- By Norman Fine
Early July exactly one hundred years ago, British, French, and German troops engaged in battle near the River Somme that left a million men dead or wounded on the fields in just four months of butchery. Known to history as the Battle of the Somme, it was arguably the bloodiest in all of human history. All for a gain of just six miles into enemy-occupied territory.
Author and poet Siegfried Sassoon was at the Somme. His lovingly-written classic, Memoirs of a Foxhunting Man, ends with his wartime service, his loss of dear friends, and the beginnings of his ruminations on the madness of war.
For just the foxhunting content, the book is a classic to be recommended to any literate foxhunter. But Sassoon wrote a sequel, Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, which is the most moving anti-war book this reporter has ever read.