The French "department" of the Somme witnessed innumerable battles and acts of war, dating back to the time of the Roman occupation. William the Conqueror set sail from a port on the Somme coast to invade England, the French and British fought at ...
Crecy in 1346 and Henry V's army marched through the area on its way to Agincourt in 1415. In 1870 the region was invaded by the Prussians. Within the next 80 years, two world wars swept back and forth across the Somme and the history of the region became still more closely linked with that of Britain. There were three major battles in the area during World War I and the troops of the British Empire were closely involved and suffered great losses on each occasion. Approximately half of the 400,000 soldiers who died on the Somme in 1914-18 were British. After the war, 242 British cemeteries sprang up and the bodies of 50,000 men that were never found still lie under the Somme fields. In this book the authors record every battle that has taken place on the Somme, from the earliest Roman invasion to the day in 1944 when Allied forces advancing from Normandy swept the Germans out of the Somme. They also provide a fully illustrated guide to its military cemetries, memorials, preserved trenches, craters and other reminders of battle. Martin Middlebrook also wrote "The First Day on the Somme" and "The Kaiser's Battle".