Leading German expert, Professor Benjamin Ziemann, to talk on the German perspective of the Somme

2nd July 2016

Dalhousie Building, Old Hawkhill, University of Dundee.
Places can be booked online at sommedundee.eventbrite.co.uk

THE CENTENARY of the most devastating battle of the Great War is set to be marked in Dundee by what promises to be a remarkable talk on the German perspective of the conflict by a world-leading expert.

Professor Benjamin Ziemann will deliver the Great War Dundee partnership’s Somme commemoration lecture on Saturday, July 2.

The Battle of the Somme was the largest Western Front battle of the First World War, beginning on July 1, 1916 and ending 141 days later on November 18. By the end of the battle, the British Army had suffered 420,000 casualties. There were 57,470 on the first day alone, 19,240 of whom died.

Fifty-one Scottish battalions took part in the campaign, including five battalions of The Black Watch, with the 8th Battalion reduced to just 171 men.

In Watch at the Somme, German Perceptions of the Battle of the Somme, Professor Ziemann will tell how, in German collective memory, the battle of the Somme in 1916 has been overshadowed by that of Verdun, as the latter could be imagined as a heroic offensive action.

Yet during the war, the events at the Somme had a potent significance in Germany as they encapsulated the readiness and the willingness of the German troops to hold out in defensive warfare. Thus, the Somme became a symbol of endurance and collective resolve.

Regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on German history during and after the First World War, Professor Ziemann is Professor of Modern German History at the University of Sheffield and was a Visiting Scholar at the University of York, at Humboldt University Berlin and at the University of Oslo.

He will be introduced by the Great War expert Michael Taylor of the Western Front Association’s Tayside Branch. He is a freelance museum professional, lecturer and historian with a particular interest in the First World War. He is currently completing a postgraduate study of 119th Infantry Brigade during the war and is also the events officer of the Western Front Association’s Tayside Branch.

The illustrated lecture takes place on Saturday July 2 at the University of Dundee’s Dalhousie Building, Hawkhill, and entry is free. Refreshments are available from 6.30pm for a 7pm start. Places can be booked online at sommedundee.eventbrite.co.uk

Media enquiries

For media enquiries please contact Kevin McGinley on 01382 431538 or email kevin.mcginley@leisureandculturedundee.com