This episode looks at the fighting around Touvent Farm, a critical strong point on what was to become the Somme battlefields. For seven days in June 1915, French infantry fought hand-to-hand with fanatical German defenders to capture this important strongpoint.
We begin by looking at the French army and its evolution during the Great War. Consisting largely of conscripted men, over 8 million were called into service. We look at their weapons and how their famous red trousers became a political issue in the French parliament. We meet a French gunner who wrote one of the most powerful narratives of combat to come out of the Great War, and why supply problems led to the production of the famous blue French uniform.
We then look at the fighting around Touvent Farm, where France emerged victorious, but at what cost?
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