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British Army in France After Dunkirk [Hardcover]

Patrick Takle
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
Price: 19.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

16 April 2009
The story of the BEF in France after Dunkirk. Thanks to Churchill s refusal to admit defeat, many men were needlessly sacrificed, including 800 from the 51st Highland Division captured by Rommel at St Valery. This is the fascinating story of an inglorious and all but forgotten hour in Britain s military history.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (16 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844158527
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844158522
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 219,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The miracle of Dunkirk, when the bulk of the British Expeditionary Force were snatched from the beaches under the Germans nose, has obscured the fate of the rest of the BEF in France: this fascinating book tells their story. Refusing to accept that the battle of France was lost, Churchill shipped some of the Dunkirk evacuees back to France with the aim of forming a second BEF from the 51st Highland, the 1st Armoured and the Beauman Divisions plus a Second Corps from England. The Prime Minister also wanted to send scarce RAF Fighter squadrons to reinforce the ground troops - a course from which he was dissuaded with great difficulty by Hugh Dowding, the Chief of Fighter Command, meaning that they were still available to fight the Battle of Britain. Churchill s favourite military man, Gen. Sir Alan Brooke, was earmarked to command the Second Corps, but deliberately delayed forming the Corps, knowing that its mission would be suicidal. Alan Brooke s worst fears were soon realised: five units were squandered, most famously the 51st Highland Division which, despite a gallant rearguard action, was overwhelmed by Rommel s tanks at the small port of St Valery where 800 men were taken prisoner. The battle of France was over. --Chris Buckland

Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not only Dunkirk and the 51st! 5 April 2010
Ignore the ignoramus' above. This is an excellent look at the Army in France after Dunkirk. Not only were 338,000 men evacuated from Dunkirk, 160,000 others were evacuated from the other ports and this is their story. It wasn't only about the 11,000 of the Highland Division, but much much more, and this book gives all equally good coverage. From the supply outfits to the catering corps, they were considered noncombatants at the beginning of the war, yet had to make their escape as best they could with the rest of the army.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor History 5 July 2009
I know its not a period of history the British Army or public are particularly proud of but after waiting weeks for this book to be published I have to say I've been mightily disappointed. For all its build up and promise to bring to life a critical chapter in the surrender of a famous Highland Division after Dunkirk it barely touches upon the story, assigning it to one small chapter near the end of the book.
Don't buy this book if you want any personal accounts or real life stories as its stuck in characterless garbage, concentrating on naming military units and their movements.
Such a shame as it promised well.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars shame 19 July 2009
All he's done is regurgitate (without acknowledgement or references) the stories told by Blaxland and Sebag-Montefiore. Worse, he doesn't even list them in the bibliography. I wouldn't waste my money
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