Dünkirchen 1940

Dünkirchen 1940

The German View of Dunkirk

General Military
  • Author: Robert Kershaw
  • Short code: GNM
  • Publication Date: 1 Sep 2022
  • Number of Pages: 352
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Using revelatory new material on an event which changed the tide of World War II, Robert Kershaw's ground-breaking history explores the Battle of Dunkirk from the German perspective.

'Military history of the highest order.' Jonathan Dimbleby, author and broadcaster

The British evacuation from the beaches of the small French port town of Dunkirk is one of the iconic moments of military history. The battle has captured the popular imagination through LIFE magazine photo spreads, the fiction of Ian McEwan and, of course, Christopher Nolan's hugely successful Hollywood blockbuster. But what is the German view of this stunning Allied escape? Drawing on German interviews, diaries and unit post-action reports, Robert Kershaw creates a page-turning history of a battle that we thought we knew.

Dünkirchen 1940 is the first major history on what went wrong for the Germans at Dunkirk. As supreme military commander, Hitler had seemingly achieved a miracle after the swift capitulation of Holland and Belgium, but with just seven kilometres before the panzers captured Dunkirk - the only port through which the trapped British Expeditionary force might escape - they came to a shuddering stop. Hitler had lost control of his stunning advance. Only a detailed interpretation of the German perspective - historically lacking to date - can provide answers as to why.

Drawing on his own military experience, his German language skills and his historian's eye for detail, Robert Kershaw creates a new history of this familiar battle. With a fresh angle on this famous conflict, Dünkirchen 1940 delves into the under-evaluated major German miscalculation both strategically and tactically that arguably cost Hitler the war.

Biographical Note

A graduate of Reading University, Robert Kershaw joined the Parachute Regiment in 1973 and ultimately commanded 10 PARA. He attended the German Staff College, spending a further two years with the Bundeswehr as an infantry, airborne and arctic warfare instructor. He speaks fluent German. On leaving the British Army in 2006 he became a full-time author and a military analyst. He has recorded for BBC radio and published frequent magazine and newspaper articles. Two of his books have been serialized in the Daily Mail and the Daily Express. He lives in Salisbury, England.


Prologue: Dunkerque, France
List of Illustrations
List of Maps

Chapter 1: Führer Weather
Chapter 2: Landser
Chapter 3: The Sea
Chapter 4: 24 May, The Day of the Halt Order
Chapter 5: Panzers Against Ports
Chapter 6: Running the Gauntlet
Chapter 7: Sea, Air and Land
Chapter 8: The Great Escape, 1 June
Chapter 9: Elusive Victory

Postscript: Dünkirchen

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