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The Dunkirk Evacuation in 100 Objects (Hardback)

The Story Behind Operation Dynamo in 1940

WWII Maritime All Frontline Books Military/Maritime/Historical Frontline: WWII Dunkirk

By Martin Mace
Frontline Books
Pages: 248
ISBN: 9781526709905
Published: 28th 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.

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 and stop lines in West Sussex. In 2006 he began working on the idea for Britain at War Magazine, This publication has grown rapidly to become the best-selling military history periodical.

Perfect Partner

The Royal Navy at Dunkirk Commanding Officers' Reports of British Warships In Action During Operation Dynamo (Hardback)

The fact that the British Expeditionary Force was evacuated from Dunkirk in May-June 1940 has achieved the status of a legend. Whilst the part played by the 'Little Ship's in that miracle is equally well-known, the role of the Royal Navy's warships – the destroyers, minesweepers and personnel ships – is often overlooked. Indeed, more than 300,000 troops out of a total of 338,226, were evacuated from the harbour at Dunkirk in these vessels. In the weeks after Operation Dynamo, the Admiralty issued an order requiring the Commanding Officers of those British warships involved to submit a report…

By Martin Mace

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