Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Marts Book Corner - Dunkirk: Fight To The Last Man by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore

Time to dive back into book corner, I am always looking for a good interesting and accurate read.  Most of my books are military history, its what I enjoy reading most, and when my dearly beloved presented me with this one, I was very interested.

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.

The writing style is nice and easy to read, its not too dry, but does contain all the relevant numbers you would expect, its also a hefty tome, nice and thick and does not feel boring or like it is being dragged out.  The thing I enjoyed most is reading about the actual defensive action of the British forces, as much has already been written regarding operation Dynamo and the evacuation of the troops, but little of the men who fought to defend it.  I think this was due to the fact that during the war the evacuation was hailed as a victory for propaganda purposes, so hearing about men fighting to the last to let others escape may not have gone so well.

Its a great book, and can provide some great scenario ideas as well if you are a war gamer for re-enacting the struggle of those brave soldiers over 75 years ago.

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