Alone: Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk: Defeat into Victory

Liveright Publishing
2
Free sample

One of the most miraculous military rescue missions in modern history comes alive in this “superb and panoramic” (Washington Post) account of Dunkirk. No one can evince the drama of what actually happened at Dunkirk in the year 1940 with as “great narrative skill and superb delineation” (David McCullough) as Michael Korda, the historian and legendary book editor. As dramatized in Christopher Nolan’s film Dunkirk, May 1940 was a month like no other: Germany’s war machine blazed into France, the impregnable Maginot Line crumbled, and Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister as Britain, isolated and alone, faced a triumphant Nazi Germany. Against this vast canvas, best-selling author Michael Korda relates his own personal story, “by turns charming, powerful and poignant” (Minneapolis Star Tribune): that of a six-year-old boy from a glamorous movie family who would himself be evacuated. Weaving together “eyewitness detail and a fine sense of drama” (Boston Globe) to form an epic of remarkable originality, Alone movingly captures a moment of historic triumph—when an unlikely flotilla of destroyers brought 300,000 men home to safety.
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About the author

Michael Korda is the best-selling author of Hero, Clouds of Glory, and Charmed Lives. The former editor-in-chief of Simon and Schuster, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary for his participation in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. He lives in Pleasant Valley, New York.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Liveright Publishing
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Published on
Sep 19, 2017
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Pages
564
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ISBN
9781631491337
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
History / Europe / Great Britain / 20th Century
History / Military / World War II
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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“Highly detailed and fast-paced, Charles Glass’s They Fought Alone is a must-read for those whose passion is the Resistance literature of World War II.” —Alan Furst, author of A Hero of France

From the bestselling author of Americans in Paris and The Deserters, the astounding story of Britain's Special Operations Executive, one of World War II's most important secret fighting forces

As far as the public knew, Britain's Special Operations Executive (SOE) did not exist. After the defeat of the French Army and Britain's retreat from the Continent in June 1940, Prime Minister Winston Churchill created the top-secret espionage operation to "set Europe ablaze." The agents infiltrated Nazi-occupied territory, parachuting behind enemy lines and hiding in plain sight, quietly but forcefully recruiting, training, and arming local French résistants to attack the German war machine. SOE would not only change the course of the war, but the nature of combat itself. Of the many brave men and women conscripted, two Anglo-American recruits, the Starr brothers, stood out to become legendary figures to the guerillas, assassins, and saboteurs they led.

While both brothers were sent across the channel to organize against the Germans, their fates in war could hardly have been more different. Captain George Starr commanded networks of résistants in southwest France, cutting German communications, destroying weapons factories, and delaying the arrival of Nazi troops to Normandy by seventeen days after D-Day. Younger brother Lieutenant John Starr laid groundwork for resistance in the Burgundy countryside until he was betrayed, captured, tortured, and imprisoned by the Nazis in France and sent to a series of concentration camps in Germany and Austria. Feats of boldness and bravado were many, but appalling scandals, including George's supposed torture and execution of Nazis prisoners, and John's alleged collaboration with his German captors, overshadowed them all. At the war's end, Britain, France, and the United States awarded both brothers medals for heroism, and George would become one of only three among thousands of SOE operatives to achieve the rank of colonel. Yet, their battle honors did little to allay postwar allegations against them, and when they returned to England, their government accused both brothers of heinous war crimes.

Here, for the first time, is the story of one of the great clandestine organizations of World War II, and of two heroic brothers whose ordeals during and after the war challenged the accepted myths of Britain's wartime resistance in occupied France. Written with complete and unrivaled access to only recently declassified documents from Britain's SOE files, French archives, family letters, diaries, and court records, along with interviews from surviving wartime Resistance fighters, They Fought Alone is a real-life thriller. Renowned journalist and war correspondent Charles Glass exposes a dramatic tale of spies, sabotage, and the daring men and women who risked everything to change the course of World War II.
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