The fall of France: Hitler’s greatest gamble

Laurence Rees, a former BBC filmmaker who specialises in the Second World War, considers why the German drive into France in 1940 was such a risk and why it stopped short at Dunkirk

Calculated risk: Adolf Hitler makes plans at his headquarters in Bruly-de-Peche, Ardennes, Belgium. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the May 2010 issue of BBC History Magazine 

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