Touring the Battlefields of the Somme with the Michelin and Somme Tourisme Guidebooks
Battlefield tours of Great War sites on the Western Front began almost immediately when the war ended in 1918. To cater for the growing number of tourists, in the 1920s the Michelin Tyre Company produced a series of motoring guides, incorporating brief histories of the war, directions, and photographs. In 1920 the battlefields could be easily identified by ruins and the detritus of war, but today most of this evidence has been removed. Tourists are now assisted by guidebooks produced by the Somme Tourist Board. A comparison of the Michelin Guide and the Somme Tourisme Guide reveals how the battlefields have changed from a warscape to a memoryscape presented within a globalised view of the war. Tourists can now visit the battlefields by engaging with the components of a commemorative apparatus.
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