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The Dunkirk Evacuation in 100 Objects (Hardback)

The Story Behind Operation Dynamo in 1940

Maritime Military > Frontline Books > Frontline: WWII WWII > Battles & Campaigns > Dunkirk

By Martin Mace
Frontline Books
Series: In 100 Objects
Pages: 242
Illustrations: 100
ISBN: 9781526709905
Published: 12th February 2018


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As featured by the Mail Online - As the miracle of the Dunkirk evacuation is re-created in a blockbuster movie, the horror and heroism are brought to life by these fascinating artefacts

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At 18.57 hours on Sunday, 26 May 1940, the Admiralty issued the directive which instigated the start of Operation Dynamo. This was the order to rescue the British Expeditionary Force from the French port of Dunkirk and the beaches surrounding it. The Admiralty believed that it would only be able to rescue 45,000 men over the course of the following two days, ‘at the end of which’, read the signal to Admiral Ramsey at Dover, ‘it was probable that evacuation would be terminated by enemy action’. The Admiralty, however, was wrong.

Between 26 May and 4 June 1940, when Dynamo officially ended, an armada of ships, big and small, naval and civilian achieved what had been considered impossible. In fact, in this period a total of 338,682 men had been disembarked at British ports. Such a figure has exceeded the expectations of most. Little wonder, therefore, that an editorial in The New York Times at the beginning of June declared, ‘So long as the English tongue survives, the word Dunkirk will be spoken with reverence’.

Through 100 objects, from the wreck of a ship through to a dug-up rifle, and individual photographs to large memorials, all of which represent a moving snapshot of the past, the author sets out to tell the story of what came to be known as The Miracle of Dunkirk. The full-colour photographs of each 100 items are accompanied by detailed explanations of the object and the people and events which make them so special or relevant.

Clever in his approach, the author expertly used his knowledge to categorize the objects is a way that illustrates the evacuation from start to finish, and why that object is important. The reader can logically conclude that Martin presented the objects in this particular order to illustrate what happened leading up to the decision to evacuate, getting to Dunkirk from all perspectives, events during the evacuation, and after the conclusion of Operation Dynamo. Finally, the author illustrates the ingenuity that went into planning and executing Operation dynamo, because in the end it was ingenuity that prevailed and won the day.

Read the full review here

Naval Historical Foundation

An ideal book to add to your collection.

Watch the full review here

The View From The Turret Vlog

As featured in

Sussex Local magazine, October 2018

If you have any interest in Dunkirk, I would seriously consider adding this book to your collection.

Read the complete review online here.

Recollections of WWII

A highly enjoyable read which comes highly recommended.

Sea Breezes, May 2018

A visually interesting look at the evacuation.

The Armourer, June 2018

Article: 'Writer explores the stories behind Dunkirk relics'

The volume offers an easy-to-follow guide covering relics and mementos relating to the Dunkirk evacuation.

West Sussex County Times, 12th April 2018 - by Phil Hewitt

As featured by

Antiques Diary, May 2018

Visual Book of the Month

History Revealed, October 2017

As featured in

Mail on Sunday 8/7/17

About Martin Mace

Martin Mace has been involved in writing and publishing military history for more than twenty years. He began his career with local history, writing a book on the Second World War anti-invasion defences in West Sussex. Following the success of this book, he established Historic Military Press, which has published a wide range of titles. Having launched Britain at War Magazine, he has been its editor since the first issue in May 2007.

"Miracle of Dunkirk"

4th June 1940

British complete the "Miracle of Dunkirk" by evacuating 338,226 allied troops from France via a flotilla of over 800 vessels including Royal Navy destroyers, merchant marine boats, fishing boats, pleasure craft and even lifeboats

View all events View all anniversaries

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