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The Somme 1916: From Both Sides of the Wire

Season 1
Using unique access to unseen German military archives, historian Peter Barton tells the story of the battle that, more than any other, has come to define the WWI experience: The Somme. Considered one of the deadliest battles in human history, in this enthralling history documentary, he walks the battlefield, explaining the failures that led to over 20,000 British deaths. Was the battle worth it?
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  1. S1 E1 - First Day
    July 17, 2016
    The first day of the Somme offensive was notoriously bloody and brutal. Historian Peter Barton explores the events leading up to this devastating battle, in this compelling history documentary. He argues that it was not what British did badly but what their enemy did better that led to such huge causalities. What mistakes were made by both sides as the battle raged on?
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  2. S1 E2 - Defence in Depth
    July 24, 2016
    During the Somme battle, Allied tactics which should have lasted days took months and resulted in yet more carnage. But why did this happen? In this engrossing history documentary, Peter Barton concentrates on the second phase of the battle, from the middle of July to the middle of September 1916. The British stuck to their initial plans, while the Germans were more flexible in approach.
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  3. S1 E3 - End Game
    July 31, 2016
    Is the accepted narrative surrounding the Battle of the Somme entirely accurate? Historian Peter Barton concludes his history of the battle by looking at the final months of the campaign, as this enlightening history documentary concludes. He argues that the Somme ended not in the winter of 1916, but in the spring of 1917. And he reaches the conclusion that there was no British victory.
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Alastair Laurence
Michael Poole
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