Images of War, Dunkirk Evacuation Operation Dynamo, Nine Days That Saved An Army

The Images of War series under the frontline imprint nicely compliments the similar series under the Pen & Sword imprint and is proving very popular. This book comprises clear and well-researched text, with a selection of impressive images– Very Highly Recommended.

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NAME:   Images of War, Dunkirk Evacuation Operation Dynamo, Nine Days That 
Saved An Army
FILE: R3206
AUTHOR: John Grehan, Alexander Nicoll
PUBLISHER: frontline books, Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PRICE: £15.99                                                               
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT:   World War II, World War 2, World War Two, WWII, Second, Battle of 
France, Little Ships, Beach Evacuation, BEF, heavy equipment, French soldiers, 
Royal Navy, RN, FAA, RAF, Luftwaffe.

ISBN: 1-52674-795-2

PAGES: 166
IMAGE: B3206.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y4k7krq8
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The Images of War series under the frontline imprint nicely 
compliments the similar series under the Pen & Sword imprint and is proving very 
popular. This book comprises clear and well-researched text, with a selection 
of impressive images– Very Highly Recommended.


The Dunkirk Evacuation is a controversial event within WWII. It has become fashionable recently to snear at the British success in lifting most of the BEF troops, and numbers of French troops, from under the noses of the Germans. At the time, the evacuation was greeted with a national sigh of relief and a determination to fight on. Looked at dispassionately, Operation Dynamo was a considerable victory at the end of the allied defeat in the Battle of France. It was a triumph for the Royal Navy and also a costly battle in terms of destroyers and aircraft.

The focus has been on the evacuation from the port of Dunkirk and from the open beaches outside the town. The concentration of attention has been on the evacuation of the BEF, largely ignoring the successful evacuation of many French troops. Little attention has been paid to the determined and courageous rear guard who fought on until everyone else had safely evacuated, before becoming POWs for the rest of the war. There has also been little attention paid to the air battles and a general acceptance by many that the RAF neglected the Army. In fact, the RAF fought hard but the main air activity was in defence of the rear guard beyond sight of troops waiting on the exposed beaches. In the air battles, the RAF and FAA aircraft were also blocking German aircraft that were heading to attack the soldiers on the beaches. The authors have included images of wrecked aircraft that had been providing cover. Losses of aircraft were heavy and the FAA Skua Squadron that was committed as dive bombers and occasional fighters was virtually eliminated. The Little Ships have become legend and many have survived to return in commemoration.

The images are powerful but in the turmoil of a hard fought battle, many scenes escaped capture on film. The Little Boats included a diverse collection of craft pressed into RN service, many were leisure and pleasure boats, crewed by their civilian owners. MTB102, a private venture Vosper torpedo boat purchased by the Admiralty and the fastest boat in the Navy, was being used to develop tactics for the hundreds of similar vessels that were to prove so valuable through the war in all waters. Her skipper ‘fiddled’ orders to enable him to cross to Dunkirk ‘to see if he could be useful’. MTB102 was one of several vessels and aircraft that went across on the same motivation, not all of them under orders. As the evacuation progressed, the cost in destroyers was heavy. Admiral Wake Walker, commanding at Dunkirk, had a number of vessels sunk under him. The last destroyer to carry his Flag was HMS Keith and, as it was hit and sinking, he signalled MTB102 to come alongside and transferred his Flag to the 68ft boat. MTB 102 continued as Flagship to the end of the evacuation and during the period survived a 500 lb bomb detonating 3ft from the transom, giving an indication of the intensity of the battle