The evacuation of the BEF from Dunkirk in the summer of 1940 was the first serious German failure during the Second World War, so it is perhaps surprising that it has taken Osprey this long to feature it in their Campaign series, of which this is volume 219. Fortunately the gap has been filled with an very good entry in the series.
Dildy has a good section on the high-level plans at Dunkirk, contrasting the British clarity of purpose once it was clear that an evacuation would be needed with the muddle on the German side, where no real plan was put in place - an early precursor of the confusion that would come to dominate later in the war. It is also useful to have a clear set of orders of battle for the British, French and German air, land and sea forces involved in the battle.
The main text itself is clear and well structured, and is supported by some very useful maps which show the pocket soon after it was formed, the sea routes back to England and the progress of the siege.
This is a clear narrative account of the evacuation from Dunkirk, with a good balance of British, French and German material and well supported by the normal high quality Osprey maps.
Origins of the Campaign
- The race is on, Sunday 26 May
- The Panzers roll, Monday 27 May
- The Belgians surrender, Tuesday 28 May
- The Luftwaffe strikes, Wednesday 29 May
- The Panzers turn away, Thursday 30 May
- The biggest day, Friday 31 May
- The Luftwaffe's last chance, Saturday 1 June
- The French fight on, Sunday 2 June
- The British are gone, 3 and 4 June
Author: Douglas C Dildy