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The Other Side of the Wire: Vol.1

Printed From: Cross & Cockade
Category: Book Reviews
Forum Name: WW1 Other
Forum Discription: Non-Aviation WW1 Books
Printed Date: 03 Jul 2022 at 06:25
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Topic: The Other Side of the Wire: Vol.1
Posted By: AndyK
Subject: The Other Side of the Wire: Vol.1
Date Posted: 13 Oct 2010 at 22:28

The Other Side of the Wire: Vol.1The Other Side of the Wire: Vol.1: With the German XIV Reserve Corps on the Somme, September 1914–June 1916

Ralph J. Whitehead

Helion & Company Ltd, 26 Willow Road, Solihull B91 1UE.; Tel 0121 705 3393

616 pp, 145×230mm, hardback.

ISBN 978-1-906033-29-3. £37.50

Limited edition of 750 numbered & signed copies

Having read various accounts from the Allied side of the Battle of the Somme between 1 July and 18 November 1916 which resulted in 1.5 million casualties it was interesting to read this account from the German perspective. The first of a two volume set, The Other Side of the Wire shares the experiences of the XIV Reserve Artillery Corps from their advance to the Somme in September 1914 to the very eve of the Battle on Friday 30 June.

Until recently most books written on the Battle of the Somme concentrated almost exclusively on the British effort, simply ignoring the nearly two years of warfare that preceded the momentous offensive. By focusing on one of the principal German formations involved in the Somme fighting, author Ralph Whitehead brings to life this little-known period, from the initial German advance on the Somme in September 1914, and brings a sense of humanity to the story of the war using the words of the men who fought there, many of them from previously unpublished diaries and Feldpost letters.

From the initial German invasion of the Somme through to the end of June 1916, the eve of the Somme Offensive, the reader can experience the beginning of trench warfare, French attacks in 1914 and 1915 and the implementation of trench raids and how they developed over time.Mine warfare, artillery tactics, life in the rear areas and the arrival of the British are covered in detail, and give a better understanding of the events that took place on 1 July 1916, and some of the reasons for the successes and failures on both sides of the wire on that momentous day.

A detailed casualty list is included for seven regiments of infantry and artillery for the period September 1914 through June 1916 in an effort to give some scale to the losses suffered by the Germans on the Somme during this period.

One unique aspect of the book is the hundreds of photographs of the men who actually fought in the XIV Reserve Corps, many never published before and taken from the author’s personal collection.

Posted By: AndyK
Date Posted: 13 Oct 2010 at 22:30


Blaine Pardoe

Crecy Publishing Ltd,

272pp, 152×234mm, softback.

ISBN 9780859 791205, £10.95.

This is the story of ‘Imperial Germany’s Gentleman Pirate’, Felix von Luckner, who slipped through the Royal Navy blockade at Christmas 1916 in a windjammer, and caused havoc in the Atlantic and Pacific. When his voyage ended in shipwreck he survived and became a folk hero in post war Germany. There is no mention of aviation at all in this book, but it is a marvelous read and proves that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Good writing, pictures and Index make this another excellent book for grown up boys.

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