DUNKIRKA. D. DIVINE D.S.M. Book Number: 87028 Product format: Hardback
The journalist David Divine did more to spread the patriotic legend of Dunkirk than any other writer. He directly experienced Operation Dynamo in 1940, getting both a wound and a medal and wrote the first novel about the evacuation 'The Sun Shall Greet Them' in 1941 and two separate histories chronicling the naval side of events. First published in 1945 and here in facsimile edition, Divine later became a war correspondent of note and whatever revisionists may say, 'Dunkirk' remains a good, strong book. It is most valuable for its vivid contemporaneous accounts from the 'Little Ships', many of which were collected by an eminent barrister and handed over to David Divine to collate and he tells their stories well, fitting the individuals into the institutions that co-ordinated them. Without such organisation by the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy, we clearly come to understand that it would have been impossible to evacuate the 338,000 men who reached England. The Little Ships were responsible for saving 90,000. Divine was concerned that the history of Dunkirk would be based only on the Admiralty logs, those of the destroyers and minesweepers. The Little Ships seldom had time to fill out their logs as they rushed back and forth across the Channel, but Divine was determined that the part they played would not be forgotten. So together with J. D. Casswell KC, he gathered together their accounts, creating an oral history of the nine days of the evacuation. It is a saga of heroism and self denial. Appendices include a letter from King George to the Prime Minister and Minister of Defence dated 4th June 1940, from the Board of Admiralty and from the Minister of Shipping and official list of ships by name. Maps on endpapers. 307pp.
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