Dunkirk: Retreat to Victory

Dunkirk: Retreat to Victory

by Julian Thompson
     
 

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A gripping chronicle, Dunkirk recounts the brave stand of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) against the German army and the dramatic rescue of 338,000 British troops from the beaches of Dunkirk at the outset of World War II. In May 1940, the small BEF was sent to help the Belgians and French against advancing German forces. Ill-equipped and undertrained

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Overview

A gripping chronicle, Dunkirk recounts the brave stand of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) against the German army and the dramatic rescue of 338,000 British troops from the beaches of Dunkirk at the outset of World War II. In May 1940, the small BEF was sent to help the Belgians and French against advancing German forces. Ill-equipped and undertrained, the Allied troops conducted a fighting withdrawal in the face of the formidable Germans. Winston Churchill feared that nearly all of the BEF would be killed or captured, but thankfully most were rescued and a defeat was turned into a victory—one that lives on in the annals of history.

General Julian Thompson draws from previously unpublished and rare materials to re-create the action on the beaches of the small town—from the misunderstandings between the British and French generals to the experiences of the ordinary soldier trying to fend for his life and return to his homeland. Unlike other books on the subject, Thompson’s account gives full weight to the fighting inland as the BEF found itself in mortal danger due to the Belgian army’s collapse on one flank and the French troops’ failure on the other flank. Thompson aims to correct popular myths about the evacuation and set the history straight once and for all about the events that unfolded in May 1940.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
It's tempting to compare Thompson's book to Barbara W. Tuchman's great The Guns of August, but that misses the point. Each follows the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) at the start of a world war, relating the trials of a small, determined force outnumbered by the sledgehammer of a larger foe. While Guns focuses on the big picture, Thompson is focused on the tactical angles and a BEF that is much different from that fielded in 1914. As a former general, Thompson (The Royal Marines) has the rare ability to translate the importance of movements, tactics, and minutiae for the layperson and make it exciting. He unblinkingly examines the strengths and failings of all combatants. VERDICT It's a rare thing to know the outcome of an event yet still feel suspense, frustration, and the gaining of new insight. A brilliant book, perfect for informed readers looking for the next great World War II history.—B.D.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611453140
Publisher:
Arcade Publishing
Publication date:
10/10/2011
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author


Major General Julian Thompson served in the Royal Marines for 34 years and commanded the counter-invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982. A professor in the Department of War Studies at Kings College, University of London, he is the author of six acclaimed books of military history. He lives in London.

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