Simon Heffer

France’s Retreat

Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man


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There are two problems with the Dunkirk myth, and the passing of sixty-six years seems to have done little to solve them. The first is whether it is a myth at all, or whether a huge victory really was snatched from what, on paper, looks to have been a pretty serious defeat for the British, escaping after an ignominious retreat. The second is how far the French betrayed the British, or the British the French, or how far the fortunes of war made everything mutable. This substantial and highly readable book by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore helps the reader towards a reliable estimate of both points, which is not the least of its virtues.

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