A worthy addition to a brilliant series of battleground guides which is becoming a highly successful series of guides. The defeat of the Allies in the Battle of France and the amazing and courageous success of evacuating over 300,000 British and French troops from the exposed beaches of Dunkirk may explain why the battles that made the Dunkirk evacuation possible have long deserved better coverage. – Most Highly Recommended.
NAME: Battleground Dunkirk, The Battle of the Ypres-Comines Canal 1940, France and Flanders Campaign FILE: R3142 AUTHOR: Jerry Murland PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: soft back PRICE: £12.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, World War Two, Second World War, Battle of France, Flanders, Dunkirk, Ypres-Comines Canal, 1940, BEF, rear guard, Dunkirk evacuation ISBN: 1-47385-257-9 PAGES: 154 IMAGE: B3142.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/thmao7y DESCRIPTION: A worthy addition to a brilliant series of battleground guides which is becoming a highly successful series of guides. The defeat of the Allies in the Battle of France and the amazing and courageous success of evacuating over 300,000 British and French troops from the exposed beaches of Dunkirk may explain why the battles that made the Dunkirk evacuation possible have long deserved better coverage. – Most Highly Recommended. The critical battles, that provided the rear guard to allow British and French troops to escape through Dunkirk, of WWII were fought over the same ground that has become famous as the places where courage flowered in the terrible conditions of WWI. The author began his experience of the battlegrounds in following the footsteps of his grandfather during WWI. As his unique knowledge and experience developed he began to look at what happened over the same ground in WWII, following the pattern of conflict through the Low Countries and North Western France for centuries. Many myths have developed around the early battles of WWII. The widespread view is that, after a period of Phony War when Hitler thought Britain and France would think again and begin peace negotiations, the German Army and Luftwaffe swept through France to victory with the greatest of speed and convincingly defeated the Allies. At that point Hitler was convinced that Britain would follow France in surrender without firing any more shots. The reality was that the Battle of Britain began as the BEF and French units fell back on Dunkirk. Had the Germans managed to capture all of the French and British soldiers, the outcome of WWII might have been different. The act of evacuating very large numbers of troops from under the noses of the Germans was a victory in that the Royal Navy and its civilian volunteers succeeded dramatically in achieving all the objectives of their Battle of Dunkirk, one of the few battles through history where the soldiers that left the field of battle actually won. At Arras, the British tanks demonstrated their technical superiority over the Germans and showed what could have been achieved had there been adequate air support and tanks deployed in force with supporting infantry and artillery from the beginning of the German invasion of Belgium and France. The Germans certainly did appreciate that and Arras sent shivers running through them. The Wehrmacht was deeply shaken by Arras. At the Ypres-Comines Canal and all of the steps back towards the Dunkirk perimeter, the British rear guard fought with courage and distinction. Those who escaped from Dunkirk owed their freedom to the rear guard and Britain owed the eventual victory in Europe to these brave men, many of whom were raw volunteers and reserves. There had not been a similarly inspiring retreat and evacuation since the Napoleonic Wars when Generalleutnant Graf von Hohenlau broke through the French encirclement and fought his way to the Baltic coast where the Royal Navy, Britain was not an ally of Prussia at the time, helped evacuate the Prussian troops from the beaches. The author has provided a well illustrated guide that is pocketable and will serve those who visit the battleground on their own. It will equally make a visit more productive for those joining a guided party and help military history enthusiasts who may not visit the battleground to gain a better understanding of the whole campaign in France.