B.E.F 1939-1940 Infantry memoirs.

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by E_A_Wright, Jan 9, 2008.

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  1. I just finished reading "Their finest hour" (Clayton and Craig), and very good it was to.

    Can anyone suggest further reading for the period, preferably from a infantry perspective, memoirs rather than an overview?

    cheers.
     
  2. Saul Davids book, Churchills sacrifice of the Highland Division is very good, whilst an overview is packed with memoirs of the man on the ground, another is Dunkirk by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore, a must have on 1939-40 also packed with memoirs.

    I didnt realise how severe the fighting was pre-Dunkirk, very savage and the BEF gave a good account,sad as well on what happened to Belguim civilians too.
     
  3. 1) At the Sharp End - 2 R Norfolks From Le Paradis to Kohima - Peter Hart.
    It's an account of the bn from interviews in the Imperial War Museum's Sound Archive. About 25% of the book deals with the BEF, but it gets pretty savage.

    2) The Long Way Round - William Moore: a bit gentler, an officer & 7 ORs of the Seaforths evade and escape through France in 1940-41. The officer subsequently went into SOE.
     
  4. oh i forgot Guards VC by Dilip Sarkar about Harry Nicholls, Dilip usually writes about the Battle of Britain, but this book is just as well researched, managed to get a copy inscribed by him to a Boxer Brown who was Harrys mate. Only £2 off E-Bay well chuffed.
     
  5. Thanks fellas, that should be enough to go on with, plus I can spend some money I dont have :p

    Scarletto, it was reading about the Guards fighting that got me thinking/interested, there WAS actual savage fighting, the impression you get from overviews/film/docu-dramas from the period is that the BEF simply f*cked off to Dunkirk when threatened and carried out a perimiter battle, but obviously there is more to it than that.

    Thanks for the reference. Cheers.
     
  6. Well the first two books, and probably Dunkirk out of those two will show you the savagery, my grandad who had fought in the First was in the Argylls at the tender age of 42, and i really didnt know what he went through, by heck now i do, that and the five years as a POW, have managed to track down what platoon he was sgt of, and its mentioned in the Sacrifice book.

    I think people have the idea that Germans attack, Brits retreat, dunkirk. Certainly at one stage the Germans thought they were going to lose!! The fighting round the canal, bren gun carriers against tanks, bayonet charges.

    Hats off to the boys of the B.E.F (except the deserter who joined the Germans and betrayed the RAF escapers later on in the war, and he was shot in Paris in 44)