The Other Side of the Wire brings to life a period long forgotten in the decades that have passed since the end of the Great War. Until recently, most books written on the Battle of the Somme concentrated almost exclusively on the British effort with only a brief mention of the period before the 1st of July 1916 and the German experience in the battle. Most simply ignore the nearly two years of warfare that preceded the momentous offensive. By focusing on one of the principal German formations involved in the Somme fighting, author Ralph Whitehead brings to life this little-known period, from the initial German advance on the Somme in September 1914 through the formation of the front that became so well known almost two years later. The book takes the reader from the initial German invasion of the Somme through to the end of June 1916, the eve of the Somme Offensive. Using previously unpublished letters and diaries, Whitehead recounts the soldiers'experiences of the many facets of war.
From the start of trench warfare, French attacks in 1914 and 1915 and the implementation of trench raids and how they developed over time, to the start of mine warfare, artillery tactics, life in the rear areas and the arrival of the British are all covered in detail. The book relates the thoughts, hopes and fears of the men from the XIV Reserve Corps as each chapter brings the reader closer to the Somme Offensive in 1916, an attack that was long anticipated by the men of the XIV Reserve Corps. The reader will have a better understanding of the events that took place on 1 July 1916, and some of the reasons for the successes and failures on both sides of the wire on that momentous day. About the Author Ralph J. Whitehead has been interested in Great War studies for over 40 years and has published many articles and contributed to numerous books on the subject.
Ralph Whitehead is a graduate of C.W. Post College in Greenvale, New York where he concentrated his studies in 19th and 20th Century American and 20th Century European history. He is currently the head of a Fraud Investigative unit for a national insurance carrier and has enjoyed a 34-year career in the insurance field. He has been actively studying the Great War for many decades and has established himself as an expert on the German Army of 1914-1918 with a special interest in German casualties. He has been a member of several well-known Great War groups including the Western Front Association, The Imperial German Military Collector's Association and is a member of the Great War Archaeological Group 'No Man's Land'. He has been a contributor to numerous Great War books including the Pals series and the Battleground Europe series. Ralph was an historic advisor to YAP Films on their series 'Finding the Fallen' that involved Great War archaeology. He currently resides with his wife in the small village of Fayetteville located in the historic Central New York region. The village was named in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette following the War of American Independence. This is Ralph's second book, and he is already working on this volume's sequel, which will complete the story of the German XIV Reserve Corps through their experiences of the final two years of the First World War.