthusiast of course, but is much more suited to a general public who want to understand more about the First Day of the Battle of the Somme and learn how it may have affected their ancestors.
Highly recommended from me and well worth the £16.99 price.
The DVD can be purchased from Pen & Sword: Somme 1st July 1916.