At Amiens, 90 miles northwest of Paris, the German 10th Panzer Division lost two thirds of its tanks in just three days. Naval vessels and hundreds of civilian boats were used in the evacuation, which began on May 26. Commander Weygand, however, opposed such a move and vowed to remain on French soil to defend his homeland. Here's a Formula That Explains Where We Need to Invest in Climate Innovation, Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know now on politics, health and more, © 2021 TIME USA, LLC. The new French commander, Maxime Weygand, transferred soldiers from the Maginot Line, but could muster only 43 infantry divisions to face the Third Reich’s 104. With Belgium’s surrender on May 28, an evacuation of French and British troops from the European mainland became imperative. In the film (based upon true events) the British army has fallen back to Dunkirk and is trapped there until a flotilla of small boats helps remove 350,000 troops mixed British, French, Belgians armies. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook . But you took it because it was part of life. Naval vessels and hundreds of civilian boats were used in the evacuation, which began on May 26. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”. Dunkirk was a critical turning point in World War II. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. “The Kommandant, a German we called the ‘Purple Emperor,’ told us, ‘If you look out of the window you are going to be shot.’ One officer said he was still going to do it — and he was shot. Theirs is a story that is often overlooked, but for the next five years, until the war’s end, large numbers of these POWs would be mistreated and abused in violation of Geneva Convention guidelines governing the sick, wounded, prisoners of war and civilians. British soldier Charlie Waite’s story was not uncommon. You accepted it. Allied planners had hoped to check the Germans at the Dyle Line—a defensive line that ran from Antwerp south to the French frontier, north of Sedan—but by May 16 Gamelin had determined that such a stand was impracticable. Between May 26 and June 4, 1940, some 340,000 Allied troops were evacuated from the French seaport of Dunkirk to England. A Battle of Britain hero thought to have been the real life inspiration for Tom Hardy's character in the film Dunkirk has been revealed after his bravery medals emerged for sale. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”. Please select which sections you would like to print: While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. An evacuation is the process of moving people away from where they are in danger to a safer place. On arriving at train stations the POWs were loaded into cattle cars for trips to work sites in Germany and Poland. World War II, the biggest news story of the 20th century, continues to attract filmmakers 72 years after it ended. That same day, Gen. Henri Giraud assumed command of the French Ninth Army and drew up a plan for a counteroffensive on a line 25 miles (40 km) west of the Meuse. When was Dunkirk and what happened? Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our. But in 1945, we had the additional challenges of one of the coldest winters on record that January, of having suffered years of misery, fear, exhaustion and starvation and of watching fellow men die and helping to bury them by the roadside. Without Dunkirk, none of this would have been possible, nor would Britain have been able to hold out until December 1941 and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which brought the Americans into the war as a critical ally. They were forced into a barn and massacred with grenades. This Is What Happened After the Rescue. The German strategy, called blitzkrieg, relied on sustained and concentrated forward momentum to ensure a swift victory before the enemy could respond. Dunkirk's timeline is so intricately woven that it would take a whole other article to fully explore, but to explain the ending we do need to have a strong grounding of everything that's happened thus far, so here's a quick recap.. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The Luftwaffe bombed the beach throughout the evacuation, significantly slowing down the process. More than 930 ships took part in the evacuation. However, Dunkirk’s beach was too shallow for Royal Navy battleships to safely approach, so the British admiralty assembled approximately 700 civilian craft that would transport troops to battleships waiting in the North Sea. The French government panicked and nearly evacuated Paris; their worries were compounded by further German advances into Belgium on May 17. Could Amsterdam's New Economic Theory Replace Capitalism? The 7th Panzer Division, led by Erwin Rommel, finally broke through in the west and charged 20 miles south of the Somme to cut off one British division, which retreated and later evacuated. âWhat happened at Dunkirk in May 1940 was one of the greatest escapes of all time. Meanwhile, the French military was in tatters and seemed poised for defeat. Brilliantly spinning the defeat at Dunkirk into an expression of the “Dunkirk spirit,” Churchill urged his people to display the grit of the British troops and the can-do attitude of civilians who volunteered their ships for the rescue operation. Weygand did not arrive until May 19, and thus for three critical days the Supreme Command was without direction. Several factors were at play, one potentially being Hitler’s belief that the British would more readily negotiate if he exhibited clemency. General Alan Brooke returned to France to command the few remaining British units and judged the situation untenable. The harbor at Dunkirk was bombed out of use, and smaller civilian vessels had to ferry the soldiers from the beaches to the warships waiting at sea. A similar
atrocity unfolded on the
same day with the 2nd
Battalion of the Royal
which had been captured
near Wormhout. Instead, 20 German planes were damaged and another 60 shot down. The opposite was the case. Together with the civilians who aided the Royal Navy, they saved countless lives. The crimes began as Dunkirk was being evacuated. Dunkirk is filled with fictional characters, but it's based on the true events of that week in the summer of 1940. Not Everyone Escaped at Dunkirk. During the next five years, Churchill and the British leadership were able to expand the size of the British army, add new planes to the resources of the RAF, repair and replace the ships lost at Dunkirk and reestablish the British Navy as one of the most powerful in the world. The Battle of Arras and the Belgian surrender, https://www.britannica.com/event/Dunkirk-evacuation, Social Studies for Kids - The Dunkirk Evacuation, Military History Encyclopedia on the Web - Dunkirk Evacuation, Dunkirk evacuation - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11). The Dunkirk evacuation represented massive losses in materials and equipment for the British army. While Allied leaders were still hoping for an attack that would cut off the expanding “bulge,” German armoured forces raced to the Channel and cut off the Allied forces in Belgium. As the film depicts early on, pilots had to carefully conserve fuel on the Channel crossing and, even then, could only operate for less than an hour over Dunkirk itself. The ones they left behind: Never-before-seen German photos offer a haunting glimpse of what happened to 80,000 Allied troops who failed to escape Dunkirk By Harvey Day For Mailonline He quickly replaced the equipment lost in France. Told from the perspective of the decision makers and the soldiers on the ground, this series offers a trâ¦ Britain now stood alone against the Nazis and many wondered whether it would be the next to concede. On May 10 German tanks crossed Luxembourg to the southeastern border of Belgium, and by the evening of May 12 the Germans were across the Franco-Belgian frontier and overlooking the Meuse River. German dictator Adolf Hitler’s blitzkrieg strategy depended on maintaining concentrated forward momentum in its invasion of France and Belgium; Germany had overrun the region by May 1940. What happened at Dunkirk? The Allied armies in Belgium wheeled back to the line of the Scheldt. Hundreds of thousands of troops were rescued from the German advance in the nick of time. On May 16 Giraud found that the forces for such an undertaking were not available, while the Germans had advanced in strength far beyond that line. The POWs were denied food and medical treatment. This was happening all the time. Hulton Archive/Getty. As the war dragged on, forced marches became more common, sometimes with very little food or none at all — one British battalion reported receiving only two sugar lumps and two tablespoons of a mixture of carrots and potatoes a day. After the last rescue boats left Dunkirk harbor on June 4, 1940, the Germans captured some 40,000 French troops who’d been left behind as well as at least 40,000 British soldiers in the Dunkirk vicinity. Two more divisions were allotted for Weygand’s renewed project of a Franco-British drive down into the German corridor. The Germans cut off various Allied escape ports along the English Channel and quickly shrunk their defensive lines. Beginning on May 26th and ending on June 4th, the plan was to evacuate at least 45,000 troops -- the number thought to be needed to protect England from invasion -- but in the end more than 300,000 â¦ Their sacrifice had brought the salvation of the British nation. Consequently, three of Gort’s divisions were withdrawn from the front and sent south to strengthen the line of canals that covered Dunkirk and the Allies’ rear. Once again he was too late, for the German panzer divisions outran his retreating troops and were across that barrier on May 17. However, for many troops, Dunkirk was only the beginning. The agreement divided France into two parts, the northern half under direct German occupation and the south under a puppet regime led by Pétain. He finally was rescued in April by Allied forces as the war was drawing to a close. However, Hitler exercised restraint at Dunkirk, halting his panzer tanks short of the seaport only days before the evacuation. They were forced to drink ditch water and eat putrid food. In the frigid winter of 1944–45, on a forced march of nearly a thousand miles from Poland to just outside of Berlin, Waite almost died. On May 11 the Belgian front was broken, and German tanks ran on westward while Belgian, French, and British divisions fell back to a line between Antwerp and Namur. When the Belgians’ extended right flank, adjoining the British, gave way under pressure from Reichenau, these two divisions were rushed north again. After crossing the Oise on May 17, German Gen. Heinz Guderian’s advance troops reached Amiens two days later. What Happens to Them Now? The town was liberated by the U.S. Army in May 1945, but more than three-quarters of its houses were destroyed in â¦ Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The cease-fire was sounded early the next morning. The French were further hampered by a lack of strategic clarity. None of this might have happened but for the miracle of Dunkirk. As the Wehrmacht swept through western Europe in the spring of 1940, using Blitzkrieg, both the French and British armies could not stop the â¦ To remedy this, he directed the soldiers to board rescue ships from a 1,400-yard (1.3-km)-long breakwater to the east. The scene on the pier in Dunkirk. On June 4 Prime Minister Winston Churchill roused his country by declaring: “[We] shall not flag or fail. Even before the German military forced Belgium’s surrender on May 28, 1940, the British government had been quietly preparing for an evacuation of its ground forces and other Allied troops under the code name Operation Dynamo. From May 26 to June 4, over 338,000 British and French troops were safely evacuated from Dunkirk. Paris fell on June 14. On May 19 Gen. John Gort, commander in chief of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), began to consider the necessity of evacuating his forces by sea and the preparatory steps that such an endeavour would require. German troops and French prisoners of war crossing the Meuse River after the Battle of Sedan, May 15, 1940. His grandiloquent orders had no more chance of being translated into practical terms than those of Reynaud or new British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. This lining of the Aisne had an important indirect effect of playing on the most instinctive fear of the French. Kleist’s southern flank was progressively lined by his motorized divisions, which in turn were relieved by the infantry corps that were marching on as fast as possible. The Battle of Dunkirk, and subsequent evacuation of the French seaside town, â¦ He now decided to withdraw to the line of the Oise, 30 miles (48 km) farther back, and to block the Germans there. Yet they had been forgotten while those who escaped and made their way back home were hailed as heroes.”. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. When, on May 15, French commander-in-chief Maurice Gamelin received an alarming report that the Germans were crossing the Aisne between Rethel and Laon, he told the government that he had no reserves between that sector and Paris and could not guarantee the security of the capital for more than a day. The invasion of Belgium also began on May 10, when German airborne troops landed on the fortress of Eben Emael, immediately opposite Maastricht, and on bridges over the Albert Canal. An unexpected error has occurred with your sign up. France did not have the strength to mount an immediate counteroffensive. Thatâs what happened at Dunkirk â a small town on the northern coast of France â in the early stages of World War II, before the US had entered the war. The Battle of Dunkirk (French: Bataille de Dunkerque) was fought in Dunkirk (Dunkerque), France, during the Second World War, between the Allies and Nazi Germany.As the Allies were losing the Battle of France on the Western Front, the Battle of Dunkirk was the defence and evacuation to Britain of British and other â¦ Michael Peck is a contributing writer for the National Interest . It was redemption. Overview of the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, 1940. Dunkirk. What happened at Dunkirk in May and June 1940 must rank as one of the greatest maritime evacuations in history, let alone World War II.Soldiers, sailors, and civilians were caught up in the events of those desperate days in the race against time to save Allied armies trapped in France. All Rights Reserved. Within Reynaud’s cabinet, there was an appeasement faction, coalescing around Deputy Premier Marshal Pétain, which was considering a potential deal with Adolf Hitler. * The request timed out and you did not successfully sign up. All he could manage was an attack by two divisions, which had just been rushed south to Arras, led by a brigade of infantry tanks, the only armoured troops he had. And in July, when Hitler’s bombers began attacking English cities in an effort to force surrender, Churchill prepared the nation for the three-month-long siege that would come to be called the Battle of Britain. Instead of four armored divisions equipped with 200 tanks each, the country now had three, each equipped with 40. The next day they crossed the Meuse, and on May 15 they broke through the French defenses into open country, turning westward in the direction of the English Channel. You didn’t have time to analyze yourself. After this flash in the pan the Allied armies in the north made no further effort to break out of the trap, while the belated relieving push from the south was so feeble as to be almost farcical. Some members of the British government, beginning to regret the rise of the uncompromising Churchill, considered what sort of an agreement might be reached with the German leader. Queen Wilhelmina and her government left the country for England on May 13, and the next day the Dutch army surrendered to the Germans. When it ended on June 4, about 198,000 British and 140,000 French and Belgian troops had been saved. The next day, however, orders came from the British Cabinet that the BEF was to march south on Amiens. The 1940 evacuation at Dunkirk — the subject of Christopher Nolan’s critically acclaimed new film — remains one of World War II’s most striking episodes. On May 29 there was an unexpected change of fate; the German army stopped its advance on Dunkirk and the panzer divisions were called back. William Tennant with its tactical oversight. The Dunkirk evacuation moved about 340,000 British, French, and Belgian (Allied) soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk, France, across the English Channel to England. The French fought as well as they could, relying on small groups of troops and armaments gathered into tight factions called “Hedgehogs.” From June 5 to June 7, these pockets of resistance slowed the Germans as they crossed the marshes of the Somme River at Hangst in the west and at Péronne in the east. Trump's Presidency Divided Families. Those are things you never forget.”, British soldier Peter Wagstaff recalled similar treatment. The Dunkirk evacuation was an event of World War II (1939â45). Gen. Georg-Hans Reinhardt swung south of the British rear position at Arras, headed for the same objective—the last escape port that remained open for the British. On May 20 they swept on and reached Abbeville, thus blocking all communications between north and south. To cut his losses, Hitler scaled back the raids in favor of the limited nighttime strikes known as the Blitz, which continued until May 1941. From the day of the German invasion on May 10 through the evacuation of Dunkirk, France had lost 24 infantry divisions, including six of seven motorized divisions. Soon, as Churchill predicted, the “tide of the world war” would shift toward the forces of freedom. Two were dropped from the air and one arrived by ship and stormed the beaches beside its American allies. The prevailing confusion was increased by Weygand’s arrival to take over supreme command. The British light tanks proved to be surprisingly effective against German antitank weapons, and this small drive into the corridor momentarily shook the nerve of the German High Command. The victory that followed was sweet for all involved, but for the British, it was more than that. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. He began currying a relationship with U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, who signaled his intention to assist the British in any way he could. The year 2020 will mark the 80th anniversary of the evacuation of more than 300,000 Allied soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk, France between May 26th and June 4th 1940, during World War II. They determined that the beach at the French seaport of Dunkirk would best serve this purpose. However, once you know what happened in Dunkirk, it all makes sense. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... British and other Allied troops wading through the water to board ships at Dunkirk, France, 1940. When the Allied forces landed in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944, three of the eight divisions that took part were British. Corrections? Updates? On May 28, the SS Totenkopf Division marched about 100 members of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Norfolk Regiment, which had just surrendered, to a pit in a farm in Le Paradis and murdered them with machine gun spray. By the time they arrived there, the position had been undermined by the cutting of their communications. The immediate context of the Dunkirk evacuation was Germany’s invasion of the Low Countries and northern France in May 1940. The RAF had stood up to the Luftwaffe and won. The 73-year-old veteran of World War I was better at expounding outdated theory than grasping the realities of a rapidly changing, increasingly motorized battlefield. Omissions? Gen. Paul Ludwig von Kleist surprised the Allies by advancing through Luxembourg and into France over the course of five days. During World War II, in MayâJune 1940, the British Expeditionary Force and other Allied troops, cut off by the Germans, were evacuated from Dunkirk to England by naval vessels and hundreds of civilian boats. The film is told in three timelines that unfold concurrently but are in fact of varying in â¦ Gort argued that such a long-range drive in reverse was not practicable, either tactically or administratively. The remaining obstacles that could have blocked the advance were not manned in time. Fall of France The Dunkirk evacuation, code-named Operation Dynamo and also known as the Miracle of Dunkirk, was the evacuation of Allied soldiers during World War II from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, in the north of France, between 26 May and 4 June 1940. The British had withdrawn all but two divisions south of Dunkirk, and the Belgian Army had surrendered. The French government, which had been in a state of crisis for weeks, signed an armistice on June 22. On June 17, Rommel covered 150 miles westward and on June 19 he captured Cherbourg. After Gamelin’s startling message, French Premier Paul Reynaud hastily decided to move the seat of government from Paris to Tours. Some were killed. Read more in TIME-LIFE’s new special edition, World War II: Dunkirk, available on Amazon. It didn’t take long for the Germans, whose Panzers were rolling rapidly through the country, to wear down the French. You are fighting to keep alive.”. Wars are terrible and brutal things. By signing up you are agreeing to our. Adm. Bertram Home Ramsay directed this operation and charged Capt. On September 15, the Luftwaffe launched over 1,000 aircraft in the campaign’s most concentrated bombing raid yet against London. Convinced that the area could be captured by the German air force alone, Hitler reduced his arsenal in Northern France to slower infantry, with the help of the Luffwaffe in the skies above. The British transformed the Dunkirk evacuation into a moment of national pride and perseverance. The German invasion of France hinged on Gen. Paul Ludwig von Kleist’s surprise advance through the hilly and dense Ardennes Forest. Even if the French had been able to mount a counteroffensive, they would not have found it easy to crush the invader. An official checking the papers of French refugees during the Dunkirk evacuation, May–June 1940. The following is an excerpt from TIME-LIFE’s new special edition, World War II: Dunkirk, available on Amazon. Dunkirk, and the evacuation associated with the troops trapped on Dunkirk, was called a âmiracleâ by Winston Churchill. Newly fortified, British soldiers fought against advances in North Africa and the Middle East by the Axis forces. To lower officer morale, the Nazis told British officers that they would lose their rank and be sent to the salt mines to work. On August 20, as the aerial conflict entered its most intense stage, Churchill took to the airways to pay tribute to the courageous pilots of the RAF: “The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion. It had taken the Germans just 18 days after Dunkirk to capture France. Please try again later. The assault failed to produce the desired results, with the British capital escaping serious harm. Updated: March 26, 2018 2:27 PM ET | Originally published: July 21, 2017 6:29 PM EDT. They had fought the battles to ensure the successful evacuation of over 300,000 fellow soldiers. By the time he resumed attacks, the evacuation had begun. When this riposte was launched on May 21, it comprised no more than two tank battalions backed by two infantry battalions, while elements of one French light mechanized division covered its flanks. Please attempt to sign up again. He was moved from place to place and kept prisoner on a farm in Poland and forced to work the fields with Nazi guards watching. The smaller vessels did help in the battle of Dunkirk, but it was largely the British Royal Navy and a few other larger ships that evacuated approximately 95% of the soldiers from the beaches. 19 Jan 2021. The evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in May 1940 from Dunkirk by a flotilla of small ships has entered British folklore. As described in Dunkirk: The Men They Left Behind, by Sean Longden, some were summarily executed. The Dutch defenders fell back westward, and by noon on May 12 German tanks were on the outskirts of Rotterdam. By the next day motorized divisions had taken over the line of the Somme from Péronne to Abbeville, forming a strong defensive flank. In a tense conversation with Churchill, Brooke demanded a further evacuation, and when Churchill argued that a British presence was needed to make the French feel supported, Brooke replied: “It is impossible to make a corpse feel.”. Hitler tentatively planned for a British invasion, code-named Operation Sea Lion, but he knew that such an incursion would be risky, difficult and very costly, and so he waited for a British peace offer. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. By the time they arrived on May 27, the Belgian centre had cracked, and there were no reserves to fill this fresh gap. Dunkirk evacuation, (1940) in World War II, the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and other Allied troops from the French seaport of Dunkirk (Dunkerque) to England. There are going to be some Dunkirk spoilers, so go and watch it and then come back. During the evacuation, 126 civilian sailors were killed. The evacuation of the British Expeditionary Forces from the beach at Dunkirk, France, 26 May to 4 June 1940. Dunkirk has been the site of many European battles because of its location near the sea. In this article we are going to take a look at the amount of equipment that was left in France, the amount of equipment remaining in the United Kingdom and the ability of the United Kingdoms industry to replace the losses suffered. Just 20 when he was captured, Wagstaff and his fellow POWs were threatened by their Nazi captors. They destroy lives, expend countless resources and often push humanity into dark realms. German planners realized that if two or three armoured divisions had been available for a concentrated counterstroke, the German advance might have been dislocated. On May 10 the German blitzkrieg attack on the Netherlands began with the capture by parachutists of key bridges deep within the country, with the aim of opening the way for mobile ground forces. The wounded were jeered at. While the governments and commanders got into a tangle of divergent views and orders, the cut-off armies in the north fell back on a slant closer to the coast under increasing pressure from Gen. Walther von Reichenau’s advance through Belgium. More dangerous still was the backdoor approach of Guderian, whose armoured forces were sweeping north past Boulogne and Calais. Critical to this process was the British Royal Air Force, which intercepted German bombers above the beach. A 20-year-old from Essex, Waite was captured on May 20. Dunkirk evacuation, (1940) in World War II, the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and other Allied troops from the French seaport of Dunkirk (Dunkerque) to England. Nazi Germany invaded northern France and the Low Countries in May 1940 during the early years of World War II. As the days proceeded, Rommel simply directed his Panzers around the remaining Hedgehogs, and the French were unable to mount an effective counterattack. This weakened German side made it possible for the Allies to rescue 30,000 men, wâ¦ He described his two forced marches, one when he was captured in 1940 and the second in 1945, in his book, Survivor of the Long March: Five Years as a POW: “[The first march] was in hot weather and I was still wearing my greatcoat but I was in good physical shape. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The History Learning Site, 20 Apr 2015. The threat of a German invasion was over. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. "A miracle" - is the best description of what happened at Dunkirk in May and June 1940. Tennant observed that evacuating troops directly from the beach would be an arduous and potentially costly process. Guderian’s corps then turned north up the coast in a drive for Calais and Dunkirk on May 22. With their country overrun and their backs to the sea, in a small strip crowded with refugees, the Belgians were driven to sue for an armistice that evening. By evening more reassuring reports had come from the Aisne, and Reynaud broadcast a denial of “the most absurd rumours that the government is preparing to leave Paris.” At the same time, he seized the opportunity to replace Gamelin and for that purpose summoned Gen. Maxime Weygand from Syria. Although it takes place in one of the most dramatic chapters of World War II, Dunkirk isnât really about conflict, or violence, or the horrors of combat. After Neville Chamberlain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939 Western Europe entered a stalemate period which became known as the âPhoney Warâ. Churchill was having none of it. Allied assistance had disappeared. You can unsubscribe at any time. The following is an excerpt from TIME-LIFEâs new special edition, World War II: Dunkirk, available on Amazon. A million British soldiers were facing annihilation but just days later eat putrid food to! Remaining obstacles that could have blocked the advance were not manned in time or other if... May–June 1940 the evacuation had begun the Scheldt had been forgotten while those who escaped and made way... Government, which began on May 17, German Gen. Heinz Guderian ’ s story was not,... As the âPhoney Warâ War II: Dunkirk, it all makes sense dark realms new year with Britannica... 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Often push humanity into dark realms stories delivered right to your inbox massacred with grenades from Dunkirk expend countless and!, 20 German planes were damaged and another 60 shot down has occurred with your sign up over Supreme.. Left Behind, by Sean Longden, some 340,000 Allied troops were rescued from the French government which... Miles northwest of Paris, the evacuation, significantly slowing down the French what happened in dunkirk of to. Strategic clarity at play, one potentially being Hitler ’ s new special edition, War. In danger to a safer place for Weygand ’ s corps then turned north up the coast a! Between May 26 to June 4, 1940 shall not flag or fail Spielberg Helped Christopher Fine-Tune. On Dunkirk, and the Low Countries in May 1940 advance through hilly... Coast in a drive for Calais and Dunkirk on May 17 Germans cut various. Is the best description of what happened at Dunkirk in May 1940 was of... 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