Operation Dynamo - The Miracle of Dunkirk

As the German army, aided by their powerful tanks, pushed through Belgium and France at “lightning speed,” French and British troops were hemmed-in at Dunkirk

With enemy forces on three sides, and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, there was only one way for the Allied forces to escape certain death—a water rescue.

Between the 26th of May and the 4th of June, 1940, a flotilla of British ships (including destroyers, troop carriers, fishing boats and pleasure craft) rescued approximately 350,000 French and British men. Another 40,000 French soldiers were stranded, left to be captured by the Germans.

The boats were rescuing people, not war materiel, resulting in another major setback for Britain.  It's estimated that the country lost:

  • 2,500 heavy guns;
  • 64,000 vehicles; and
  • More than half-million tons of stores and equipment.

While the improbable rescue was referred to as a miracle at home, Churchill cautioned against too much euphoria. Wars, he reminded everyone, are not won by evacuation.

Media Credits

Historical footage, online courtesy BBC.


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"Operation Dynamo - The Miracle of Dunkirk" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Nov 21, 2019.
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