Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dunkirk

Let's spend a moment thinking of events 70 years ago, when over the next nine days a third of a million men were evacuated across the Channel by over 700 boats, some of which would have been more suited to a boating lake. There were huge losses- over 200 boats were sunk and 400 aircraft shot down whilst trying to protect them against the Luftwaffe

40 000 men did not make it onto the boats; most became prisoners of War and were marched back to forced labour camps in Germany but a few escaped, making their way into Spain before being smuggled home. There must be a thousand tales of heroism, sacrifice, betrayal and sheer luck buried in those events, which almost seem to belong in a different world.

Mind you if I was in charge we'd have a National Holiday, financed by paying no Benefits for a day.

9 comments:

Steve at the Pub said...

I'm in favour of any public holiday, anywhere.

Provided it is a holiday for all. That is; Pubs, Newsagents, Service Stations, & others get to have the day off too.

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Anonymous said...

Trouble is when you look around Britain today you do have to wonder what those men fought and died for.
Seriously was it worth it?

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Miss Brodie said...

Yes those were heroic times! However despite politically correct press coverage on the French side of the channel, I have been surprised on occasion by the point of view expressed by certain French friends who seem to think the British only picked up their own people. They see the whole episode as a betrayal, like the destruction of the French fleet. Another of those Joan of Arc stories that makes the Entente Cordiale such a tricky business!

inspectorgadget said...

My understanding is that 139,000 French soldiers were taken off the beaches and transported back to England, where most of them were promptly delivered back to unoccupied areas of France to carry on the battle. And rightly so. We should send them the diesel fuel bill for the original trip. Ungrateful so and so's!

Anonymous said...

For people who like a good, honest weep with no emotional baggage I recommend reading "The Snow Goose" by Paul Gallico.

Jamie Spencer said...

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Jamie Spencer said...

Dunkirk <-- wow I loved it! :)
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