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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.).
*Includes pictures *Includes accounts of the fighting and evacuations written by soldiers on both sides *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents "The Navy, using nearly 1,100 ships of all kinds, carried over 335,000 men, French and British, out of the jaws of death and shame [...] We must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won byevacuations. But there was a victory inside this deliverance [...] we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills [...] until [...] the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old." - Winston Churchill, June 4, 1940 "Blitzkrieg" or "Lightning War" describes the Third Reich's invasion strategy during its 1940 conquest of France not only due to the speed of the Wehrmacht advance but also its devastating effect on its ill-prepared adversaries. Mired in the paralyzing muck of plodding staff college military doctrine and demoralized as a nation by their appalling losses during World War I, the French succumbed in a few weeks to German skill and vigor. Moreover, after being lured into Belgium by a large-scale German feint, the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and over a million French soldiers found themselves cut off by the main Wehrmacht thrust. Heinz Guderian and Irwin Rommel, among others, led their panzers on an 11-day dash from the Ardennes Forest to the coast, trapping vast numbers of Allied soldiers in Belgium and northeastern France. The surrender of more than 1,200,000 isolated troops followed, yet in the midst of this disaster, the Allies contrived one coup that took even the victorious Wehrmacht aback: the evacuation of over 300,000 soldiers from the port of Dunkirk. This escape, hailed as "miraculous" at the time, provided England with a solid defensive force, the French with the kernel of a "Free French" army for the future, and the Western Allies with an invaluable boost to their morale during one of the war's darkest moments. Hitler's Order of the Day on June 5th, 1940 placed no special emphasis on the end of the Dunkirk evacuation save as the milestone marking full German triumph in the north. While a leader never celebrates the successes of his enemies, the Fuhrer's terse commentary - and subsequent, very real expectations that the British would sue for peace and possibly even overthrow Churchill - suggest that he attached little significance to the BEF slipping through his fingers: "Soldiers of the West Front! Dunkirk has fallen... with it has ended the greatest battle of world history. Soldiers! My confidence in you knew no bounds. You have not disappointed me." With the clarity of historical hindsight, events proved Churchill correct. Operation Dynamo, as the British named the Dunkirk evacuation mission, bolstered British morale and defenses sufficiently to keep the "Sceptered Isle" in the war. This, in turn, led to the eventual entry of the United States, whose lethal air force, powerful navy, strategic successes, and massive Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union helped doom Adolf Hitler's "Thousand-Year Reich" to a ruinous end in 1945. The Miracle of Dunkirk: The History of the World War II Battle and Evacuation that Helped Save Britain from Nazi Germany chronicles the operations that saved over 300,000 Allied soldiers from being trapped. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Dunkirk like never before, in no time at all.
Full-length accounts of three decisive WWII events—Pearl Harbor, Midway, and the evacuation of Dunkirk—from a #1 New York Times–bestselling author. In May 1940, the remnants of the French and British armies, broken by Hitler’s blitzkrieg, retreated to the beach at Dunkirk. 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. The Miracle of Dunkirk is a striking history of a week when the fate of Britain—and the World—hung in the balance. On the morning of June 4, 1942, doom sailed on Midway. Hoping to put itself within striking distance of Hawaii and California, the Japanese navy planned an ambush that would obliterate the remnants of the American Pacific fleet. On paper, the Americans had no chance of winning. But because their code breakers knew what was coming, the American navy was able to prepare an ambush of its own. In Incredible Victory, Walter Lord recounts two days of savage battle, during which a small American fleet defied the odds and turned the tide of World War II. December 7, 1941, began as a quiet morning on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor. But as Japan’s deadly torpedoes suddenly rained down on the Pacific fleet, soldiers, generals, and civilians alike felt shock, then fear, and then rage. From the chaos, a thousand personal stories of courage emerged. Drawn from hundreds of interviews, letters, and diaries, Walter Lord’s Day of Infamy recounts the many tales of heroism and tragedy of those who experienced the attack firsthand. These three acclaimed war chronicles showcase Walter Lord at the top of his game as a narrative nonfiction master.
"For sixty years the dramatic story of the Dunkirk evacuation and the defeat of France -- the story of the German conquest of northwest Europe -- has been the focus of historical study and dispute, yet myths and misconceptions about this extraordinary event persist ... Reconstructing the campaign in graphic detail, from the capture of the Belgian fortress of Eben Emael to the French surrender, [Stewart] reconsiders the balance of the armed forces, the strategic and tactical thinking of each high command, and the state of preparedness and the morale of each army. In particular, he looks with a fresh perspective at the traditional explanations that have been put forward to explain the failure of the French ... He argues that German victory was won by effective application of classic military doctrine, and throughout he emphasizes the importance of the battlefield in shaping events"--Jacket.
The subject of the new major film by Christopher Nolan It could have been the biggest military disaster suffered by the British in the Second World War, but against all odds the British Army was successfully evacuated, and 'Dunkirk spirit' became synonymous with the strength of the British people in adversity. On the same day that Winston Churchill became Prime Minister, Nazi troops invaded Holland, Luxembourg and Belgium. The eight-month period of calm that had existed since the declaration of war was over. But the defences constructed by the Allies in preparation failed to repel a German army with superior tactics.The British Expeditionary Force soon found themselves in an increasingly chaotic retreat. By the end of May 1940, over 400,000 Allied troops were trapped in and around the port of Dunkirk without shelter or supplies. Hitler's army was just ten miles away. On 26 May, the British Admiralty launched Operation Dynamo. This famous rescue mission sent every available vessel - from navy destroyers and troopships to pleasure cruisers and fishing boats - over the Channel to Dunkirk. Of the 850 'Little Ships' that sailed to Dunkirk, 235 were sunk by German aircraft or mines, but over this nine day period 338,000 British and French troops were safely evacuated. Drawing on the wealth of material from the Imperial War Museum Sound Archive, Forgotten Voices of Dunkirk presents in the words of both rescued and rescuers in an intimate and dramatic account of what Winston Churchill described as a 'miracle of deliverance'.
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.
In 1940 Allied soldiers fled France as Nazi armies swept across the country. More than 300,000 soldiers escaped across the English Channel. Learn about the people and strategies behind the military campaign known as the "Miracle of Dunkirk."

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