Dunkirk and France 1940 Campaign Books

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

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    After the success of the Royal Sigs book thread I thought I'd start one for another interest of mine.

    I have quite a few books now on the subject and I'm aware there are quite a few out there on the market but I thought I'd look for your imput, rather interested in reference books on the subject (I found out about some books I never knew exsisted).

    The ones I have so far are:

    Blitzkreig in the West - After The Battle. Great for 'Then and Nows'. Not read it yet but worth every penny. Always goes with me too France and its showing signs of fatigue.

    The Battle of France - After The Battle. Some good 'Then and Nows'. A great ref book for Aerial combat over 1940 France.

    Dunkerque Journal Pictorial - Pierre Metsu. Great 'Then and Nows' with less common pictures. Written in French and English.

    The Twenty Five Days - John Masefield. The first book written about Dunkirk in 1940. Not very informative but interesting nontheless to appreciate what was known back then.

    Massacre on the Road to Dunkirk - Leslie Aitken. Brilliant Book about the massacre. I couldn't put it down and some great info for my next trip.

    Last Stand at Le Paradis - Richard Lane. A bit slow to start but like the above book well researched regarding the massacre with some great info.

    Guards VC - Dilip Sakar. Same as the last two book. Couldn't put it down. Contains lots of personal accounts

    Dunkirk-Retreat to Victory - Julian Thompson. Not bad and a good overview of what was going on.

    The Evacuation fom Dunkirk - Whitehall History Publishing. Not read but this is a brilliant ref book regarding everything 'Naval Dunkirk' . Very Expensive at £90!

    Dunkirk-The men they left Behind - Sean Longden. Good book that fills the gap after Dunkirk. Lacks resources in places but has some interesting facts.

    Dunkirk-from disaster to deliverance - Battleground. Great value for money and this goes in my pocket all the way around Dunkirk and the associated areas when I visit.

    The War in France and Flanders - Ellis (Would quite like an original copy). Now have an Original copy and has some excellent information and maps

    Dunkirk and the Fall of France - Geoffrey Stewart. Really enjoyed reading this-Gives a clear and uncomplicated overall picture of what was happening.

    Pillar of Fire-Dunkirk 1940 - Ronald Aitken. Not Read

    Dunkirk-Fight to the Last Man - Hugh Sebag Montefiore. Not Read but looks like the new bible to all things 1940 France.

    Forgotten Voices of Dunkirk - Joshua Levine. Not arrived yet. Released in May 2010.

    Medic Saving Lives - John Nicol. Not read yet.

    Blitzkreig in their own words-First hand accounts from German Soldiers - Pen and Sword. Nearly finished. Good perspective from the 'other side'. Some of the stories are boring but others are amazing !

    Many thanks for any recommendations :)
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  6. idler

    idler GeneralList

    The Defence of Calais - Linklater (HMSO)
    The Battle of Flanders - Linklater (HMSO)
    The Highland Division - Linklater (HMSO)
    The Fall of France - Forty & Duncan
    Thirty Days to Dunkirk - Gough (1st Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers)
    At the Sharp End - Hart (2nd Bn Royal Norfolks)
    Dunkirk - Gelb
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers chaps...I've only heard of two of them :D

    Andrea will be sooo happy for me :lol:
  8. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    "BELGIUM The Official Account Of What Happened 1939-1940."

    I've got a first edition of this! Actually....I think an "only" addition, but could stand to be corrected though! It turned up a year ago in a box of old books belonging to my dad, he had been a school teacher/principal before lecturing in the History of Education.

    I didn't know he had it...and didn't even know it existed until I found it!

    Don't forget the first part of "Saturday at MI9" by Airey Neave as well, where he deals with his own and other Dunkirk period evaders in France and their very early experiences there and in Vichy, before MI9 and the organisd evasion lines got organised.

    A suprisingly similar story to the hundreds of evaders on Crete in 1941 hidden by the locals and got off the island to Alex over the next year...
  9. idler

    idler GeneralList

    This one is fiction, but it is John Masters who knew a thing or to about such matters: Man of War. It's a novel about an infantry officer's service in the interwar period leading up to his role as a brigadier in the BEF. There seem to be plenty of copies about for a reasonable price so it might serve as an interesting background read.
  10. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    The Miracle of Dunkirk - Walter Lord
    Dunkirk - The Patriotic Myth - Nicholas Harman

    Both books belonged to my father

  11. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    The Sands Of Dunkirk-Richard Collier. To Lose A Battle Alistair Horne
  12. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter 1940 Obsessive

    Just to add a few that I don't remember seeing above :-

    'Blitzkrieg à l'Ouest' - J-P Pallud (Not the same as his 'Blitzkrieg in the West' ). Written for a French audience, it is good on photos of knocked out French armour and fortifications.

    'Dunkerque 1940' - François de Lannoy - Good Maps and useful on French Command at Dunkerque during the latter days.

    'Mei 1940' Peter Taghon (also available as 'Mai 1940') Unmissable if you're interested in the campaign in Belgium.

    'The Fall of France, act with daring' - Marix-Evans. Useful but somehow not useful enough.

    'Destination Dunkirk' Gregory Blaxland. In my view the best overview of the campaign from a British Army perspective, especially if read in conjunction with Ellis.

    'France & Flanders sixty years on' - Brian Bond. Fascinating essays on the background.

    ...and a few period treasures. Not 'Must-haves' but irresistable at the right price and they do contribute to an understanding of how those involved regarded the events at the time or soon afterwards. I'm keen on anything which helps me to do that.

    'Keep the Memory Green' - Butler & Bradford.

    'Dunkirk & After' - Beckles

    'Vanguard to Victory' - Skene Catling (Phoney War and written before the evacuation hence the misleading title).

    'My First War' - Bartlett.
  13. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I know it's books specifically, but I moved this to the 1940 section, left a permanent redirect in the books area, and pinned the thread.

    Thinking about it, it might be nice to build a 'booklist' thread at the head of a few other forum areas...

  14. LesCM19

    LesCM19 "...lets rock!"

    Some are standard tomes, I would say but worth a mention:

    Air War Over France - Robert Jackson (almost a sortie by sortie description & many nice b&w photos)
    Truth on the Tragedy of France - Elie Bois (melodramatic descriptions of high politics shenanigens in Paris)
    Prelude To Dunkirk - Edward Spears (similar to Bois book, but from an Englishman from our War Office)
    Battle of France - Andre Maurois (French journalists personal observations mostly during the phoney war)
    The Battle of France - Colonel Goutard (essential & strangely honest)
    Strange Victory - Ernest May (detailed & thorough, especially politics & personalities)
    We Missed The Boat - David Halley (an RASC corporal's attempts to get to Dunkirk, 2nd half of book beng his experience as a POW)
    Blitzkrieg Camouflage - Stephen Zaloga
    Achtung Panzer! - Guderian (if only Chaimberlain had read it!)
    Panzertruppen - Thomas Jentz (wealth of tank organisation & technical tank stuff, masses of it)
    Panzerjager - Davies (everything German anti-tank, like Panzertruppen but a bit lighter)
    Underground from Posen - Michael Duncan (personal account battle at Cassel & his time as an escapee from Posen)
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Bloody hell this is costing me a fortune ! If I knew there was this many .....
  16. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    Here are a few contemporary accounts from my collection.

    With pennants flying - David Masters (The first 2 chapters deal with the RAC in France) pub. Eyre & Spottiswoode 1943

    Infantry officer, a personal record - Anon pub. Batsford 1943

    The Diary of a Staff Officer (Air Intelligence Liaison Officer) at Advanced Headquarters North B.A.F.F.(British Air Forces in France) 1940 - Anon pub. Methuen 1941
  17. LesCM19

    LesCM19 "...lets rock!"

    Not a book but an interactive CD for about £12 from:
    Atlas CORF
    Also covers some fortifications around Lille & Mauberge
  18. MalcolmII

    MalcolmII Senior Member

    Day of Reckoning by Donald Edgar - The story of the chaos in France before Dunkirk and how three Teritorial Divisions meant for Labour ended up facing the Panzers.
    Published by John Clare of London.

  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I've edited my original post after someone asked me to add some thoughts on the books I posted.
  20. IrishSoldier

    IrishSoldier Member

    About 100 pages into The men they left behind on your recommendation, so far so good and I am enjoying it alot, I have read Pillar of Fire-Dunkirk 1940 - Ronald Aitken and Dunkirk-Fight to the Last Man - Hugh Sebag Montefiore, they are both excellent... I think I go for Guards VC next... its an addicting time in the war once you start getting into it!!

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