This BBC series uses original research in German military archives to interrogate long-standing assumptions and prevailing myths about the what happened in the most iconic battle of the First World War. The final programme, End Game questions the broadly accepted idea that the Somme campaign was the ‘decisive victory’, British Commander in Chief William Haig claimed it to be. To do this, it examines the revealingly different military cultures of the British and Germany armies, not just in terms of their contrasting tactics but in their attitudes to military discipline, showing how the British executed more than ten times as many deserters as the Germans.
The programme will be introduced by Michael Poole, its executive producer, who recently retired from the BBC. He was the executive producer and often the initiator of an impressive list of arts and documentary programmes including ‘Empire of the Tsars’, ‘Being the Brontes’ and the long running ‘Timeshift’ series.