“The war had been going badly for the Allies. The great offensive on the Somme had been a disaster.
The casualty rates were horrific for both sides, one advancing into a hail of machine gun bullets, the other crushed under the weight of artillery.
The Battle of Arras was meant to be a turning point in the war. There were stories, rumours even, of strange events. Stories that circulated among us Tommies, of a phantom battalion that battered through a hail of machine-gun fire, falling upon the Germans within unheard of rage. They called them Tigers.”
Oliver Gill. Captain in the 1st Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. Interviewed post-war for an unpublished research paper on the Battle of Arras, 1917.
I’ve been working on a new story for the last few months. In fact, this work in progress comes from an idea I was playing with a year ago, partly inspired by a series of interviews with World War One veterans published by the BBC History Magazine. The teaser above, from this new book, is actually the opening section, a fictional aural history interview.
I’m just working through the first draft of the first story. Provisionally the series has been titled RZC – wonder if anyone will work out what the initials stand for without any extra clues? The story is clearly set during World War One, introducing a new group of characters and a secret weapon known as Tigers. There are a variety of inspirations for this story, but I’ll keep them to myself for now or the teaser will give away too much.