Desperate Victories: Military Despatches from Dunkirk to the Battle of Britain, by G. H. Bennett
In Desperate Victories, historian Harry Bennett provides first-hand accounts and commentary on the British reaction to one of the greatest shocks in military history - the German blitzkrieg in the west.
Selecting the official accounts, known as despatches, written by key senior commanders in 1940, the author portrays in the most direct way possible the plans and challenges as the Allies struggled to cope with the German onslaught and to adjust to a whole new style of warfare.
Desperate Victories provides a commentary to each of the carefully chosen despatches, which describe first-hand the plans that would mean either defeat or survival for Britain as the European continent collapsed under the Nazi storm.
These documents cover the extraordinary events where British forces somehow escaped annihilation at Dunkirk, the withdrawal from Western France, the retreat from Norway and the desperate fight of 'the few' in the Battle of Britain against overwhelming odds.
Although much has been written about all these events, there is no way of getting closer to real history that the first-hand accounts of those who had to make the do-or-die decisions at the time.