Home Forums WWII BEF in France May 1940 – Detailed Info?

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    Which books have people come across which deal with the activities of the BEF – or its subordinate formations – in 1940 in most detail?  Any recommendations?





    No help here, but I shall be interested to see what pops up besides the few general histories that are around.


    One of the problems of course was that the sheer chaos of May-June meant that a lot of the official unit diaries & other records were either lost, destroyed, misplaced or never made in the first place. Detailed unit histories are therefore somewhat thin on the ground. A couple of decent reads to start you on the way, both relatively recent and should be widely available:

    Most of what’s available naturally focuses on Dunkirk and the retreat. There are quite a few of those. One that I found quite detailed was Hugh Sebag-Montefiore’s Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man. https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/55581/dunkirk/

    One worth looking out for is Saul David’s Churchill’s Sacrifice of the Highland Division (sometimes also known as Beyond Dunkirk) https://www.amazon.com/Churchills-Sacrifice-Highland-Division-France/dp/185753378X which, as the title suggests, looks at those units that didn’t get out there.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by Etranger.
    Steve Johnson

    I recommend Sebag-Montefiore’s book as it contains loads of detail, excellent maps and is a great read. You can also skip certain chapters so that you follow only the BEF, which they kindly tell you how to do at the start of the book.

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