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Dunkirk : fight to the last man / Hugh Sebag-Montefiore.

By: Sebag-Montefiore, Hugh.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Penguin Books Ltd : [distributor] Penguin Books Ltd : [distributor] United Book Distributors : [distributor] United Book Distributors : [distributor] Pearson Holdings South Africa (PHSA) : [distributor] Penguin USA, 2015Description: 672 pages : black and white, 24p. inset ; 20x13x4 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780241972267 (pbk.) :; 0241972264 (pbk.) :.Subject(s): Dougherty, Martin J. Modern warfare -- France -- c 1940 to c 1949 -- 20th century, c 1900 to c 1999 | Battles & campaigns -- France -- c 1940 to c 1949 -- 20th century, c 1900 to c 1999 | Dunkirk, Battle of, Dunkerque, France, 1940 | Second World War -- c 1939 to c 1945 (including WW2) -- France | Battles & campaigns -- c 1939 to c 1945 (including WW2) -- France | European history -- c 1939 to c 1945 (including WW2) -- France | 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000 -- c 1939 to c 1945 (including WW2) -- France | Warfare and Defence | Second World War -- France -- c 1940 to c 1949 -- 20th century, c 1900 to c 1999 | European history -- France -- c 1940 to c 1949 -- 20th century, c 1900 to c 1999DDC classification: 941.5421428 Summary: Tells the story of the rescue in May 1940 of British soldiers fleeing capture and defeat by the Nazis at Dunkirk. This is a special 75th Anniversary Edition. Hugh Sebag-Montefiore's Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man tells the story of the rescue in May 1940 of British soldiers fleeing capture and defeat by the Nazis at Dunkirk. Dunkirk was not just about what happened at sea and on the beaches. The evacuation would never have succeeded had it not been for the tenacity of the British soldiers who stayed behind to ensure they got away. Men like Sergeant Major Gus Jennings who died smothering a German stick bomb in the church at Esquelbecq in an effort to save his comrades, and Captain Marcus Ervine-Andrews VC who single-handedly held back a German attack on the Dunkirk perimeter thereby allowing the British line to form up behind him. Told to stand and fight to the last man, these brave few battalions fought in whatever manner they could to buy precious time for the evacuation. Outnumbered and outgunned, they launched spectacular and heroic attacks time and again, despite ferocious fighting and the knowledge that for many only capture or death would end their struggle. "A searing story...both meticulous military history and a deeply moving testimony to the extraordinary personal bravery of individual soldiers. " (Tim Gardam, The Times). "Sebag-Montefiore tells [the story] with gusto, a remarkable attention to detail and an inexhaustible appetite for tracking down the evidence." (Richard Ovary, Telegraph). Hugh Sebag-Montefiore was a barrister before becoming a journalist and then an author. He wrote the best-selling Enigma: The Battle for the Code. One of his ancestors was evacuated from Dunkirk.Review: A searing story ... both meticulous military history and a deeply moving testimony to the extraordinary personal bravery of individual soldiers -- Tim Gardam The Times Sebag-Montefiore tells [the story] with gusto, a remarkable attention to detail and an inexhaustible appetite for tracking down the evidence -- Richard Overy Telegraph Several fine books have been written about "the miracle of Dunkirk", but none better than this -- Andrew Roberts Mail on Sunday.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

This 75th Anniversary edition reveals for the first time five unabridged personal accounts describing what it was really like in the front line in and around Dunkirk. Rescuing the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk was not just about what happened at sea and on the beaches . . . At the end of May 1940, the German panzer divisions, which had bludgeoned their way through France, halted at the canal line south of Dunkirk. Three days later they advanced again intending to encircle and capture half a million soldiers, many of them British. They would have succeeded had it not been for the heroic British soldiers who stood in their path. Their job was to shield the corridor down which the rest of the Army was retreating to Dunkirk; they were not to give way until they had fired their last bullets. They were to fight to the last man. 'Several fine books have been written about 'the miracle of Dunkirk', but none better than this.' Andrew Roberts, Mail on Sunday 'A searing story. A meticulous military history and a deeply moving testimony to the extraordinary bravery of individual soldiers.' Tim Gardam, The Times 'Sebag-Montefiore tells it with gusto, a remarkable attention to detail and an inexhaustible appetite for tracking down the evidence. The sense of confusion, anxiety, uncertainty and intrepid courage which characterized this disastrous campaign is captured more successfully than in any other existing account.' Richard Overy, Daily Telegraph

Paperback.

Tells the story of the rescue in May 1940 of British soldiers fleeing capture and defeat by the Nazis at Dunkirk. This is a special 75th Anniversary Edition. Hugh Sebag-Montefiore's Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man tells the story of the rescue in May 1940 of British soldiers fleeing capture and defeat by the Nazis at Dunkirk. Dunkirk was not just about what happened at sea and on the beaches. The evacuation would never have succeeded had it not been for the tenacity of the British soldiers who stayed behind to ensure they got away. Men like Sergeant Major Gus Jennings who died smothering a German stick bomb in the church at Esquelbecq in an effort to save his comrades, and Captain Marcus Ervine-Andrews VC who single-handedly held back a German attack on the Dunkirk perimeter thereby allowing the British line to form up behind him. Told to stand and fight to the last man, these brave few battalions fought in whatever manner they could to buy precious time for the evacuation. Outnumbered and outgunned, they launched spectacular and heroic attacks time and again, despite ferocious fighting and the knowledge that for many only capture or death would end their struggle. "A searing story...both meticulous military history and a deeply moving testimony to the extraordinary personal bravery of individual soldiers. " (Tim Gardam, The Times). "Sebag-Montefiore tells [the story] with gusto, a remarkable attention to detail and an inexhaustible appetite for tracking down the evidence." (Richard Ovary, Telegraph). Hugh Sebag-Montefiore was a barrister before becoming a journalist and then an author. He wrote the best-selling Enigma: The Battle for the Code. One of his ancestors was evacuated from Dunkirk.

A searing story ... both meticulous military history and a deeply moving testimony to the extraordinary personal bravery of individual soldiers -- Tim Gardam The Times Sebag-Montefiore tells [the story] with gusto, a remarkable attention to detail and an inexhaustible appetite for tracking down the evidence -- Richard Overy Telegraph Several fine books have been written about "the miracle of Dunkirk", but none better than this -- Andrew Roberts Mail on Sunday.

Hugh Sebag-Montefiore was a barrister before becoming a journalist and then an author; he wrote the best-selling Enigma: The Battle for the Code. One of his ancestors was evacuated from Dunkirk.

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Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In 1940, Germany's Army Group A succeeded in breaking through the French defenses in the Ardennes. The German armored and motorized columns rapidly outflanked the French lines and in days reached the English Channel. An Anglo-French army sent to defend Belgium from a German invasion found itself cut off, its only alternative to surrender being evacuation by sea. This campaign and the subsequent evacuation of much of the Anglo-French force from Dunkirk have been described many times before. Few accounts, however, supply details of the determined defense of the corridor through which the trapped army retreated. Journalist Sebag-Montefiore's (Enigma: The Battle for the Code) book falls into that category and therefore fills an important gap. The author uses a wide variety of new or little-used primary sources, including personal interviews, official reports, and soldiers' unpublished accounts. He ably marshals these sources to create a vivid and gripping description of engagements in which British units, against overwhelming odds, held their positions for precious hours so their comrades could be brought to safety. Suitable for public and graduate libraries.--Richard Fraser, archivist, formerly with the Coll. of Physicians, Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Review

Sebag-Montefiore (Enigma: The Battle for the Code) exploits a gap in the voluminous Dunkirk historiography for this first-rate account of the British troops that stayed behind to protect one of history's most dramatic and timely rescues. The German blitzkrieg that swept into Western Europe in May 1940 trapped the main body of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in Belgium and scattered the demoralized French army. Cut off and with their backs to the sea, the BEF miraculously slipped the German noose and made it to Dunkirk where they were evacuated. Eschewing the traditional focus on the Royal Navy and the flotilla of private vessels that rescued the BEF, the author tells the story of "the forgotten heroes" who fought "until their ammunition ran out" to cover their comrades' retreat. Against daunting odds, they undertook countless "suicide missions... to keep the corridor to Dunkirk open." And, while "[h]ardly any... made it back to the beaches," their sacrifice saved the BEF. By the time the last ship left Dunkirk on June 2, 288,000 soldiers-including 193,000 from the BEF-had been evacuated. Drawing upon exhaustive research, the author portrays rescue in vivid, often harrowing, terms. 40 halftones, 21 maps not seen by PW. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

This history of a crucial campaign of World War II commences with the German offensive of May 1940. Sebag-Montefiore's contribution to this intensively studied operation resides in tactical scrutiny, frequently at platoon-level detail. At this magnification, combat soldiers and their firefights assume critical importance in the strategic narrative of French defeat. While the author recurs to the progressive desperation in the Allied high command as the Germans broke through, he centers attention squarely on Allied soldiers ordered to do or die. As many went down fighting, some in Nazi massacres, the documentary traces are inevitably fragmentary. The author's recovery of some coherence to the story is a research achievement, made dramatically arresting by his excerpts of survivors' testimonies about the graphic violence of their individual experiences. Many were of the last-stand variety, which Sebag-Montefiore believes have been overshadowed in Dunkirk historiography by the desperate improvisation of the sea evacuation. Fortified with maps and photographs, this is a complex yet accomplished military history of the WWII battle symbolic of British pluck. --Gilbert Taylor Copyright 2006 Booklist