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Richard Hughes was an artillery officer with the British Army in the Second World War. He was sent to Europe twice. The first assignment in 1940 was short lived, as he joined the hopelessly ill-equipped and overwhelmed Allied forces in France.
The superior German army pushed them back to the English Channel at Dunkirk, and Hughes was one of some 300,000 troops rescued from the beach.

In 1944, he returned to France as a part of the Allied invasion, this time as a major commanding a battery of field guns. The contrast is apparent. Now they were a well-equipped, superbly trained and coldly efficient force. With his field battery and associated infantry battalion, Hughes fought numerous battles right through Europe to reach Hamburg at the final surrender of Germany in May 1945.