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Pillar of Fire

In the space of three and a half weeks during May and early June 1940, the armed forces of Nazi Germany came breathtakingly close to winning the war, only ten months after it had begun.

The British Expeditionary Force and its French and Belgian allies were cut off in the north and driven back to the very sands of the Channel and the ruins of Dunkirk, the lone port still in their hands. The BEF – and Britain – faced disaster.

How that catastrophe was averted, through a combination of enemy blunders and British resourcefulness, is told here by Ronald Atkin, in an account that exposes the myth of the ‘miracle of Dunkirk’. The true story of those desperate and chaotic weeks is dramatically chronicled through the diaries, memoirs and personal reminiscences of the men who lived through them, from generals to foot soldiers.


“A superb squaddie’s-eye view of the Dunkirk campaign… an excellent book” - Sunday Telegraph

“A balanced and realistic picture of this tragic and yet exhilarating period” - The Times

“Well-crafted, well-researched infantryman’s view of the horrendous fortunes of the BEF in France” - Financial Times

“A powerful indictment of the inefficiency and unpreparedness of Britain in the face of German aggression… a truly fascinating read” - Nottingham Evening Post

Buy Ronald Atkin