Retreat and Rearguard - Dunkirk 1940

The Evacuation of the BEF to the Channel Ports

Jerry Murland

Date Published :
May 2016
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
b&w plates
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781473823662

Dimensions : 9.21 X 6.14 inches Pages : 240
In stock


This book, the third title in the Author’s Retreat and Rearguard series, covers the actions of the BEF during the retreat from the Dyle Line to the evacuation points of Dunkirk, Boulogne, Calais, St Valery-en-Caux and finally the Cherbourg Peninsula.

Some of the engagements are relatively well known (Cassell, the Arras counter-attack and the notorious Le Paradis SS massacre) but the author has unearthed many less known engagements from the long and painful withdrawal. While the main Dunkirk evacuation from the port and beaches was over by early June, elements of the BEF fought on until 21 June.

In relating those, often heroic, actions the author catches the atmosphere of desperate defiance that typified this never-to-be-forgotten period.


"Murland, a writer and battlefield guide who served with the Parachute Regiment of the British Army, relates the story of the retreat of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) from the River Dyle to the channel coast of France from where Operation Dynamo began during the France and Flanders Campaign in May 1940 during World War II. A quarter of a million men of the BEF were evacuated from the coast of France over nine days. The author concentrates on the tactical aspects of British rearguard units during their withdrawal to Dunkirk, as well as what led up to it"

- ProtoView

There is a place for detailed narratives such as this that do not feel the need to steer the reader too much. An essential purchase.

- Society of Friends of the National Army Museum

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