In May 1940, the small British Expeditionary Force was sent to help the Belgians and French hold back the German army. When the Germans invaded, the BEF found themselves in mortal danger thanks to the collapse of the French army on one flank and the Belgian on another. Ill-equipped and under-trained, they nevertheless fought hard for three weeks, conducting a successful fighting withdrawal in the face of a formidable foe.
Drawing on previously unpublished and rare material, Julian Thompson recreates the action from the misunderstandings between the British and French generals to the experiences of the ordinary soldier. He describes the fighting inland and takes us onto Dunkirk harbour and the beaches as the Royal Navy raced against time to bring the British soldiers home.
A masterly work of military history, Dunkirk: Retreat to Victory is also a tribute to the soldiers whose courage and self belief sustained them through their darkest hours.