Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of Dunkirk, 70 years ago this week
From the 27th of May to the 4th of June 1940, 338,226 allied service men were evacuated from the port of Dunkirk and the beaches near by.
This turned the absolute disaster of the battle of France, where the French and British outnumbered Nazi Germany in terms of tanks, troops, artillery and naval power but were wiped out in less than a month in to some sort of moral victory.
And it was!
On the 26th of May 1940 prayers were said in both churches and synagogues for the safe return of our troops, such was the danger to our armies.
Operation dynamo kicked in, and in what has to be marked as an incredibly heroic effort, of the Royal Navy, the Merchant marine, private boat owners and the die hard troops, French and British that fought to the last man to hold lines, defend the indefensible and generally hold up the Nazi advance whilst those men were lifted from the beaches.
Particular mention must go to the crews of the 200 small craft that were lost, the French 5th core who held Lille with little point other than tying up German armour and infantry as well as the defenders of Bolougne and Calias who did the same.
May their souls rest in peace and perpetual light shine upon them. I will remember them.