What did you both do (or your relatives if that be the case) in Dunkirk? My Grand Father was in the British Expeditionary Force during that battle so I'd be interested in hearing your stories as my Grand Father wont tell me anything, alas I only know a little detail about what happened at that event.
In delivering his report on the situation at Dunkirk on June 4, 1940 to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill declared that the British would keep fighting until the cessation of the war....
The Prime Minister confirmed that 'V'- Day celebrations would be repeated annually, but no mention of the Dunkirk evacuation. If Dunkirk is to be pushed into obscurity it would be a national tragedy - so, let me pick up the trumpet and sound off loud and clear, to disclose why this should never happen, but firstly why it might.
The position of the B. E.F had now become critical As a result of a most skillfully conducted retreat and German errors, the bulk of the . The peril facing the British nation was now suddenly and universally perceived. On May 26, “Operation Dynamo “–the evacuation from Dunkirk began. The seas remained absolutely calm. The Royal Air Force–bitterly maligned at the time by the Army–fought vehemently to deny the enemy the total air supremacy which would have wrecked the operation. At the outset, it was hoped that 45,000 men might be evacuated; in the event, over 338,000 Allied troops reached England, including 26,000 French soldiers. On June 4, Churchill reported to the House of Commons, seeking to check the mood of national euphoria and relief at the unexpected deliverance, and to make a clear appeal to the United States.
Our Government has never issued medals to the commemeration of Dunkirk. They say it was a defeat. The French Government thought otherwise and issued medals to their participants. It was never the battle for Dunkirk, but the battle of Dunkirk.
The victory of the island in the Battle of Britain cannot be reduced to one common factor but involves emphasis on other ideas such as the role of the Navy in comparison with the Kriegsmarine, the events of Dunkirk and the role of certain perso...
Nolan has described “Dunkirk” as less a war film than a survival film, but it’s even more basic than that, in the way it lures us in and keeps us hooked. It is about what we do—how we suffer and retort—when things happen to us, and when the happening grows far beyond our control. There is plenty of agency here, much of it valiant, not least in Farrier’s dogfights, but the focus is on the inflicted; aside from a few shadowy forms in the closing minutes, no Germans are visible at all. Look at the British who hide in the belly of a beached fishing boat, which unseen enemy troops are using for target practice. Look at the evacuees on the Mole, turning their backs as a bomb bursts nearby and being caught in the gust of spray; we don’t actually witness the explosion, any more than they do. We need to feel their fear.
The enemy attacked on all sides with great strength and fierceness, and their main power, the power of their far more numerous Air Force, was thrown into the battle or else concentrated upon Dunkirk and the beaches. Pressing in upon the narrow exit, both from the east and from the west, the enemy began to fire with cannon upon the beaches by which alone the shipping could approach or depart. They sowed magnetic mines in the channels and seas; they sent repeated waves of hostile aircraft, sometimes more than a hundred strong in one formation, to cast their bombs upon the single pier that remained, and upon the sand dunes upon which the troops had their eyes for shelter. Their U-boats, one of which was sunk, and their motor launches took their toll of the vast traffic which now began. For four or five days an intense struggle reigned. All their armored divisions-or what Was left of them-together with great masses of infantry and artillery, hurled themselves in vain upon the ever-narrowing, ever-contracting appendix within which the British and French Armies fought.
I do not think that Dunkirk will be forgotten. What is more likely is that the rest of the BEF who were not at Dunkirk, the 200,000, will be forgotten. There is a prevalent myth that all the BEF was evacuated from Dunkirk. The 51st Highland Division hardly gets a mention, nor does the tragedy of the Lancastria, nor do the evacuations from other French ports.
How to account for the impact that is made by “Dunkirk”? After all, there are so many ways in which the film falls short, and so many directions in which Nolan decides not to tack. Anybody wishing to understand the niceties of Operation Dynamo will be confounded, as will anyone expecting the sight of high-ranking strategists huddled around maps in low-lit situation rooms. (We do hear one of Churchill’s speeches, but only when a young man reads it aloud from a newspaper.) Nor does the film convince as a period drama. Most of the soldiers, who should look pinched and ration-fed, are well nourished, handsome, and unmistakably modern specimens—oddly well spoken, too, and lacking that earth-dark humor with which combatants everywhere seek to lighten their load and to wrestle down their dread. Most anachronistic of all are the tears that cloud Bolton’s eyes at the approach of the Little Ships. As a rule, senior officers, tasked with the mass relocation of men, have neither the time nor the inclination to weep.
Do you happen to know what happened to the remainder of the allied forces who were left behind at Dunkirk? After doing my research in various books, it doesn't look as though there was much hope for them :( I wont bother estimating how many got away as it was a lot, yet so many were left behind unfortunately.