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It is September 1939. Shortly after war is declared, Anthony Rhodes is sent to France, serving with the British Army. His days are filled with the minutiae and mundanities of Army life – friendships, billeting, administration – as the months of the ‘Phoney War’ quickly pass and the conflict seems a distant prospect.
It is only in the spring of 1940 that the true situation becomes clear; the men are ordered to retreat to the coast and the beaches of Dunkirk, where they face a desperate and terrifying wait for evacuation.
‘A brilliant, shrewd novel about British soldiers during the phoney war of 1939-40 in France, leading up to the debacle of Dunkirk. Rhodes writes with a wonderfully dry, literate, clear-eyed style – a quietly confident masterwork.’ William Boyd ‘It’s wonderful to see these books given a new lease of life […] classic novels from the Second World War written by those who were there, experienced the fear, anguish, pain and excitement first-hand and whose writings really do shine an incredibly vivid light onto what it was like to live and fight through that terrible conflict.’ James Holland, Historian, author and TV presenter
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