A valuable addition to the popular Battleground series that provides a lavishly illustrated guide to a European battleground. This new guide covers the France and Flanders Campaign of 1940. The primary target readership will again be those intending to visit the battleground, but the range of information is also very applicable to any reader with an interest in WWII and the Battle of France. Much Recommended.
NAME: Battleground Dunkirk, Battle for the Escaut 1940, The France and Flanders Campaign FILE: R2409 AUTHOR: Jerry Murland PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: soft back PAGES: 162 PRICE: £12.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War 1I, World War Two, Second World War, tanks, AFV, German Army, BEF, retreat, rearguard, evacuation ISBN: 1-47385-261-7 IMAGE: B2409.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/h5bb88b LINKS: Current Discount Offers http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/sale DESCRIPTION: A valuable addition to the popular Battleground series that provides a lavishly illustrated guide to a European battleground. This new guide covers the France and Flanders Campaign of 1940. The primary target readership will again be those intending to visit the battleground, but the range of information is also very applicable to any reader with an interest in WWII and the Battle of France. Much Recommended. The Battleground Series of books are designed to be pocket-able. This is important for anyone visiting the battleground covered by the guide because this is a book to read before the trip and then carry through the trip. It provides illustrations in the form of maps and photographs to help the reader navigate the battleground and identify the important geographic elements. The text provides a very good overview of the fighting, placing it in the context of the terrain. This is equally information for anyone wishing to gain a stronger insight without visiting the area. For those that do make the pilgrimage, there are a series of recommended walks and details of available tours. This makes the book a very valuable pocket guide to gain the maximum from a visit to the battleground. The evacuation from the Dunkirk beaches of most of the BEF, and large numbers of French soldiers, has always drawn the attention of historians and readers, largely ignoring the heroic efforts to delay the German advance and make the evacuation possible. The Dunkirk evacuations, and the actions leading up to it, cannot be described as a victory because the BEF had to give up the French ground they had been holding and withdraw without most of their equipment. However, all of these actions can be described as heroic against overwhelming odds and a triumph of adaptability and ingenuity. The BEF was never adequately sized to withstand the German onslaught and its deployment within the French defence line was seriously flawed. By failing to extend the Maginot Line to the coast, the French had left a very vulnerable section of the defence line. As some British and French officers had warned before and during the Battle of France, the Belgian defences were strong in theory but vulnerable in practice, particularly to flanking attacks and airborne assault. The Ardennes were also not an impenetrable barrier to the German mechanised armies. So it proved, and the main weight of the German invasion was through Belgium, including armoured units moving en mass through the Ardennes. That placed a disproportionate weight on the BEF and made withdrawal or surrender the most likely outcomes. The campaign set out in this battlefield guide is a very important lesson that is important down through the decades. The BEF was inadequately sized and equipped because so too was the British Army and the RAF from which its resources were drawn and this was due to the politicians spending 'peace dividends' that never existed and appeasing a potential enemy who demonstrated at every stage its greed and desire to wage war. As before and since, appeasement always provides only a delay to the inevitable conflict and it makes that conflict more likely because it encourages the potential enemy in the belief that the democratic nations are weak and will provide a very easy victory. For Great Britain, it also demonstrates that the only countries to come quickly to the fight are those of the Commonwealth, to be followed by the USA. For those prepared to read the story, it also shows how the British may suffer reverses because their politicians have let them down, but they are resilient and eventually triumph. In the process, ordinary citizens flock to the Colours and perform incredible acts of courage in the face of a stronger enemy. We shall remember them, with the help of guides like these and by visiting the battleground.