Dunkirk and France 1940 Campaign Books

Discussion in '1940' started by Drew5233, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. The Q

    The Q Junior Member

    Whilst not directly About Dunkirk, This book has been recently published:

    Return From Dunkirk (Railways to the rescue) By Peter Taplow.

    It Starts with a little history of Dunkirk and his own fathers part in it.
    It then covers what happened to the men when they arrived back in the UK, with emphasis on the railways which played a major part in getting the men away from the ports.
    It also mentions the Civilian refugees, what happened to the French troops,
    How people along the lines rallied around with food and drink for the troops.
    It also has a fair amount of information about ambulance trainsand the railway control systems.
    I have found it very useful as I am planning a Model railway of Ludgershall based around that time and found it helps understand what happened to the troops on return

    The Q
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    No prospect of me becoming famous at 73! If you send me a PM, or an e-mail to roy@risdonbeazley.co.uk, with your address, I will send it on Monday. When you get the book you can send me a cheque, or pay by PayPal if you prefer.



    Hi Roy, I've just got back and the book was waiting for me and most excellent it looks too after a quick flick through. You'll be pleased to know I'm also interested in some of the sources you listed from Kew on Cycle etc.

    I'll get a cheque in the post to you as soon as I've unpacked the car, caught up on here etc. In the mean time can you PM me your addy, payment details etc etc etc.

  3. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member


    Welcome back. I have sent you an e-mail with my address.


  4. CharlesXII

    CharlesXII Junior Member

    Simply not true that there are few French books about 1940. I bought a book in Belgium called:

    La Bataille de France Jour apres Jour by Dominique Lormier and here is a list of sources - lots of french books plus some English ones already mentioned.

    If Lormier's book is anything to go by then History is being rewritten with France the victor (almost) and the Brits scuttling off under the protection of French Guns.

    Attached Files:

  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Brits scuttling off under the protection of French Guns.

    Thats probably not too far from the truth :lol:

    I'd quite like some French books on the subject if they were translated properly. The one I do have is quite hard to read due to being poorly translated-I think I'm going to have to learn French at some point.
  6. JCB

    JCB Senior Member

    Is this one worth buying -
    Dunkirk 1940 'Whereabouts Unknown': How Untrained Troops of the Labour Divisions Were Sacrificed to Save an Army-
    Tim Lynch
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I have the book.

    I haven't read it yet but what made me buy it (after reading a few bad reviews) was when I flicked through it at the National Archives. It seems to have a fair bit of detail and what sold it was detailed maps of unit positions.

    I'm assuming you are aware that it is mainly about untrained labour units as the sud title suggests so I would think it's very thin on the fighting up in Belgium and Northern France with the Infantry Divisions etc.
  8. JCB

    JCB Senior Member

    Thanks, i'm interested in the whole 'Battle of France' , is that the proper name for this campaign ?
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Anyone know of any books that are specific to a battle like at Arras, Cassel, Lille, Bergues, Furnes, River Dyle, Abbeville, Ypre - Comines Canal and St. Valery etc?

  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I got a excellent little Dunkirk related book today called Home from Dunkirk-In aid of the British Red Cross and St. John. Published in 1940 just after the evacuation it contain numerous photographs from the evacuation with the proceeds going to the above organisations.

    I'm rather chuffed with it and needed cheering up after yesterday. :)

    A few copies here:

    home from dunkirk - AbeBooks
  11. ayac

    ayac Junior Member

    Hello everybody,

    Bibliography ?

    Marc Bloch, L'étrange défaite, Folio Gallimard
    Lucien Richard, D'Anvers à Dunkerque : souvenirs de guerre 1940, Giovanangeli

    Maurice Vaïsse (dir.), Mai - Juin 1940, Editions Autrement

    Olivier Bellec, Le soldat français 1940, Histoire et collections
    Stéphane Ferrard, Mai 1940. Armement des fantassins français, E.T.A.I.
    (coll.), Hommes et ouvrages de la Ligne Maginot, 5 vol., Histoire et collections

    Christophe Dutrône, Ceux qui se sont battus, Editions du Toucan
    Patrick Facon, L'Armée de l'air dans la tourmente, Economica
    Gilles Ragache, La fin de la campagne de France, Economica
    Frédéric Le Moal, Max Schiavon, Guerre des Alpes, Economica
    Jean-Luc Messager, Narvik : 28 mai 1940, Editions Esprit du livre
    Raphaël Distante, St-Valéry-en-Caux, Editions Bénévent

    François Kersaudy, De Gaulle et Churchill, Perrin

    Série "Trackstory", Editions du Barbotin

    Revue Guerre, blindés et matériel,
    Histoire & Collections - Blindés & Matériel - La motorisation militaire à la française

    Ardennes 1940 à ceux qui ont résisté

    Marc Bloch's book is translated, and you need this one. Really.
    Maurice Vaïsse : historians from different countries.
    Bellec, Ferrard, and the books about Ligne Maginot are illustrated.
    Lormier is usefull to fight the stereotypes inherited from 1940, but not very accurate.
    Kersaudy is nice, and fun. If you like E. Spear, you need this one, translated, Churchill and De Gaulle, of course.

    If you want more informations, just ask.
  12. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    Hi Andy,

    I have a copy of "Gun Buster - Return via Dunkirk" printed in 1942. It is a first hand account of a RHA Officer. It is honset and thought provoking.

    I picked this up today along with another of his books Battledress.
  13. LondonNik

    LondonNik Senior Member

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
  14. idler

    idler GeneralList

    To celebrate Andy's return to the fray, another general history to add to the list:
    The Battle of France 1940: Six Weeks Which Changed the World by Philip Warner
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hitler's African Victims: The German Army Massacres of Black French Soldiers in 1940
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive


    ENGINES OF WAR - The Mechanised Army in Action - War Office

    Well it is Christmas after all.
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Just purchased Handbook of the French Army 1940 from Naval and Military Press for the grand some of £3.60 - Ironically the postage cost more than the book !
  18. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    Hi Andy,

    I have a copy of "Gun Buster - Return via Dunkirk" printed in 1942. It is a first hand account of a RHA Officer. It is honset and thought provoking.


    All Gun Buster's books are honest and thought provoking ( I have five, set in various campaigns of the war). There is more on the BEF in 'Battle Dress', first printed 1941.

  19. idler

    idler GeneralList

  20. JCB

    JCB Senior Member

    Just read ' Sword of Bone' by Anthony Rhodes which covers his part as a Royal Engineers officer in France/Belgium from Sept 39- May 1940.
    The end papers say ' thoroughly entertaining and amusing' and I agree , it reminds me of 'Gunbusters' books and is very interesting. It's not a history book full of facts and figures ( partly deliberate possibly as it was published in 1942) but a personal story.
    The war appears to have been rather fun until May 1940 as he travels round France with his unit buying 'small stones' from French businessmen ( gravel for pillboxes). .
    Good descriptions of the retreat (He is particularly upset when he has to destroy his nearly new Humber car ) being in Dunkirk town and on the beaches.
    I believe the author was a classical scholar . Only slight problem for me many quotations in French which thickos like me can't understand:)
    1p from Amazon, plus p+p !

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