By Jon Cooksey

This can be the tale of the conflict of Calais, a brief yet bloody fight to hold up the German develop in may possibly 1940. it's a tale of uncertainty, of taut nerves, of warmth, airborne dirt and dust, raging thirst and hand-to-hand scuffling with within the slim streets of the channel port referred to now to thousands of Britons as a gateway to the Continent. The advisor will take the customer past the ferry terminal and hypermarkets to bare the hidden Calais and the activities of people and devices.

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Example text

Had not Nicholson received a message from the War Office in London to the effect that evacuation of his command had been decided ‘in principle’ during the early hours of 24 May? It was not to be. Despite the decision of the German High Command to halt Guderian’s advance on Dunkirk on the same day, there would be no evacuation for the men of Nicholson’s command. The deliberations of their own Prime Minister would see to that. Just after 2pm on the afternoon of 25 May Lieutenant Austin Evitts of Number 12 Wireless Section, Royal Corps of Signals, walked over to the wireless truck parked in the inner courtyard of The Citadel.

Several friends have volunteered their services during the writing of the guide and I extend my sincere thanks to Ghislaine Pearce and Josephine Jukes whilst Dick Hayes also provided much useful information. I owe a special debt of gratitude to Herr Hugo Stockter in Germany who has undertaken much research on my behalf and has translated a tremendous amount of material. His thoroughness and knowledge have helped to provide a German perspective to the battle for Calais which would otherwise have been lacking.

With a battlefield such as Calais, however, with quite long distances involved in visiting sites beyond the outer perimeter – the initial positions of 1 QVR involved a deployment along a front of some thirty kilometres for example – it is essential to have some form of transport to get from one site to another. Experienced cyclists should not find the distances involved too taxing, but for most of us the means of transport will be a private car or mini-bus. In preparing this guide I have assumed that many readers will want to get onto the ground and walk and a number of suggested routes can be found towards the end of the book.

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