This image is the cover for the book Retreat & Rearguard: Dunkirk 1940

Retreat & Rearguard: Dunkirk 1940

The dramatic story of how a quarter million men were evacuated from the coast of France—and how the British Expeditionary Force fought on.

This book, part of the Retreat and Rearguard series, covers the actions of the BEF during the retreat from the Dyle Line to the evacuation points of Dunkirk, Boulogne, Calais, Saint-Valery-en-Caux, and finally the Cherbourg Peninsula.

Some of the engagements are relatively well known (Cassell, the Arras counter-attack, and the notorious Le Paradis SS massacre), but the author has unearthed many less known engagements from the long and painful withdrawal. While the main Dunkirk evacuation from the port and beaches was over by early June, elements of the BEF fought on until June 21.

In relating those often heroic actions, this book catches the atmosphere of desperate defiance that typified this never-to-be-forgotten period.

Jerry Murland

Jerry Murland followed a successful career as a teacher, and since retirement has devoted his time to researching and writing on the two world wars. His books include Retreat and Rearguard 1914, Battle on the Aisne 1914, Aristocrats Go to War, Retreat and Rearguard: Somme 1918 and Retreat and Rearguard: Dunkirk 1940. He has also written two 'Battle Ground Europe' publications and is co-author of the Battle Lines guidebook series to the Western Front 1914-18.

Pen and Sword