Covering the 1939-40 ‘Phoney War’ in a single chapter, the focus of Major L.F. Ellis’s official history of the campaign in France and Flanders falls on the role of the British Expeditionary Force in attempting to defend Belgium and France from the fury of the German Blitzkrieg in May-June 1940. He describes the BEF’s advance into Belgium in response to the German attack in accordance with the pre-arranged Anglo-French ‘Dyle Plan’, and its rapid retreat as the Germans broke through on the River Meuse. Despite an attempted counter-attack around Arras, Ellis shows how the BEF and their French allies were forced back on the Channel Ports by the swift advance of the German armoured columns. The history culminates in the confusion caused by Belgium’s sudden surrender, the failed British stand on the Somme, and the momentous decision to evacuate the BEF from Dunkirk. Illustrated by 7 general maps, 14 situation maps and 17 sketch maps, the book has eleven photographs, and additional appendices detailing the German planning of their spectacularly successful campaign, and listing the British and German forces engaged.
J. R. M. Butler (Editor)
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2004 N&M Press reprint (original pub 1953). SB. xxviii + 425pp with 38 maps and numerous contemporary photos.
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