Dunkirk and the Fall of France

Dunkirk and the Fall of France


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Dunkirk and the Fall of France by Geoffrey Stewart

For sixty years the dramatic story of the Dunkirk evacuation and the defeat of France - the story of the German conquest of northwest Europe - has been the focus of historical study and dispute, yet myths and misconceptions about this extraordinary event persist. The ruthless efficiency of the German assault, the 'miracle' of Dunkirk, the feeble French defense - these still common assumptions are questioned in Geoffrey Stewart's highly readable and concise account of the campaign. The German victory was not inevitable.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781844158034
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Limited
Publication date: 05/01/2009
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Geoffrey Stewart is an author and military historian specializing in World War 2.

Table of Contents

List of Maps ix

List of Illustrations xi

Preface xiii

Background 1

The Legacy of 1914-1918 1

The Coming of the Second World War 5

The Defeat of Poland and the Phoney War 8

The Contending Armies and Their Weapons in 1940 11

The German Attacker 11

The Defenders - The French 15

The Defenders - The British Field Force 18

The Defenders - The Belgians and the Dutch 19

Air Power 20

Plans and Intelligence Gathering 22

The Evolution of 'Sichelschenitt' 22

French Planning - The Dyle Plan 25

Campaign Chronicle 27

10 May: The Assault on the Netherlands 27

10 May: The Assault on Belgium 29

10 May: The Assault on Luxembourg and the Passage Through the Ardennes 32

11-12 May: The Battle for Rotterdam and the Netherlands 33

11-12 May: The Matador's Cloak Continues to Attract the Bull 34

11-12 May: The Passage Through the Ardennes to the Meuse 36

13-15 May: The Fall of the Netherlands 38

13-15 May: Battles in Central Belgium 39

13-15 May: Crossing the Meuse and Breakout 43

The Northern Spearpoint 45

Reinhardt's Spearpoint 49

The Crossing of the Meuse at Sedan and Breakout 50

16-20 May: The Race to the Channel 58

The German Advance 61

The British Retreat 68

21-23 May: 'The End is Not Very Far Off' 72

The Allied High Command in Crisis 72

The Arras Counter-Attack 75

The French Counter-Attack of the 22nd 79

The Panzers Swing North: The Battle for Boulogne 79

The BEF Pulls Back from Arras and the Escaut 86

24-26 May: The Beginning of a Miracle 87

The Siege of Calais 90

27-29 May: Retreat and Evacuation 93

The Breakdown of Allied Cooperation 93

Saving the BEF 95

Defence ofthe Southern Flank 98

The Evacuation Begins 102

30 May-4 June: Deliverance 106

Anglo-French Tensions 106

Defending the Perimeter 108

Escape 110

The French Rearguard 115

The Air War 116

5-24 June: The Conquest of the Third Republic 119

Politics and Strategy 119

5-10 June: Breaking the Weygand Line 122

Rommel 122

Guderian 124

11-14 June: The Briare Conference and the Fall of Paris 125

15-24 June: Endgame and Armistice 127

Aftermath 131

Conclusions 131

Appendices 139

Appendix I Biographical Notes 139

Appendix II Glossary of Terms 143

Bibliography 145

Index 149

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