Calais Sunday 26 May 1940

Discussion in '1940' started by handtohand22, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. handtohand22

    handtohand22 Senior Member

    I have just read the diary of a Royal Marine who was taken POW on Sunday 26 May 1940. He said he was a Vickers machine gunner and had landed to destroy the harbour instillations. He was caught up in the defence of Calais, became a POW and was liberated on 2 May 1945.

    Is there any other information available/source about this action? I would like to go back and interview him from a better knowledge base.
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  3. handtohand22

    handtohand22 Senior Member

  4. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Guderian was of the view that the defence of Calais did not slow or interfere with their plans .
  5. handtohand22

    handtohand22 Senior Member

    Thanks for the response. I've finished the research on that project but I think that the bravery of young Bill Balmer and all those other brave comrades in arms of the 'Sacrifice Army' has to be recognised. They slowed the German forces down just enough to evacuate 338,000 troops off the Dunkirk beaches.

    I had a limited edition of 750 books published last year on Bill Balmer. As it was fully funded the book was given away for free.

    Thanks to all at WW2Talk for your help in front of and behind the scenes.

    The Bill Balmer Story
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I had a limited edition of 750 books published last year on Bill Balmer. As it was fully funded the book was given away for free.
    ....and a damned fine read it was too.
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I had a limited edition of 750 books published last year on Bill Balmer. As it was fully funded the book was given away for free.

    Any copies left?
  8. geejayboy

    geejayboy Junior Member

    My father-in-law who is in his 91st year was also captured on the 26th May 1940 in Calais and was a POW for the rest of the war in Poland where my late mother-in-law helped him escape and retuned home with him in 1945.

    I know he would really enjoy the Bill Balmer story, could you advise how I can get copy of it .


    Gordon Johnston
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Gordon,

    Click on 'The Bill Balmer Story' in post No.5

  10. Tom Buck

    Tom Buck Junior Member

    I'm fairly new to the site, but I am in the process of completing a book on the battle for Calais based on individual soldiers accounts. To-date I have collected something like 127 many of which are private diaries.

    I am keen to add more before I close the accounts and begin the final draft so if there is anything else I would love to see them as there are still holes in the story.


  11. Henry Morgenstein

    Henry Morgenstein Junior Member

    I came across this forum (& the name Tom Bucks) earlier today. The reason I visited this forum is contained in the message below that I sent to the email address listed in this forum for Tom Bucks. It bounced back.
    I am in the midst of re-writing the story of my family's escape from Belgium during WWII. We (I was 2 years old) hid in a basement in Calais around May 23-4-5.
    In an attempt to determine the exact days my family was there, I came across your narrative.
    To read an early draft of the story you can visit my web site: henry(at)
    I am not sure precisely what information I can acquire from members of this forum -- but I thought some of you might be interested in my story (a civilian's view of the events), and I do sense that some of you might be able to lead me to more information on the rich tapestry of events that occurred those fateful few days in Calais. Thank you. Respectfully, Henry Morgenstein
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Henry and welcome to the forum.

    I think Tom checks in every now and then although he only posted once on every thread to do with Calais. Have you tried sending him a Private message?

    We have posted quite a bit on Calais recently so feel free to add anything where you can, a civilians perspective is not always considered in the big scheme of things so I'd be interested in reading it.

    Feel free to start a new thread or just add to it here and one of the Mods or myself will move it for you.

    Ps I've edited your address slightly to stop you getting spam etc :)


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