The fictitious saga of Sergeant Williams, Second Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment, might easily have been the true story of any British soldier at Dunkerque. Amid the suffocating smoke of burning towns, the machine gunning from low flying German aircraft, and the endless bombings, British troops struggled to board the ships sent to evacuate them from their trap. Through the chaos, Sergeant Williams organizes a group of dazed soldiers and leads them aboard a ship. Having escaped from the Germans once and acquired a lovable Airedale pup en route, the Sergeant is forced to abandon the animal in order to get passage. A quirk of fate reunites them after the boat capsizes and the Sergeant swims for shore. On enemy soil, he and a companion are hidden from the Germans by a French girl. Their encounters with divergent elements of French opinion about the evacuation, their close shaves with the enemy build an adventure with a solid foundation in recent history. The swift pace holds the reader until the Sergeant's final and climatic escape to freedom. Excellent.