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on 22 September 2017
This is a first class detailed account of the BEF from start to finish warts and all..leaving you sometimes In tears as the horrors and heroism were explained in painfully graphic detail..For the historian or like me a son who had a Father there or someone who just wants to learn exactly what happened, this book is a must, without exception one of the most informative BEF France to Dunkirk books there is.
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on 20 September 2017
Much has been written about the evacuation, but little about those in the rearguard who made it possible or those who were were evacuated subsequently from elsewhere. Hugh Sebag- Montefiore fills the gap skilfully. The book is very detailed, and is primarily for the military historian - amateur or professional.
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on 14 September 2017
Bought for my anorak husbands birthday - he said it was a great read and good precursor to the film.
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on 19 September 2017
There is always something new to learn and Hugh, as is his style. does provide lots of personalised background in an easy readable prose. Like all books with wartime maps the scale of kindle makes perusal a chore rather than an informative pleasure. Nonetheless a good read
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on 23 September 2017
Not finished reading as yet . good so far.
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on 26 September 2017
Brilliant book!
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on 17 September 2017
Good reading
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on 19 August 2017
Everybody is familiar with the Dunkirk evacuation and there's a tendency to see the whole thing as an ignominious defeat, with the British forces effectively running away from the German invasion. However this book details the preceding battles and brave rearguard actions that were mounted to enable the withdrawal to take place at all, without which the D-Day invasion and liberation four years later would not have been possible. Great numbers of troops sacrificed themselves to allow others to escape, which this book recognises and details. The information has evidently been drawn from a multitude of different sources and accounts, both official and personal, all of which are acknowledged, and piecing it all together to make a coherent narrative must have been a gigantic task.
Some pertinent information relegated to the separate notes would have been better included in the main text. Other notes only refer to the source of the particular piece of information, but the reader can never be sure whether it is worth referring to the notes or not - and there are hundreds of them.
Also, if you buy the kindle edition, the plentiful maps that are referred to in the text are pretty much illegible, which rather spoils things. Buy the paper version instead: I would only give the kindle version three stars because of this, but that would be unfair to the book proper, which is an interesting and frequently poignant account of the events surrounding the evacuation and definitely worth reading.
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on 1 August 2015
A very well written clear account of a very harrowing time for our soldiers which sticks to the facts and reveals a good deal of the action behind the scenes by the Generals and Politicians.

As a young schoolboy living in Ramsgate at the time I remember seeing the long columns of soldiers marching through the town up to the station and of stepping over lines of wounded on stretchers to get to my train to be evacuated.
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on 2 August 2017
As the sub-title of this book suggests, it is not so much about the evacuation from Dunkirk as about those units of the British Expeditionary Force that were ordered (and succeeded) in holding up the German forces just long enough for the evacuation to succeed. A number of British infantry battalions did indeed fight to the last man and were practically wiped out. The word “heroic” seems too weak to describe these men. Some British prisoners were massacred by SS units, although not by troops of the regular German army.

This book is very detailed, with numerous personal, eyewitness accounts of the fighting. These are graphic and moving, with descriptions of horrific wounds and also the effect of sheer fatigue (tiredness, not “battle-fatigue”) on many officers which reduced their ability to command and lead their men.

However, I found it difficult to get an overall picture of the campaign and the strategic movement of the units of the BEF and the French, Belgian and German units. The book is very long (nearly 700 pages of text plus Bibliography and Index) and there are extensive notes on the author’s website. While that seems in keeping with this age of electronic media, I am inclined to think that the publisher should have gone for a two-volume book.
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