Here at the University of Buckingham Press (UBP), we are driven by the quality of written content, insightful analysis and meaningful research. Through our published books and journals we cover a diverse range of subjects including medicine, law, economics, architecture, cyber security and education, and we are always looking to explore interesting and relevant topics written by thought-leaders in their given subject areas. As such, we recently commissioned a military history series by Jean-Michel Steg. The first in this series Death in the Ardennes: 22nd August 1914: France’s Deadliest Day was published in October 2021 and has proved to be enormous success and we’d now like to take this opportunity to introduce the next title in this series which is being released on 28th January and is available to pre-order here.
These Englishmen Who Died for France: 1st July 1916: The Bloodiest Day in British History
On 1st July 1916, it was in the Bay of Somme that the British lost the greatest number of soldiers in all of their history. So, why did they go and what happened there?
Englishmen, Scotsmen, Irishmen, Welshmen, Canadians, South Africans, Australians, New Zealanders - many soldiers from Great Britain and the Commonwealth volunteered in 1916 to attack on the front in Picardy, a much heavier involvement than in the previous years of the First World War. On 1st July 1916, more than 20,000 of them lost their lives on the battlefield of the Somme, coming to the aid of a French army exhausted by Verdun.
It was the deadliest day in British history and the recognition of this sacrifice was then - and has remained since - relatively muted in France as this grim anniversary is celebrated across the Channel, illustrating how much national collective memories differ. Comparing French and English archives to try to understand why and how so many men died, Jean-Michel Steg gives this episode its central place in the memory of the Great War.
About the Author
Jean-Michel Steg works as a Senior Adviser to financial firm Greenhill & Co. He holds a PhD in History from EHESS in Paris, a Master's degree from the Sorbonne University in Paris, an MBA from Harvard Business School and a degree from the Institut d'Etudes Politique de Paris. He has been nominated in France to the Ordre National du Mérite. This is a fascinating and important piece of work which really captures the bloodshed and background to such a historic event. It also sets the scene for the concluding title in this series, La Fayette, We Are Here! which is launching on 23rd May.