|Formatted Contents Note:
|| Prologue : "The past is a foreign country" -- Part one. The Second Great War. To the brink -- The failure of diplomacy -- "Speak for England!" -- The phoney war -- Operation Pied Piper -- Case Yellow -- "Gad, gentlemen, here's to our greatest victory of the war" -- Hitler "missed the bus" -- "In the name of God, go" -- Part two. The Battle of France. "The top of the greasy pole" -- Rommel crosses the Meuse -- "We are beaten; we have lost the battle" -- "The mortal gravity of the hour" -- May 20, 1940 : "a pretty fair pig of a day" -- "The fatal slope" -- "Hard and heavy tidings" -- The sharp end of the stick -- The Battle of Arras : "we may be foutu" -- "Their zest and delight in shooting Germans was most entertaining" -- Part three. Dunkirk. The burghers of Calais -- "Fight it out to the bitter end" -- Flag officer, Dover -- The home front -- "Presume troops know they are cutting their way home to Blighty" -- Dynamo -- "Fight it out, here or elsewhere" -- Holding the line -- "The little ships" -- "The best mug of tea I have ever had in my life" -- "Arm in arm" -- "We are going to beat them" -- The Dunkirk spirit -- At sea.
|| "Combining epic history with rich family stories, Michael Korda chronicles the outbreak of World War II and the great events that led to Dunkirk. In an absorbing work peopled with world leaders, generals, and ordinary citizens who fought on both sides of World War II, [this book] brings to resounding life perhaps the most critical year of twentieth-century history. For, indeed, May 1940 was a month like no other, as the German war machine blazed into France while the supposedly impregnable Maginot Line crumbled, and Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister in an astonishing political drama as Britain, isolated and alone, faced a triumphant Nazi Germany. Against this vast historical canvas, Michael Korda relates what happened and why, and also tells his own story, that of a six-year-old boy in a glamorous movie family who would himself be evacuated."--David McCullough.