by Robert Kershaw
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.
- "Kershaw's book is a welcome rebalancing; a thoughtful, well-researched and well-written contribution to a narrative that has long been too one-sided and too mired in national mythology." Roger Moorhouse, The Times