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The Real Miracle of Dunkirk,
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This review is from: Forgotten Voices of Dunkirk (Paperback)
I have read several of the Forgotten Voices series but this was the best one yet. Some of the more general ones are hard to follow as they cover such a wide range of different people over several years in different theatres of war. This book however seems much more focused, describing the start of the war from the initial "Phoney War" to the German Invasion of France and the evacuation at Dunkirk.
Each chapter begins with an introduction describing events, before giving the personal accounts of those involved. You get a very good impression of the shock of the ordinary soldiers as the German army completely outflanked the British defences. Accounts are given by soldiers of varying ranks from several different regiments, and it builds up a full picture of the chaos that ensued and the bravery of the individuals. Very notably it does not forget those soldiers who fought in the rear guard or those who were left in France after Dunkirk.
It's worth noting that the book focuses almost entirely on the British army, and there are only a couple of quotes from French and German soldiers. In comparison to the French army the British Expeditionary Force was tiny, so this book does not give the full story of the Battle for France. However if you are interested in the role of the BEF in France in 1940 this is the best account I have read.
Dunkirk was a defeat but it has become part of the British psyche due to the spirit and determination of those involved. This book is an excellent tribute to all those who took part and saw that Britain had the strength to resist and eventually defeat Hitler in the years that followed.