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Publisher's Summary

The full inside story of one of the golden moments of World War II.

On May 24, 1940, Hitler's armies were on the brink of a shattering military victory. Only 10 miles away, 400,000 Allied troops were pinned against the coast of Dunkirk. But just 11 days later, 338,000 men had been successfully evacuated to England. How did it happen? Walter Lord's remarkable account of how "the miracle of Dunkirk" came about is based on hundreds of interviews with survivors of all nations who fought among the sand dunes of northern France.

©1982 Walter Lord (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Walter Lord is a master of historical narration, compelling his reader to feel as if he were present...as a participant in the events described." ( The Wall Street Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim
  • 03-12-2017

The genuineness of HUMANUTY

Heroics, stamina, fortitude, solidarity, oneness, greatness,
overall the miracles which come from a great and awesome God.
Nothing about God in the book but one can see His hand in this.

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  • Eve Grissom
  • 08-05-2017

Sold On The Miracle Of Dunkirk

The only reasons I purchased this book were because of the movie about Dunkirk that premieres next month and the book's highest average rating. I wasn't sure what to expect due to the topic. The narrator was lively and "personable" as if relaying a story he new rather than reading and the book itself was exceptionally well written. The book itself was history told through macro and micro perspectives which demonstrated how an incredibly botched withdrawal operation did indeed turn out to be a miracle.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KM
  • 14-08-2017

Book is better than the movie!!

What made the experience of listening to The Miracle of Dunkirk the most enjoyable?

I thought the way the events were detailed was well done. I had seen the preview for the movie and it looked compelling, which is what led me to seek out this book. The book was so fascinating and read as a novel. I was hugely disappointed in the movie because it didn't convey the enormity of this undertaking and left out so much of the humanity involved. This book did not disappoint!

What other book might you compare The Miracle of Dunkirk to and why?

I don't think I've read another book like this.

What does Jeff Cummings bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I found his voice entertaining to listen to and I wouldn't be able to read the book while accomplishing other things. I listen to audible books because I fall asleep while reading and I don't have time to just sit down and read.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were so many interesting characters in the book, so no one moment particularly moved me.

Any additional comments?

The Miracle of Dunkirk does justice to the monumental task of the rescue of almost 400,000 men. It is well written and the narrator kept me engrossed. I would HIGHLY recommend this book.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • maria
  • 08-08-2017

heart stopping

I saw the movie and was inspired to learn more about Dunkirk and it's heroes

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Rob
  • 23-08-2017

What a story !

I wish I would have had a map of France in front of me when I listened to the first couple of chapters. but in spite of that failing, I loved the book !

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Lee
  • 11-09-2017

Dunkirk

Extremely interesting and substantive history of what events led to the evacuation and very effective description of the impact individual soldier.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-11-2017

this could have been way shorter

I generally like WW books that build on the experiences of real people but this one just had too much. I also thought the narrative was a bit disjointed and I think he failed to paint an appropriate picture of the herculean effort done by the ships/boats/etc. that were used in this massive exodus.

I did however enjoy the analysis of the Naxi missteps and poor strategy/tactics. Dunkirk could have turned out way worse

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr C
  • 01-10-2017

For heavens sake!

I have just finished this book. presently, I am on a jag, reading WWII military history and looked forward to this.

But... and what a big but. Audible needs to think very deeply about increasing their pool of readers. I don't mind this piece of British history being read by an American but for heavens sake! To hear almost every single vessel's name butchered with gross mispronunciation hurts the ear. And we won't even start on the mangling of the French place names. The flat monotone accent, coupled with the lacerated pronunciation left me gritting my teeth. Appalling.

As for the history itself, it does not have a patch on other histories. Robert Gandt's The Twilight Warriors, any of Antony Beevor's books or T R Ferenbach's 'This Kind of War leave this rather pedestrian account in the dust. In some places it reads like a cub reporters litany of names, all carefully captured at the expense of the narrative.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Prasanna PRSN
  • 03-08-2017

Relentless, Tense and inspiring.

All the chapters are 'nail biting'ly powerful. The final chapter got me goosebumps.

Of course, I started this only after watching Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert
  • 01-02-2014

Disappointed ... but good Subject

What disappointed you about The Miracle of Dunkirk?

Impressive story, one of the greatest of our time. But the book was a lot like the evacuation—jumbled, fractured, fragmented. There’s not much story here, meaning no context or theme, hardly nothing about how the evacuation fit in with the pre-Dunkirk machinations of war. Just plop there you are at the start of the evacuation, and the story is told in hundreds of little brief vignettes, related only because they were all in generally the same place. After a while they all just ran together.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Miracle of Dunkirk?

The discussion about the boats. And mentioning that this was probably the first time in history that the civilians came to the aid of the army. Very astounding and chilling.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jeff Cummings?

Not sure. But Mr. Cummings sounds like he was reading marketing material for a toothpaste commercial. Nice voice, wrong book.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Miracle of Dunkirk?

Sometimes the author tells Jerry’s side, but only in small parts and it was not very effective or thorough, and sometimes confusing—the transitions were poorly done. I would have added more about the war strategy on both sides. The BEF didn't just suddenly appear in France. They had a mission.

Any additional comments?

Sorry I was disappointed, though I am a WWII book and podcast junkie.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Russell Bernard
  • 13-07-2018

Definitive history of this event

This is the definitive history of the rescue at Dunkirk written by Walter Lord. The narration needs to be redone with an English man doing the narration, this is an English story not American so please find a new narrator. The history is a bit dry and boring but hang in there, you will learn some amazing things about the war. Martin Jarvis would be a good narrator
I listened to this audio to increase my knowledge of WWII and this book was written along time ago in a style that was okay for the 80s

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  • Amy
  • 19-05-2017

Fascinating!

A wonderful insight into one of the most astounding events in our history. Full of personal accounts, and reports of how events played out. However, Sometimes it doesn't really convey the scope of the Fear and terror that would mostly likely have been experienced there. The narrator was excellent but I found the American accent a bit distracting from the distinctly British story at first, it took a bit of getting used to at the start.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • I WHITE
  • 27-02-2016

My Father survived.

Brilliant book. Pity no English or British reader was available. This poor American chap struggled with pronunciation! Still a great read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • M Hobbs
  • 17-04-2017

Great story but little research on pronunciation .

Thought the book was great but pronunciation of place names like Mar-git, Rams-git etc grated every time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sp Wickes
  • 21-09-2014

so disappointed

What did you like best about The Miracle of Dunkirk? What did you like least?

What is a story about Britishness and our spirit, courage and what it takes to wind us up. the Dunkirk spirit is our battle cry. so why did someone think is was a good idea to have a heavy accented american to read it, then realise halfway through to tone it down, that apart from the mispronunciations. how would an american feel about an an Blue Blood reading the story of the Alamo?

How could the performance have been better?

Not being an american!!!

Did The Miracle of Dunkirk inspire you to do anything?

No i was too put off by the reading

1 of 3 people found this review helpful