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The Western Dunkirk Corridor 1940 (Paperback)

Ledringhem, Wormhout and West Capelle

Military > Battlefield Guidebooks > WWII Battlefield Guides WWII

By Jerry Murland
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Battleground Books: WWII
Pages: 136
Illustrations: 100 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526743183
Published: 9th December 2022

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The story of 144 Brigade’s defence of Wormhoudt and Bambecque must rank in importance alongside the defence of Cassel and Hazebrouck by 145 Brigade. Brigadier Norman’s composite brigade was the final piece in the jigsaw of defence on the western flank of the Dunkerque Corridor; it held the line south of Bergues, containing the attacking German units at great cost, until the perimeter at Dunkerque had been established.

The defence of Wormhoudt has long been associated with the massacre of British servicemen after they had surrendered. The events in the barn at La Plaine au Bois will always be considered one of the most appalling acts of the Second World War, carried out by elements of the Liebstandarte Regiment; almost second nature to these fanatical followers of Adolf Hitler. They found no easy victory at Wormhoudt, in an encounter that saw their regimental commander, Gruppenführer Otto ‘Sepp’ Dietrich, taking shelter in a ditch away from the fury of the Cheshire machine gunners. Overshadowed by the events in the barn are the murders of civilians and British soldiers that took place as the Germans overwhelmed the fragile defence of the Warwicks. Their Medical Officer, marching into captivity, went past the bodies of men of A Company who he was sure had been murdered. An officer of the Worcesters wrote in his diary that all the wounded of his Company were shot by a commander of the Liebstandarte.

There is little other evidence to support the deaths of these men but there is little doubt that many British soldiers met a violent end after they had surrendered in the fields and on the pavements of Wormhoudt and Bambecque.

“German and British OOBs, combined with some of the maps, can be mined for lower-level tabletop scenarios. It gets down to company level and is peppered with first-person accounts.”

Read the full review here.

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

Review as featured in

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, November 2023

Another excellent guide.

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Military Model Scene

An excellent book, especially for those that like to take part in that hands-on experience.

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The History Fella

5 Stars

This fine book closes with details of tours and visits to the areas described, including driving directions, the many places of interest and accompanied by contemporary photographs.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

About Jerry Murland

Jerry Murland is a retired headteacher who has written over twenty books and guidebooks coverering the events of the First and Second World Wars. His first book, Aristocrats Go To War, was published by Pen and Sword in 2010 and since then he has gone on the write a number of others, including the Battlelines Guidebooks to the Western Front, co-written with Jon Cooksey. He is currently writing an account of the Battle of the Ypres-Comines Canal 1940, part of eight Battleground Europe books which cover the France and Flanders campaign of 1940.

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