The Battle Of Dunkirk May 26-June 4, 1940

 

The Battle of Dunkirk lasting from May 26th to June 4th. It was almost a massive defeat of the allied forces against the superior forces of the Nazi War machine. As a matter of fact, The Battle of Dunkirk became the defense and evacuation of British and Allied forces in Europe. Keeping them from total annihilation.

Winston Churchill took control as Prime Minister of Great Britain on May 10, 1939. On the 26th of May 1940; two weeks later the BEF, who was in France to bolster support for the French force. They were in full retreat under the onslaught of the German Blitzkrieg.

Two massive German armies flanked them. General Fedor von Bock‘s Army Group B was to the east and General Gerd von Rundstedt‘s Army Group A to the west. They succeeded to push the BEF and the French army back towards the English Channel. Therefore, the Germans then formulated their next move to destroy or capture the allied forces.

In one of the most widely debated decisions of the war, the Germans halted their advance on Dunkirk. The “Halt Order” as it was called was not given by Adolf Hitler, but by Field Marshals Gerd von Rundstedt and Günther von Kluge. As a matter of fact, they suggested that the German forces around the Dunkirk pocket should stop their advance on the port. Then they could concentrate their forces. Then they could avoid an Allied breakout. Hitler sanctioned the order on 24 May with the support of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW).

The army was to halt for three days, which gave the Allies sufficient time to organize the Dunkirk evacuation and build a defensive line. Even though the Allies’ estimate of the situation was not very bright. The British had no choice but to start contemplating a possible conditional surrender with Germany.

But it was not to be. The British press later exploited the successful evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940, and particularly the role of the “Dunkirk little ships”, very effectively. Many of these were private vessels such as fishing boats and pleasure cruisers. In addition, commercial vessels such as ferries also contributed to the force. To say nothing of some of these boats came as far away as the Isle of Man and Glasgow. The boats were guided by naval craft across the Channel from the Thames Estuary. In addition, the naval boats gave them protection from Dover to help assist in the official evacuation.

These smaller boats were able to move closer into the shallow waters near the beach much safer than the larger craft. These smaller ships were used as shuttles to and from the larger ships. There they lifted troops who were queuing in the water, many waiting shoulder-deep in water for hours. With the help and the resolve of the British people and the solidarity of the British people in times of adversity. They were able to rescue more than 330,000 Allied troops.

On June 4th the new Prime Minister of Britain Winston Churchill gave one of his Stoic speeches. Here is an insert of that speech in the House of Commons:

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone.

At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.

Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

 

 

C N Trueman “Dunkirk.” 20 Apr 2015.- 25 Jul 2017 <http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/world-war-two/world-war-two-in-western-europe/the-attack-on-western-europe/dunkirk/>

 Kennedy Hickman “World War II: Battle and Evacuation of Dunkirk.” June 06, 2017 <https://www.thoughtco.com/battle-and-evacuation-of-dunkirk-2361491>

EyeWitness to History “The Evacuation at Dunkirk, 1940.”  <https://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2008)>

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica “Dunkirk evacuation WORLD WAR II.” <https://www.britannica.com/event/Dunkirk-evacuation>

The Churchill Society “We Shall Fight on the Beaches July 30, 2017
London”.<http://www.churchill-society-london.org.uk/Dunkirk.html>

 

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The Greatest Battles in History

Great Battles
Battle Of Ampheia, 738 BC

There have been some great battles throughout our history. These are the ones considered the great battles of all time.  If your thoughts are different than mine please let me know. We can have a friendly war over it.

Stalingrad (World War II, 1942-43)

During World War Two the Allies fought against the Axis. Originally, Russia had an uneasy alliance with Germany led by the Führer Adolf Hitler and Stalin the head of Russia. Hitler ended the risk of a war with Stalin by signing the Nazi–Soviet non-aggression pact in August 1939. The agreement secretly divided the independent nations of Eastern Europe between the two powers and assured adequate oil supplies for the German war machine.

Except, Stalin didn’t trust the little corporal from Germany, his senses were proven right. In June 1941, Hitler broke the non-aggression agreement with Stalin and Germany invaded the Soviet Union. This decision of Adolf Hitler was the beginning of the end for the Third Reich.

The Battle of Stalingrad (23 August 1942 – 2 February 1943)

Stalingrad was number one in the great battles of history. It was the last great offensive by the German Nazis on the Eastern Front. The Battle of Stalingrad resulted in the death or capture of more than a quarter million German soldiers. It was an extremely costly defeat for German forces. Germany had to withdraw vast military forces from the West to replace their losses in Russia because of the Battle of Stalingrad.

 

Battle of Saragarhi (Tirah Campaign War, 1897)

Saragarhi was a small village in the border district of Kohat, situated on the Samana Range, in present-day Pakistan. The area was very volatile with tribal Pashtuns attacking British forts from time to time.

Uprising by the Afghans began there in 1897, and between 27 August – 11 September and they finally attacked. On 12 September 1897, 10,000 Pashtuns attacked the signaling post at Saragarhi which was manned by the 36th Sikh Regiment.

Around 9:00 am, around 10,000 Afghans reach the signaling post at Saragarhi. The forces protecting the fort sent out calls for getting reinforcement and that they were under attack.  Their heroism was shown by these gallant soldiers who died at their posts in the defense of the fort of these gallant soldiers who died at their posts in the defense of the fort of Saragarhi, on the 12 September 1897.

The Sikhs fought against overwhelming numbers, thus proving their loyalty and devotion to their sovereign The Queen Empress of India. They were honored for their gloriously fight maintaining the reputation of the Sikhs for unflinching courage on the field of battle.

 

Operation Overlord (Normandy, France 1944, WWII)

Operation Overlord has the place of being the second great battles of history. Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy. The operation was launched on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings (Operation Neptune, commonly known as D-Day). The invasion included 1,200-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving more than 5,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on the 6 of June, and there were estimated more than two million Allied troops in France by the end of August.

Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe during World War II. The operation was launched on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings (Operation Neptune, commonly known as D-Day). A 1,200-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving more than 5,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June, and more than two million Allied troops were in France by the end of August.

Estimates of German losses for the Normandy campaign range from 400,000 (200,000 killed or wounded; 200,000 captured) to 500,000 (290,000 killed or wounded, 210,000 captured) to 530,000.

 

Yorktown (American Revolution, 1781)

The Siege of Yorktown, also known as the Battle of Yorktown, ending on October 19, 1781, at Yorktown, Virginia, The battle was a decisive victory by a combined force of American Continental Army troops led by General George Washington and French Army troops led by the Comte de Rochambeau. They jointly defeated the British Army commanded by Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis. The capture of both General Charles Cornwallis and his army prompted the British government to negotiate an end to the conflict.

 

Thermopylae (Persia / Greece War 480 BC)

The Battle of Thermopylae was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states between Sparta and Athens led by King Leonidas of Sparta, against the Persian Empire of Xerxes I, the battle lasted only three days. This was Persia second invasion of Greece. It took place simultaneously with the naval battle at Artemisium where Xerxes I Navy fought the Athenian navy. The Spartan and their small force of allies fought their battle in August or September 480 BC, at the narrow coastal pass of Thermopylae. The Persian invasion was a response to their defeat by the Athenian during the first Persian invasion of Greece. This ended by an Athenian victory at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC.

Xerxes had amassed a huge army and navy and set out to conquer all of Greece. The Athenian general Themistocles had proposed that the allied Greeks block the advance of the Persian army at the pass of Thermopylae, and simultaneously block the Persian navy at the Straits of Artemisium.

The 300 Spartans, King Leonidas of Sparta and his personal bodyguards fought to the death.

Xerxes, army, and navy were beaten badly as they retreated back to Persia.

The Greeks will have another meeting with Persia when they are defeated by Alexander The Great.

I have a point of consideration. Did Rome ever thank Persia? If there was no longer a Persia would Alexander the Great gone west instead of east and conquer the Great  Rome to be?

 

“The Battle of Stalingrad” 7/7/2017<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Stalingrad>.

“The Battle of Saragarhi” 7/7/2017< https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Saragarhi>.

“Operation Overlord” 7/7/2017< https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Overlord>.

“The Siege of Yorktown” 7/7/2017 < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Yorktown>.

“The Battle of Thermopylae” 7/7/2017<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Thermopylae>.

Attila Duka  “Top Ten Greatest Battles in History” 7/7/2017 <https://www.thetoptens.com/top-ten-greatest-battles/>.

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