Author: Tim Lynch
Release Date: 2017-07-01
In May 1940 disaster befell the BEF. They were isolated from the rest of the fighting forces - alone and encircled by large numbers of enemy troops. All could have been lost were it not for an order for the German land forces to halt briefly. Taking an opportunity while it was available, the British forces fled for the beaches of Dunkirk and fortified them while Churchill scrambled together any seaworthy vessel available to rescue his troops from the jaws of death. In all 900 vessels rescued over 300,000 men, while 40,000 brave rearguard troops lost their lives or their freedom for the good of their allies. Operation Dynamo, and its rescues from beaches and harbour, has gone down in history as a victory from certain defeat. Here Tim Lynch presents the true story of this miraculous event using stunning, rare images from the Mirrorpix archive.
THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER THE EPIC TRUE STORY OF DUNKIRK - NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHER NOLAN, AND STARRING KENNETH BRANAGH, TOM HARDY, AND MARK RYLANCE. In 1940, at the French port of Dunkirk, more than 300,000 trapped Allied troops were dramatically rescued from destruction at the hands of Nazi Germany by an extraordinary seaborne evacuation. The true history of the soldiers, sailors, airmen and civilians involved in the nine-day skirmish has passed into legend. Now, the story Winston Churchill described as a 'miracle' is narrated by bestselling author Joshua Levine in its full, sweeping context, including new interviews with veterans and survivors. Told from the viewpoints of land, sea and air, Joshua Levine's Dunkirk is a dramatic account of a defeat that paved the way to ultimate victory and preserved liberty for generations to come.
Author: Martin Mace
Publisher: Frontline Books
Release Date: 2018-04-19
At 18.57 hours on Sunday, 26 May 1940, the Admiralty issued the directive which instigated the start of Operation Dynamo. This was the order to rescue the British Expeditionary Force from the French port of Dunkirk and the beaches surrounding it. The Admiralty believed that it would only be able to rescue 45,000 men over the course of the following two days, 'at the end of which', read the signal to Admiral Ramsey at Dover, 'it was probable that evacuation would be terminated by enemy action'. The Admiralty, however, was wrong. Between 26 May and 4 June 1940, when Dynamo officially ended, an armada of ships, big and small, naval and civilian achieved what had been considered impossible. In fact, in this period a total of 338,682 men had been disembarked at British ports. Such a figure has exceeded the expectations of most. Little wonder, therefore, that an editorial in The New York Times at the beginning of June declared, 'So long as the English tongue survives, the word Dunkirk will be spoken with reverence'. Through 100 objects, from the wreck of a ship through to a dug-up rifle, and individual photographs to large memorials, all of which represent a moving snapshot of the past, the author sets out to tell the story of what came to be known as The Miracle of Dunkirk. The full-color photographs of each 100 items are accompanied by detailed explanations of the object and the people and events which make them so special or relevant.
Author: Sean Longden
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release Date: 2009-06-01
At 2am on the morning of the 3rd of June 1940, General Harold Alexander searched along the quayside, holding onto his megaphone and called "Is anyone there? Is anyone there?" before turning his boat back towards England. Tradition tells us that the dramatic events of the evacuation of Dunkirk, in which 300,000 BEF servicemen escaped the Nazis, was a victory gained from the jaws of defeat. For the first time, rather than telling the tale of the 300,000 who escaped, Sean Longden reveals the story of the 40,000 men sacrificed in the rearguard battles. On the beaches and sand dunes, besides the roads and amidst the ruins lay the corpses of hundreds who had not reached the boats. Elsewhere, hospitals full of the sick and wounded who had been left behind to receive treatment from the enemy's doctors. And further afield - still fighting hard alongside their French allies - was the entire 51st Highland Division, whose war had not finished as the last boats slipped away. Also scattered across the countryside were hundreds of lost and lonely soldiers. These 'evaders' had also missed the boats and were now desperately trying to make their own way home, either by walking across France or rowing across the channel. The majority, however, were now prisoners of war who were forced to walk on the death marches all the way to the camps in Germany and Poland, where they were forgotten until 1945.
Author: James Mottram
Publisher: Insight Editions
Release Date: 2017-07-18
A behind-the-scenes look at director Christopher Nolan’s gripping action-thriller Dunkirk, which brings to life one of World War II’s most pivotal events. Set during World War II, director Christopher Nolan’s (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Interstellar) much-anticipated new film tells the story of the evacuation of British troops from Dunkirk, France, in a daring endeavor that saved them from certain defeat at the hands of enemy forces. Featuring a stunning ensemble cast that includes newcomers Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, and Harry Styles, as well as acclaimed actors Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, and Tom Hardy, Dunkirk offers a breathtaking glimpse at a turning point in the conflict determined by not only the ingenuity of the British forces but also the bravery of British civilians who sailed into war-torn waters to save them. The Making of Dunkirk tells the incredible story of how Nolan brought this pivotal moment in World War II to life on the screen using innovative film-making techniques that give the film a gritty, exhilarating realism rarely seen in modern cinema. Featuring interviews with the director and key department heads and filled with never-before-seen imagery from the shoot, plus concept art, storyboards, and other amazing visuals, The Making of Dunkirk is the ultimate insider’s look at one of the most anticipated films of 2017.
In May 1940, following the rapid advance of German troops through Holland, Belgium and France, the British Expeditionary Force and French army retreated to Dunkirk. Operation Dynamo was instigated in an attempt to rescue as many of them as possible. With the harbour at Dunkirk severely damaged, much of the evacuation would have to take place from the beaches; only small, shallow-draught boats could do this. After appealing to boatyards, yacht clubs and yachtsmen throughout the south east of England, the Admiralty managed to round up around 700 small craft which, along with 200 military vessels, were able to rescue an astonishing 338,226 troops over nine days. In 1965, forty-three vessels which had taken part in the evacuation commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary by crossing from Ramsgate to Dunkirk, and the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships was formed soon afterwards. A further fifty years on, over 120 Little Ships are still in commission and it is thought that hundreds of others may still survive. This is their story.
Author: Joshua Levine
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2010
"It was almost the biggest military disaster for the British of World War II, but instead, the mass evacuation of Dunkirk became an inspiration, and the 'Dunkirk spirit' became synonymous with the strength of the British people in adversity. At the end of May 1940, over 400,000 British troops were trapped in the tiny area around the port of Dunkirk without shelter or supplies. Hitler's tanks were just 10 miles away. But on 26 May, the British Admiralty launched Operation Dynamo. This now famous rescue mission sent vast numbers of ordinary boats from fishing boats to pleasure cruisers, tiny tugs and lifeboats, to barges and navy destroyers over the channel to Dunkirk. It was the smaller boats who picked up soldiers from the shallow beaches and transported them to the destroyers and transport ships, while avoiding minefields and all the time under attack from German bombers. Of the 850 vessels that sailed to Dunkirk, 235 were lost. The soldiers were packed onto the ships like sardines, but when they arrived on the shores of Dover, Ramsgate and Margate they were greeted as heroes. More than 68,000 men died at Dunkirk, but over this nine day period 338,000 were safely evacuat
Author: Jeff Haward MM
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Release Date: 2015-04-30
Fighting Hitler From Dunkirk to D-Day is the compelling story of a man belonging to a group of which there are now very few survivors. Jeff Haward MM is a pre-war Territorial Army soldier who enlisted merely for something to do in the evenings. Consequently, he fought throughout the entirety of the Second World War. Jeff is a 'Die Hard', the historic name given to men of the famous Middlesex Regiment. He joined the 1/7th Battalion, a machine-gun battalion, equipped with the British Army's iconic Vickers medium machine gun.??Following evacuation from Dunkirk, the 1/7th, while refitting and re-equipping, carried out coastal defence duties in preparation for the German invasion. So desperate was the situation that on sentry duty, the one rifle per section had to be handed to the next sentry, along with the only ammunition available three rounds!??In 1941, they were attached to the famous 51st Highland Division. The less than enthusiastic welcome from the Jocks gradually evolved into respect following the Middlesex's performance at El Alamein and the subsequent campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, Normandy and North West Europe.??Following the Reichswald battle, in March 1945, Jeff was surprised to hear that he had been awarded the Military Medal for bravery and was subsequently awarded the ribbon by none other than Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery.??Jeff Haward's experiences, those of a normal soldier, make fascinating reading and throw new light on the use of such Vickers gun battalions during the war.
Author: David Boyle
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: 2017-05-30
Genre: Dunkirk, Battle of, Dunkerque, France, 1940
Dunkirk has gone into British history as a myth, with its patient queuing on the beaches, its ferry boats and stew in cocktail glasses. We have forgotten the blood, thirst and desperation, and the extraordinary feat of organisation. This day-by-day account puts the story back in context. It records those crucial nine days in summer, looking not just at the beaches, the rearguard, the naval operation and the little ships, but at what was happening in the military headquarters, in the cabinets in London and Paris, and how people felt at the time about what was taking place - events that were to change Europe and the UK forever. It reveals not just a miracle, but an amazing feat of administration and endurance, that made the reputation of one man in particular - Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay.
Author: Walter Lord
Publisher: Open Road Media
Release Date: 2012-03-06
The true story of the World War II evacuation portrayed in the Christopher Nolan film Dunkirk, by the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Day of Infamy. In May 1940, the remnants of the French and British armies, broken by Hitler’s blitzkrieg, retreated to Dunkirk. Hemmed in by overwhelming Nazi strength, the 338,000 men gathered on the beach were all that stood between Hitler and Western Europe. Crush them, and the path to Paris and London was clear. Unable to retreat any farther, the Allied soldiers set up defense positions and prayed for deliverance. Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered an evacuation on May 26, expecting to save no more than a handful of his men. But Britain would not let its soldiers down. Hundreds of fishing boats, pleasure yachts, and commercial vessels streamed into the Channel to back up the Royal Navy, and in a week nearly the entire army was ferried safely back to England. Based on interviews with hundreds of survivors and told by “a master narrator,” The Miracle of Dunkirk is a striking history of a week when the outcome of World War II hung in the balance (Arthur Schlesinger Jr.).
Author: Gregory Blaxland
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Release Date: 2018-11-19
Genre: Dunkirk, Battle of, Dunkerque, France, 1940
It is a peculiar genius of the British to be able to turn a devastating defeat into something to be celebrated. Dunkirk is but the most recent example; militarily, the only redeeming feature was that it was not a catastrophe. The largely successful evacuation of thousands of British (and, let it not be forgotten, French) soldiers, albeit minus most of their equipment, now occupies a well-established place in British historical memory. The outcome of the ignominious end of Britain's expeditionary army was soon transformed into a celebration of the 'Dunkirk Spirit'; the Blitz of the following months reinforced the idea that Britain alone was prepared to stand up to the forces that threatened the democratic world. Originally published in 1973, this welcome reprint of Gregory Blaxland's beautifully narrated account of the campaign in France and Flanders is combined with an adept use of the wealth of memoirs and regimental histories that emerged in the decades after the war's end. It has the advantage that it is written by one who served in the campaign, admittedly as a very junior officer, and was himself evacuated from the beaches of the Dunkirk perimeter. Popular memory concentrates on the evacuation; but there were several weeks of desperate fighting that preceded the final evacuation from Nantes and St Nazaire on 18 June. These engagements, fought amongst the confusion of coalition warfare and often suffering from lamentably poor communications, produced many heroes, of whom too many are nameless. Valuable time was bought that enabled the Dunkirk perimeter to be established. The fact that well over half a million allied soldiers were brought over to England is in itself a tribute to their tenacity. This is their story.