The truth revealed
On the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, this BBC 3-part history documentary presents the cataclysmic events that began on 1st July 1916 from, for the first time, both sides of No Man's Land.
With access to little known German military archives, Peter Barton investigates documents which reveal a very different history, one that contradicts many of the myths and untruths which have grown up around the battle. Why, given German forces were sometimes outnumbered five to one by the British and their French ally, was this bloodiest military encounter hailed at the time and since - as a British victory?
He argues that something like the opposite of this viewpoint is closer to the truth. And by accessing German records Peter Barton reveals genuinely revelatory insights not only about the failure of Allied strategy and tactics but the important tactical revolution that the German Army went through to ensure they held off their enemy. There are new answers to the questions that still haunt us a hundred years on why did it last so long and why was there such carnage.