Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man

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Harvard University Press, 2006 - History - 701 pages
10 Reviews

In May of 1940, the armies of Nazi Germany were marching through France. In the face of this devastating advance, one of World War II's greatest acts of heroism would be a retreat: the evacuation of the British Army from Dunkirk.

In Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man, we are given an unprecedented vision of these harrowing days. Hugh Sebag-Montefiore has created a bold and powerful account of the small group of men who fended off the German army so that hundreds of thousands of their comrades could exit this doomed land. These brave troops, members of the British Expeditionary Forces and the French army, held a series of strong points inland, allowing the rest of the battered battalions to escape to the coast. Those that remained were ordered to fight to the last man.

Much has been written about the efforts of the Royal Navy in shuttling soldiers to safety, but here we are given an unparalleled look inside this massive operation and the invaluable role played by the BEF. Without the ferocity and bravery of the officers and ordinary soldiers on the ground, the German army would likely have encircled nearly half a million Allied soldiers. The loss of these battalions, Sebag-Montefiore argues, could have dramatically changed the direction of the war, and enabled Hitler to invade a weakened Britain.

This is military history at its best: a judicious analysis of the movement of the war, and a vivid feel of what it was like to be on the front line. Sebag-Montefiore brings these men—the forgotten heroes of Dunkirk—to life, and it is their valiant exploits and devotion to their brethren that form the heart of this important book.

  

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Review: Dunkirk Fight To The Last Man

User Review  - Dom Parker - Goodreads

I knew very little about Dunkirk so decided to do something about it by buying this book. An extraordinary piece of writing giving at once a day-in-the-life of view of the lads in the foxholes to the ... Read full review

Review: Dunkirk Fight To The Last Man

User Review  - Mary - Goodreads

As a reader of military history I found Dunkirk fight to the last man both good, because it gave me information that I did not know, and bad because I found it repetitive at times. I would recommend this book to readers interested in WWII, but not to general readers since it drags at times. Read full review

Contents

Moment of Truth
1
The BEF Arrives in France
6
The Mechelen Affair
26
The Final Warning
38
The Matadors Cloak
46
Charging Bull
59
Into Battle
72
Over the River Meuse
80
Crisis in the North
322
Up the Glosters
335
Massacre at Wormhout
345
Escape to Dunkirk
362
The Dunkirk Armada
375
Beached
384
Entente Cordiale
395
Evacuation
412

Flight
96
Battle of the Bulge
109
Lambs to the Slaughter
125
The Arras CounterAttack
142
We Stand and Fight
156
Escape from Arras
173
Boulogne and the Useless Mouths
188
Evacuation of Boulogne
200
Calais and the French Complaint
212
Calais Fight to the Finish
225
Lucky Breaks
240
Siege at Cassel
255
Surrounded at Le Paradis
279
Massacre at Le Paradis
293
Manhunt
303
Rearguard
423
Mission Accomplished
440
Payback
448
Sacrifice of the 51st Highland Division
458
The Sinking of the Lancastria
481
Epilogue
497
Maps
507
Appendices
539
Dramatis Personae
543
Abbreviations
547
Notes
549
Bibliography and Sources
645
Acknowledgements
661
Index
667
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Hugh Sebag-Montefiore is a journalist and the author of Enigma: The Battle for the Code.

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