DUNKIRK: FIGHT TO THE LAST MAN
THE SEEDS OF THE DISASTER
Most of us know something about the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from the beaches and mole at Dunkirk. Less is known about what led up to the disaster. The seeds were sewn on 10 January 1940 when a German plane with Hitler’s attack plan on board crashed in Belgium. The pilot had been distracted by the fall out from his complicated love life.
It was this event which was to have a significant effect on what happened next. Realizing that, after reading the captured plan, the Allies would be expecting an attack through north-east Belgium, the Germans decided to make their main push further south, with a view to breaking through the French position at Sedan. The bulk of the French failure to anticipate this change of plan left them vulnerable to the attack, which duly broke through, thrust across France, and then turned northwards, thereby threatening to cut off the British Army, located in Belgium, from the coast.
They would have succeeded had it not been for the British battalions ordered to stand in their path whatever the cost. Many of these brave men failed to make it back to the beaches or the Dunkirk ‘mole’. Most were either killed or captured at their posts. They are the forgotten heroes of Dunkirk, and it is their valiant exploits which form the core of this book. Click here to return to book’s plot
To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Dunkirk, this special edition includes unabridged personal accounts of the following actions:
These accounts describe different aspects of the actions taken by the forgotten heroes of Dunkirk, the men who stayed behind to hold off the Germans while their comrades were evacuated from the mole and beaches. The first two accounts describe the last ditch rearguard actions to the south of Dunkirk, the third account describes what it was like on the Dunkirk perimeter as the Germans sought to cross into it, the fourth chronicles how one of the ‘forgotten heros’ made it back to Dunkirk, passing through German lines, while the last account profiles what it was like inside the hospital at Dunkirk which cared for the men who had fought to the last round if not the last man. Click here to return to Special 75th Anniversary edition’s home page
Click here to go to Dunkirk page 1
Click here to go to Dunkirk page 3