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Alone: Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk: Defeat into Victory

Alone: Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk: Defeat into Victory

by Michael Korda


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A BBC History Best Book of the Year

One of the most miraculous military rescue missions in modern history comes alive in this “superb and panoramic” (Washington Post) account of Dunkirk.

No one can evince the drama of what actually happened at Dunkirk in the year 1940 with as “great narrative skill and superb delineation” (David McCullough) as Michael Korda, the historian and legendary book editor. As dramatized in Christopher Nolan’s film Dunkirk, May 1940 was a month like no other: Germany’s war machine blazed into France, the impregnable Maginot Line crumbled, and Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister as Britain, isolated and alone, faced a triumphant Nazi Germany. Against this vast canvas, best-selling author Michael Korda relates his own personal story, “by turns charming, powerful and poignant” (Minneapolis Star Tribune): that of a six-year-old boy from a glamorous movie family who would himself be evacuated. Weaving together “eyewitness detail and a fine sense of drama” (Boston Globe) to form an epic of remarkable originality, Alone movingly captures a moment of historic triumph—when an unlikely flotilla of destroyers brought 300,000 men home to safety.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631494918
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 09/11/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 197,348
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Michael Korda is the best-selling author of Hero, Clouds of Glory, and Charmed Lives. The former editor-in-chief of Simon and Schuster, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary for his participation in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. He lives in Pleasant Valley, New York.

Table of Contents

Prologue: "The Past Is a Foreign Country" xiii

Part 1 The Second Great War

1 To the Brink 3

2 The Failure of Diplomacy 27

5 "Speak for England!" 46

4 The Phoney War 55

5 Operation Pied Piper 75

6 Case Yellow 83

7 "Gad, Gentlemen, Here's to Our Greatest Victory of the War" 103

8 Hitler "Missed the Bus" 116

9 "In the Name of God, Go" 124

Part 2 The Battle of France

10 "The Top of the Greasy Pole" 149

11 Rommel Crosses the Meuse 164

12 "We Are Beaten; We Have Lost the Battle" 175

13 "The Mortal Gravity of the Hour" 187

14 May 20, 1940: "A Pretty Fair Pig of a Day" 197

15 "The Fatal Slope" 209

16 "Hard and Heavy Tidings" 218

17 The Sharp End of the Stick 228

18 The Battle of Arras: "We May Be foutu" 245

19 "Their Zest and Delight in Shooting Germans Was Most Entertaining" 259

Part 3 Dunkirk

20 The Burghers of Calais 277

21 "Fight It Out to the Bitter End" 290

22 Flag Officer, Dover 301

25 The Home Front 307

24 "Presume Troops Know They Are Cutting Their Way Home to Blighty" 322

25 Dynamo 338

26 "Fight It Out, Here or Elsewhere" 351

27 Holding the Line 368

28 "The Little Ships" 379

29 "The Best Mug of Tea I Have Ever Had in My Life" 397

30 "Arm in Arm" 412

31 "We Are Going to Beat Them" 425

32 The Dunkirk Spirit 439

33 At Sea 453

Acknowledgments 463

Notes 465

Bibliography 483

List of Illustrations 491

Index 499

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