Monday, 24 July 2017

Why Dunkirk Was So Important

If you are British or Irish pretending to be British then you should know about Dunkirk. Well the younger generation might not as British TV and newspapers don't seem to be so fixated on World War II anymore.

This is how things get put into history, no one cares except the old people that were there. Dunkirk was a mistake, a clusterfuck and an underestimation of how good the Germans were.

War had started in 1939 ... not for Americans though as they are always late for world wars but the next one, I think they'll be in it from the start. There was a period known as the Phoney war in which the real fighting and bombing hadn't begun. The UK tried to aid Finland but ended up losing Norway to the Germans and Nevile Chamberlain resigned giving the job to Churchill.

The British people looked at the bomb shelters and gas masks with amusement as they had no idea of what was to come. The shit Churchill had been warning about for years that no one listened too until it was almost too late.

Not to be confused with The Old Contemptibles BEF of WWI 

The BEF or British Expeditionary Force had 394,165 men, tanks, aircraft the heap. Hitler had told his men to not provoke them, it was as if he was luring them in. The first BEF casualty was killed by friendly fire.

The BEF mission was to aid the French against the advancing Germans who had already taken Poland.

The French defeat in 1940 was also our defeat. The Germans overwhelmed all opposition from the Belgium army, the French, Polish, Dutch, Canadians and of course the British.

The BEF was surrounded on 3 sides and cut off from supplies. The British tried to make a stand at the Battle of Arras but it was a lost cause. The order to treat to Dunkirk for evacuation was given.

Some infantry companies were told to do a rear guard action to stall the Germans, they knew they'd be killed or captured.

99 survivors of the Royal Norfolk Regiment were ordered to surrender and did so to an SS division. They were lined up against a wall and shot then the survivors were bayoneted. 97 died but 2 hid in a pigsty. They were later captured and spent the war as POW's.

The waters at Dunkirk were too shallow for the British warships. The British government put out a nationwide request for civilian boats with shallow draft. Many were given with permission and many were given on condition that the owner sails them.

Thousands of men waited on the beaches at Dunkirk while the Germans attacked them from the air. When a ship came in they had to wade out in orderly queues as was the way of the British back then.

A young Knudsen with some shell shocked fool.

Young Knudsen would have stayed and fought off the Germans but he had a bad back and bone spurs in his feet.

So along with the British warships that were being attacked ... 6 destroyers and 5 minesweepers were sunk. There was a fleet of trawlers, yachts and smaller sail boats. Out of 693 British, French and Dutch ships and boats 226 were sunk.

The BEF lost 68,000 soldiers, dead, missing or captured. For every 7 soldiers that escaped one was left behind.

224,320 British and Canadian troops along with 139,097 French and some Belgian troops were rescued from Dunkirk. 

While it's a defeat that Hitler gloated about it was also a victory. Many of those troops returned to the war for payback. 

The British people were united in helping and "remember Dunkirk" became the cry.

The BEF was the core and the brains of the British military, if they hadn't been evacuated we would not have had an army to defend ourselves against the Germans with.

The equipment that was left behind was replaced, thanks to the sneaky efforts of FDR and his lend lease program.

Dunkirk was an 'oh shit' moment in history when we narrowly avoided getting trampled on by Hitler as European nation fell to him one after the other. Only having the channel between us and Hitler too busy bathing in his own glory in Paris instead of pushing gave us time to rebuild. Then the weather grew worse for any kind of channel invasion.

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