Donald Dean VC

Overview

Donald Dean lied about his age to enlist in the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment and serve on the Western Front, where he worked his way up from Private to acting Captain. It was in the last weeks of the war, late in September 1918, that he won his VC for leading a platoon in the determined defense of a recently captured and isolated trench against repeated German counterattacks. In one of these attacks, the Germans actually broke into the trench, forcing Dean to break off a radio call for artillery support ...
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Donald Dean VC

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Overview

Donald Dean lied about his age to enlist in the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment and serve on the Western Front, where he worked his way up from Private to acting Captain. It was in the last weeks of the war, late in September 1918, that he won his VC for leading a platoon in the determined defense of a recently captured and isolated trench against repeated German counterattacks. In one of these attacks, the Germans actually broke into the trench, forcing Dean to break off a radio call for artillery support with the words 'The Germans are here, goodbye!' Refusing to be overrun, he personally killed four of the Germans before they were finally evicted.

Dean also served in World War II, witnessing the fall of France in 1940 and claiming to be the last Brit to get out of Boulogne. His frank account of the evacuation challenges some cherished conceptions and is very critical of the conduct of the Irish Guards in particular. He went on to fight in Madagascar, Sicilya and the Italian mainland. Donald Dean died in 1985.

Military historian Terry Crowdy has edited Dean's letters and diaries, never previously published, adding additional notes and material from official reports to give the reader context. The result is a moving, often amusing and inspiring portrait of a little-known hero of two world wars.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848841581
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Limited
  • Publication date: 4/23/2011
  • Pages: 176

Table of Contents

Foreword H. Richard Walduck vii

Editor's Introduction xii

Maps xviii

Part I The Great War 1

Chapter 1 The Artists' Rifles 2

Chapter 2 The Ypres Salient 12

Chapter 3 Passchendaele 21

Chapter 4 Reflections on Trench Warfare 31

Chapter 5 The Lens Front 43

Chapter 6 Dean's Post 48

Part II The Second World War 58

Introduction 59

Chapter 7 Disappointment with The Buffs 62

Chapter 8 The Phoney War 68

Chapter 9 The Boulogne Debacle 80

Chapter 10 Madagascar 96

Chapter 11 The Invasion of Sicily 120

Chapter 12 The Italian Campaign 131

Epilogue 159

Appendix A Lieutenant Dean's VC Citation 160

Appendix B Colonel Dean's Medal Entitlement 161

Appendix C An AMPC Song 162

Glossary of Military Acronyms and Terms 164

Notes 167

Index 173

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