July 26, 2017 at 12:27 pm #5289
With reference to the film “Dunkirk” and the comment that the Brits were rescued before the French, I suggest checking the facts rather than the cinema representation.
I will get to watch the film one day, after the media hype has died down, and with a half-decent knowledge of the facts.
Why is the film advertising strapline completely in odds with Winston Churchill’s evaluation of the operation?July 26, 2017 at 1:12 pm #5290
Thanks for the post comment Paul… I got this from Wikipedia which seems to back up what I said on the show.
28 May – 4 June
Situation on 4 June 1940. The remaining French rearguard held a tiny sliver of land around Dunkirk.
The Belgian Army surrendered on 28 May, leaving a large gap to the east of Dunkirk. Several British divisions were rushed in to cover that side. On 30 May, Churchill received word that all British divisions were now behind the defensive lines, along with more than half of the French First Army. By this time, the perimeter ran along a series of canals about 7 miles (11 km) from the coast, in marshy country not suitable for tanks. With the docks in the harbour rendered unusable by German air attacks, senior naval officer Captain (later Admiral) William Tennant initially ordered men to be evacuated from the beaches. When this proved too slow, he re-routed the evacuees to two long stone and concrete breakwaters, called the East and West Mole, as well as the beaches. Almost 200,000 troops embarked on ships from the East Mole (which stretched nearly a mile out to sea) over the next week. On 28 May, 17,804 soldiers arrived at British ports. On 29 May, 47,310 British troops were rescued.
The next day, an additional 53,823 men were embarked, including the first French soldiers. Lord Gort and 68,014 men were evacuated on 31 May, leaving Major-General Harold Alexander in command of the rearguard. A further 64,429 Allied soldiers departed on 1 June, before the increasing air attacks prevented further daylight evacuation. The British rearguard of 4,000 men left on the night of 2–3 June. An additional 75,000 French troops were retrieved over the nights of 2–4 JuneJuly 26, 2017 at 1:21 pm #5291
Dunkirk is pivotal to the post world war view of Britain to us Brits. We go from the 1914 feeling of going to war with an empire to a post-Dunkirk view of being a small plucky country, Suez underlined our retreat from being a great power a decade and a half later. Go see the film it’s brilliant wherever you stand on the facts, consequences or Churchill’s quote that “we must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations”.
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