Dunkirk Defenders

British soldiers fighting a rearguard action paid a heavy price to help their comrades escape. Steve Snelling recounts their last stand, which ended in a Nazi war crime.

The end was not far off. A fretful night lit by a flurry of flares and mortar bursts had given way to a fearful dawn streaked with menace. Captain Nick Hallett was under no illusions about the threat to his embattled force. Even before first light he’d heard the tell-tale clatter of German tanks moving ever nearer.

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