The rescue of 338,000 British troops from the beaches at Dunkirk is one of the most emotive subjects of the Second World War - a defeat that was turned into a victory in a uniquely British way. In May 1940, the small British Expeditionary Force was sent to help the Belgians and French against the advancing German army. Ill-equipped and under-trained, they conducted a fighting withdrawal in the face of the formidable German army. Churchill feared that nearly all of the BEF would be killed or captured, but most were rescued. Five VCs were awarded to the BEF for the campaign.
Drawing on previously unpublished and rare material, General Julian Thompson recreates the action from the misunderstandings between the British and French generals, which resonate to this day, to the experiences of the ordinary soldier. Unlike other books on the subject he gives full weight to the fighting inland as the BEF found itself in mortal danger thanks to the collapse of the Belgian army on one flank and the failure of the French on the other, and corrects popular myths about the evacuation. Dunkirk is both a masterly work of military history and a gripping story of British heroism.