Wednesday, 3 June 2015

20 Facts About The Evacuation of Dunkirk

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May 1940 - The "Phoney War" had ended and the Germans were sweeping through Belgium and France. The British Expeditionary Force were pushed back to Dunkirk with the Blitzkrieg not far behind.

General Alan Brooke said, "Nothing but a miracle can save the British Expeditionary Force."

And Britain gave him 8 Days of Chaos, Courage, and Sacrifice: The Dunkirk Spirit and A Miracle of Deliverance.

Quick Facts About the Dunkirk Evacuation

1. The Dunkirk Evacuation took place between 27th May and 4th June.

2. The Dunkirk Evacuation was codenamed Operation Dynamo.

3. Operation Dynamo was tasked with evacuating as many troops of the British Expeditionary Force as possible.

4. 338,226 soldiers were rescued over 8 days of the evacuation.

5. Operation Dynamo was only expected to rescue 45,000 and last for two days.

Image result for 10 dunkirk evacuation facts6. Only 7,669 soldiers were rescued on Day One of the evacuation.

7. The figure rose to 25,000 on day two.

8. Winston Churchill had only been Prime Minister for two and a half weeks at the start of the Dunkirk Evacuation.

9. 933 passenger ferries, hospital ships, fishing boats, fire ships, paddle steamers, private yachts and Belgium barges were involved in the evacuation.

10. Up to a thousand more little boats were involved, who sailed across the English Channel on their own initiative.

11. The smallest boat which took part was the Tamzine, a 14ft fishing boat.

12. It wasn't just the British Expeditionary Force that was rescued. 140,000 French, Belgium and Polish soldiers were brought back to safety.

13. The soldiers were under constant attack as they waited to board one of the thousand boats.

14. Nearly 2,500 guns and over 76,000 tons of ammunition were left behind in Dunkirk.

15. 63,879 vehicles were left behind.
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16. 68,111 soldiers of the BEF were captured or killed during the attacks, retreat and evacuation at Dunkirk.

17. 40,000 French troops who held the line to help the others escape were captured at the end.

18. Over a thousand Dunkirk citizens were killed during air raids on the 27th May 1940.

19. After the last soldier of the British Expeditionary Force was evacuated on the 3rd June 1940, a message was sent to the commander of the evacuation, "Operation Completed."

20. Winston Churchill didn't agree. He sent the ships of the Royal Navy back to Dunkirk on the 4th June to bring back the French soldiers who remained behind. They brought back over 26,000 men of the French Army.

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