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Dunkirk to D-Day (ePub)

The Men and Women of the RAOC and Re-Arming the British Army

WWII D-Day & Normandy P&S History Dunkirk

By Philip Hamlyn Williams
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 19.0 MB (.epub)
Pages: 232
Illustrations: 40 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526794314
eBook Released: 1st June 2021


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At Dunkirk, the withdrawing army left behind most of its equipment, yet only four years later, on D-Day, troops would wonder at the efficiency of supply. This book looks at the lives of some of the men who led the monumental effort which led to this result.

The story begins in Victorian south London. It goes out to Portuguese East Africa and then to Malaya, before being caught in the maelstrom of the Great War. Between the wars, its leading characters work at Pilkington, Dunlop and English Steel; they serve in Gallipoli, Gibraltar and Malta; they transform the way a mechanised army is supplied. They supply in the desert and the jungle. They build massive depots, and relationships with motor companies here and in the USA. After the war they work for companies driving the post-war economy: Vickers, Dunlop and Rootes. Many died, exhausted, years before their time.

In his new book 'Dunkirk to D-Day' Philip Hamlyn Williams shines the spotlight on the key personalities, who had the common bond of being forged and shaped by their experiences in the Great War, who formed the supply team that made victory possible.

South Shropshire Journal

Vital wartime role of stores base that supplied the army

Telford Journal 19/08/21

'In his new book "Dunkirk to D-Day" Philip Hamlyn Williams shines the spotlight on the key personalities, who had the common bond of being forged and shaped by their experiences in the Great War, who formed the supply team which made victory possible.' - Full article here

The Shropshire Star

"[Bill's] story, and that of his wife, friends and colleagues, so brilliantly set out for us by Phil in `Dunkirk to D-Day` is history, but I commend it as much for it's relevance to us all, military or civilian alike. Bill's portrait hangs in the RLC Headquarters' Officers' Mess. I have walked past it countless times since I was commissioned into the RAOC in 1973. I wish I had known then what I know now, about Bill and his family, his work and his colleagues, but above all of their accomplishments. I would have been better prepared for my chosen profession if I had."

"We are allowed to enjoy and share Phil's discovery that alongside his father, there were a group of people, many in the `Class of '22` as Phil calls them, most of whom, having served as young officers in World War I went on to have significant roles in supporting the mechanised Army of World War II. As he puts it, “In my research the same names kept reappearing”. What intrigues us as we read is that this group are a bridge in time from one World War to the next. We feel we get to know them as people; loyal, committed, open to change, driven by a sense of duty and nicely old fashioned."

Major General Malcolm Wood Major General (Retired) Malcolm Wood CBE – President of the RAOC Council

About Philip Hamlyn Williams

Phil Hamlyn Williams’s father, Major-General Sir Leslie (‘Bill’) Williams, was head of the RAOC in WW2. His mother, Major-General Williams’s secretary and later wife, kept albums, diaries and recollections which recorded the work of the RAOC in remarkable details. Now a historian, Phil has written War on Wheels and Ordnance on the history of the RAOC in the first and second world wars.

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