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Dunkirk veterans from north-east England remember the evacuation.

June 1 dawned fine and bright — good flying weather, in contrast to the bad weather that had hindered airborne operations on 30 and 31 May. (There were only two and a half good flying days in the whole operation.) Although Churchill had promised the French that the British would cover their escape, on the ground it was the French who held the line while the last remaining British were evacuated. Despite concentrated artillery fire and Luftwaffe strafing and bombs, the French stood their ground. On 2 June (the day the last of the British units embarked onto the ships), the French began to fall back slowly, and by 3 June the Germans were two miles from Dunkirk. The night of 3 June was the last night of evacuations. At 10:20am on 4 June, the Germans hoisted the swastika over the docks from which so many British and French troops had escaped under their noses.

The War Office made the decision to evacuate British forces on 25 May. In the nine days from 27 May to 4 June, 338,226 men escaped, including 139,997 French, Polish and Belgian troops, together with a small number of Dutch soldiers, aboard 861 vessels (of which 243 were sunk during the operation). Liddell Hart says British Fighter Command lost 106 aircraft dogfighting over Dunkirk, and the Luftwaffe lost about 135—some of which were shot down by the French Navy and the Royal Navy; but MacDonald says the British lost 177 aircraft and the Germans lost 240.

A member of the crew aboard HMS Malcolm recounts the evacuation at Dunkirk.

The role of Margate's lifeboats in the Dunkirk evacuation.

A Thames tugboat master describes how he helped with the Dunkirk operation.

The docks at Dunkirk were too badly damaged to be used, but the East and West (sea walls protecting the harbour entrance) were intact. Captain —in charge of the evacuation—decided to use the beaches and the East Mole to land the ships. This highly successful idea hugely increased the number of troops that could be embarked each day and on 31 May, over 68,000 men were embarked.

See main article: and . The War Office made the decision to evacuate British forces on 25 May. In the nine days from 27 May–4 June, 338,226 men escaped, including 139,997 French, Polish, and Belgian troops, together with a small number of Dutch soldiers, aboard 861 vessels (of which 243 were sunk during the operation). wrote that Fighter Command lost 106 aircraft over Dunkirk and the lost about 135, some of which were shot down by the French Navy and the Royal Navy. MacDonald wrote in 1986 that the British losses were 177 aircraft and German losses 240.

Dunkirk veterans from north-east England remember the evacuation.

In 's novel The Heat of the Day, Robert Kelway (the protagonist's lover and the man whose potential espionage fuels the plot) is wounded at the Battle of Dunkirk, which causes him to limp when he feels like a wounded man.

A member of the crew aboard HMS Malcolm recounts the evacuation at Dunkirk.

Few historians now accept the view that Hitler's behaviour was influenced by the desire to let the British off lightly in [the] hope that they would then accept a compromise peace. True, in his political testament dated 26 February 1945 Hitler lamented that Churchill was "quite unable to appreciate the sporting spirit" in which he had refrained from annihilating [the] British Expeditionary Force, at Dunkirk, but this hardly squares with the contemporary record. Directive No. 13, issued by the Supreme Headquarters on 24 May called specifically for the annihilation of the French, English and Belgian forces in the pocket, while the was ordered to prevent the escape of the English forces across the channel.

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Battle of Dunkirk | Military Wiki | FANDOM powered by …


The role of Margate's lifeboats in the Dunkirk evacuation

On 24 May, Hitler visited General von Rundstedt's headquarters at . The terrain around Dunkirk was thought unsuitable for armour. Von Rundstedt advised him the infantry should attack the British forces at Arras, where the British had proved capable of significant action, while Kleist's armour held the line west and south of Dunkirk to pounce on the Allied forces retreating before Army Group B. Hitler, who was familiar with Flanders' marshes from the , agreed. This order allowed the Germans to consolidate their gains and prepare for a southward advance against the remaining French forces.

Battle of Dunkirk - The Full Wiki

Few historians now accept the view that Hitler's behaviour was influenced by the desire to let the British off lightly in hope that they would then accept a compromise peace. True, in his political testament dated 26 February 1945 Hitler lamented that Churchill was "quite unable to appreciate the sporting spirit" in which he had refrained from annihilating the BEF at Dunkirk, but this hardly squares with the contemporary record. Directive No. 13, issued by the Supreme Headquarters on 24 May called specifically for the annihaltion of the French, English and Belgian forces in the pocket, while the Luftwaffe was ordered to prevent the escape of the English forces across the channel.

Term Paper | Erwin Rommel | Battle Of Stalingrad

The route back from Brooke's position to Dunkirk passed through the town of (known to most British sources as "Poperinghe"), where there was a bottleneck at a bridge over the Yser canal. Most of the main roads in the area converged on that bridge. On 27 May, the Luftwaffe bombed the resulting traffic jam thoroughly for two hours, destroying or immobilising about 80% of the vehicles. Another Luftwaffe raid, on the night of 28/29 May, was illuminated by flares as well as the light from burning vehicles. The 44th Division in particular had to abandon many guns and lorries, losing almost all of them between Poperinge and the Mont.

Dunkirk survivors remember 'miracle' evacuation on …

On 24 May, had visited General von Rundstedt's headquarters at . Von Rundstedt advised him the infantry should attack the British forces at Arras, where they had proved capable of significant action, while Kleist's armour held the line west and south of Dunkirk in order to pounce on the Allied forces retreating before Army Group B. This order allowed the Germans to consolidate their gains and prepare for a southward advance against the remaining French forces. The terrain around Dunkirk was considered unsuitable for armour, so the Allied forces' destruction was initially assigned to the and the German infantry organised in . Von Rundstedt later called this "one of the great turning points of the war."

British troops evacuated from Dunkirk during the ..

Besides the s bombs, German heavy artillery (which had just come within range) also fired high-explosive shells into Dunkirk. By this time, over 1,000 civilians in the town had been killed. This bombardment continued until the evacuation was over.

Dunkirk survivors remember 'miracle' evacuation on 70th ..

In one of the most debated decisions of the war, the Germans halted their advance on Dunkirk. Contrary to popular belief, what became known as the "Halt Order" did not originate with . (Field Marshals) and suggested that the German forces around the Dunkirk should cease their advance on the port and consolidate to avoid an Allied breakout. Hitler sanctioned the order on 24 May with the support of the (). The army was to halt for three days, which gave the Allies sufficient time to organise the and build a defensive line. Despite the Allies' gloomy estimates of the situation, with Britain even discussing a conditional surrender to Germany, in the end more than 330,000 Allied troops were rescued.

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