Battleground Dunkirk, Battle for the Escaut 1940, The France and Flanders Campaign

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.

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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.