Desperate Victories – Military Despatches from Dunkirk to the Battle of Britain


By G.H. Bennett

In Desperate Victories, professional historian Harry Bennett provides first-hand accounts and commentary on the British reaction to one of the greatest shocks in military history – the German blitzkrieg in the west.

Selecting the official accounts, known as despatches, written by key senior commanders in 1940, the author portrays in the most direct way possible the plans and challenges as the Allies struggled to cope with the German onslaught and to adjust to a whole new style of warfare.

Harry Bennett provides a concise and revealing background to the German offensive in the west before providing commentary to each of the carefully chosen despatches, which describe first-hand the plans that would mean either defeat or survival for Britain as the European continent collapsed under the Nazi storm. These documents cover the extraordinary events where British forces somehow escaped annihilation at Dunkirk, the withdrawal from Western France, the retreat from Norway and the desperate fight of ‘the few’ in the Battle of Britain against overwhelming odds.

Although much has been written about all these events, there is no way of getting closer to real history that the first-hand accounts of those who had to make the do-or-die decisions at the time.

Includes the key military accounts for Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain and other battles

There is renewed interest in Dunkirk and surrounding events following the release of the recent film in 2017.

Author has high profile in media, including television.

Desperate Victories cover.

The Author

G.H. Bennett is an Associate Professor at the University of Plymouth. Most of his research concentrates on the Second World War (Sea, Air and Land) and the social history of the people involved. He is particularly interested in maritime history (both civilian and military) and the on-going relevance of the past to an understanding of today’s maritime/naval issues. He has contributed numerous articles to journals and magazines and is the author of several books. He has appeared frequently on television programmes on the BBC and other channels.

Bibliographic Information

Publication: January 2018

ISBN:               978-1-4456-6816-1


Extent:             304 pages

Illustrations: 20 illustrations

Amberley Publishing