In 1916, one million men fought in the first battle of the Somme. Victory hinged on their ability to capture a small village called Pozières. After five attempts to seize it, the British called in the Anzacs to complete this seemingly impossible task. At midnight on 23 July 1916, thousands of Australians stormed Pozières. Forty-five days later they were relieved, having suffered 23,000 casualties to gain a few miles of barren, lunar landscape. Despite the toll, the operation was heralded as a stunning victory. Yet for the exhausted survivors, the war-weary public, and the families of the dead and maimed, victory came at such terrible cost. Drawing on their letters and diaries of the men who fought at Pozières, this superb book reveals a battlefield drenched in chaos and fear. Bennett sheds light on the story behind the official history, re-creating the experience of those men who fought in one of the largest and most devastating battles of the Great War and returned home, all too often, as shattered men.
'Pozieres has languished in Gallipoli's shadow for almost a century. Scott Bennett shines a probing light into that darkness. His passion is evident in every page, and his attention to detail is striking... The tragedy of Pozieres tears at our nation's heart. This a book that needed to be written.' - Patrick Lindsay, author of Fromelles and Kokoda Spirit