May 1940. Sergeant Jack Tanner has been posted to a training company on the south-east coast of England. But all is not well in the camp. The mysterious death of two Polish refugees leads Tanner to believe there has been foul play. When he and his corporal, Stan Sykes, are nearly killed, Tanner finds his suspicions directed at an old comrade from his early days in the army. As the Germans launch their Blitzkrieg in Europe, training is abandoned and the entire company are sent to join the battle to stop Hitlers drive across the Low Countries. Almost immediately, they are thrust into the thick of the action and cut off from the rest of the battalion.Trapped behind the enemy advance, Tanner must use all his ingenuity to get his men back to Allied lines. Soon enmeshed in the long withdrawal to the French coast, Tanner, Sykes and his new platoon commander, Lieutenant John Peploe, find themselves pitted against not only the die-hard Nazis of the SS Deaths Head Division but also the great panzer commander himself, General Rommel. Even then, in the chaos of retreat, Tanner must deal with the corrosive treachery bubbling within the companys ranks and an enemy more deadly than the Germans if he and his men are to have any hope of surviving the mayhem of Dunkirk . . .
James Holland was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, and studied history at Durham University. A member of the British Commission for Military History and the Guild of Battlefield Guides, he also regularly contributes reviews and articles in national newspapers and magazines and appears on national radio. His many books include Fortress Malta, Italy's Sorrow, The Battle of Britain and his fictional WW2 series featuring Sergeant Jack Tanner.
His interviews with veterans of the Second World War are available at the Imperial War Museum and are also archived on www.secondworldwarforum.com. He lives near Salisbury with his wife, son and daughter.