A Forgotten Campaign

The British Armed Forces in France 1940 – from Dunkirk to the Armistice

Paul Fantom

Conducted between 27 May and 4 June 1940, Operation Dynamo was the evacuation from Dunkirk of most of the British Expeditionary Force cut off and surrounded during Fall Gelb - phase one of Germany's invasion of France. Despite the impression that British forces had no further presence there until D-Day, this was not the case.
Date Published :
March 2021
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
37 b/w photos, 1 b/w cartoon, 1 map
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781914059018
Pages : 222
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.75 inches
Stock Status : Available
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$39.95

Overview
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Conducted between 27 May and 4 June 1940, Operation Dynamo was the evacuation from Dunkirk of most of the British Expeditionary Force cut off and surrounded during Fall Gelb – phase one of Germany’s invasion of France. Despite the impression that British forces had no further presence there until D-Day, this was not the case.

From 5 to 18 June 1940, during Fall Rot – phase two of the campaign, several British and Empire infantry and armored formations and an RAF contingent fought on in France. Two further British and Empire divisions were dispatched to be part of a ‘Second BEF’ but the blitzkrieg advance of the German panzers and mechanized infantry proved unstoppable. Operation Cycle was a further evacuation from Le Havre, though the attempted rescue of the 51st Highland Division from St Valery-en-Caux ended in its surrender. Nevertheless, a rear-guard campaign allowed remaining troops to be evacuated from several ports during Operation Aerial.

This book examines an important yet considerably under-appreciated aspect of British participation in the Battle of France. It describes the many desperate struggles against German forces that were overwhelmingly superior in numbers, equipment and flexibility and tactics on the battlefield, by improvised British formations, often of rear echelon and territorial troops. Usually short of arms and ammunition, equipment and organization, they never lacked courage and determination. This story has been largely overlooked but it deserves to be told and for full acknowledgment to be given to the heroism and the sacrifices made by those who were there.

About The Author
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Dr Paul Fantom was born in Wednesbury and educated at the University of Manchester, the Open University and the University of Birmingham, where he earned a PhD in Modern History in 2016. He works in local government and is an independent scholar currently engaged in a number of academic activities. Previously he has written about the home front during the First World War, including works concerned with munitions production, working-class patriotism and the 1916 Zeppelin raid on the Black Country. This is his first book.

REVIEWS
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“…helps fill an important gap in the literature on the Fall of France, making this a very good read for anyone with an interest in the war in Europe.”

- The NYMAS Review

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