Scholarship Group Meeting: Andy Robertshaw on The Battle Of The Somme
Military historian and TV presenter Andy Robertshaw visited St John’s this week to give a talk on the Battle of the Somme, perhaps the most controversial event of the First World War.
With the aid of some stunningly sharp photographs of the battle, he took us through the events which led up to the catastrophic first day of the Somme, 1 July 1916, when the British army suffered 60,000 casualties. Yet, horrific though the battle was, it affected the German army much more, because proportionately they were less able to withstand the heavy casualty rate. One hundred years ago this month, they withdrew to new defences behind the Hindenburg line. The battle was also part of a learning curve, or perhaps a more uneven ‘Loch Ness Monster curve’, in which the British army acquired the tactics that would eventually bring victory in 1918.
At the end of his talk, our Scholars asked Andy about politicians involvement in the Battle and the artillery used. Freddie was very impressed to learn that Andy played a part in the film War Horse too! It was an excellent talk accompanied by brilliant and well-selected photos.