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  • YOUR views on Dunkirk

    Hi everyone......

    Would anyone care to share their views and opinions on WHAT was occurring at the time of the rescue at Dunkirk?

    Since I know so little about the intricacies of WW2, my views are limited to commonly expressed theories.

    1. Hitler admired GB and saw this as a chance to throw a bone Churchills way.
    2. The German troops were tired and needed to rest before delivering the fatal
    Blow.
    3. The German Air Force was SUPPOSED to deliver the fatal blow and simply
    Failed at the task.

    After reading various threads I KNOW that the true answers are much more complicated. For the life of me, I CANNOT see hitler doing GB a favor in return for GB becoming an ally, or at the very least, sitting the rest of the war out. Those British troops in Dunkirk were basically all that GB had left, correct? How could hitler have simply decided that they were to be spared? It just doesn't make sense to me. But then again his mind didn't seem to work like most
    people's.

    So, fatigue or HG's incompetence was the answer? Or perhaps a combination of all? Whatever the reason, I look forward to getting educated on this matter.
    Thanks for taking the time.

  • #2
    hi and welcome to the forum - don't take the following personally.

    to all: does the "search" function not work on this forum/thread???

    FFS - lock this up now before it turns into another sh*tfest. If I had a dime for every "Dunkirk" thread I've participated in, I could pay a month's worth of utilities.
    You'll live, only the best get killed.

    -General Charles de Gaulle

    Comment


    • #3
      A few points to remember

      1) Orders to halt the Panzer spearheads had been issued several times prior to 24th May and they'd all been ignored, or at least circumvented, by the commanders in the field. Even if the latest one had Hitler's backing there is no doubt that had the tactical situation been favourable the Panzer formations would have closed the net.

      2) Goering may have been over-confident regarding the Luftwaffe's capacity to halt the evacuation but then the British were very pessimistic about their capacity to evacuate more then 10% of the troops pinned around Dunkirk.

      3) One can discuss for hours/days/weeks/months/years the relative fighting capabilities of the troops engaged in the 1940 Campaign but those who defended the Dunkirk beaches did so with great tenacity. There is a tendency to look at famous battles or campaigns and ascribe victory/defeat down to the mistakes of one side or the clever strategy/tactics of the other. Warfare is rarely, if ever, that simple.

      Anyway, enough of my meanderings! Take a read of this article by ACG's pet historian, Carlo D'Este, for a worthy perspective on the events of late May 1940. Bear in mind that any article, book or internet rant on any historical topic is only ever a perspective - there is no 'truth' out there.
      Signing out.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by asterix View Post
        hi and welcome to the forum - don't take the following personally.

        to all: does the "search" function not work on this forum/thread???

        FFS - lock this up now before it turns into another sh*tfest. If I had a dime for every "Dunkirk" thread I've participated in, I could pay a month's worth of utilities.
        I do understand your POV, especially as some here sometimes belittle the French effort, but new blood can inject life into old subjects, and sometimes new information is revealed .
        How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
        Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

        Comment


        • #5
          This should be one of the top ten things people never forget about that war.

          A bunch of people took their own boats out (from crab-boats to yachts) and saved their nation's army. They went without being shepherded by their Navy, without written permission filed in triplicate by the French consulate, they went without knowing anything but where they were going and that the war was waiting for them there.

          How many such people are left in the Europe of today, hundreds, dozens?
          Soon there won't be any at all unless stories like this are kept alive.

          Comment


          • #6
            I can't add much more than what Kevin (FM) said, but the French and British who stayed behind were very, very brave men. Also it should be remembered that a good number of Frenchmen were embarked too. Most who decided to return to France to continue the fight. It seems to be frequently forgot that the French fought bravely for over a month AFTER Dunkirk. Viva la France! Viva la UK! Viva la Allies!
            Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

            "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

            What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
              This should be one of the top ten things people never forget about that war.

              A bunch of people took their own boats out (from crab-boats to yachts) and saved their nation's army. They went without being shepherded by their Navy, without written permission filed in triplicate by the French consulate, they went without knowing anything but where they were going and that the war was waiting for them there.

              How many such people are left in the Europe of today, hundreds, dozens?
              Soon there won't be any at all unless stories like this are kept alive.
              The long toll of the brave
              Is not lost in darkness
              Over the fruitful earth
              And athwart the seas
              Hath passed the light of noble deeds
              Unquenchable forever.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                This should be one of the top ten things people never forget about that war.

                A bunch of people took their own boats out (from crab-boats to yachts) and saved their nation's army. They went without being shepherded by their Navy, without written permission filed in triplicate by the French consulate, they went without knowing anything but where they were going and that the war was waiting for them there.

                How many such people are left in the Europe of today, hundreds, dozens?
                Soon there won't be any at all unless stories like this are kept alive.
                Very touchingly and eloquently put, sir.
                Will no one tell me what she sings?--
                Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
                For old, unhappy, far-off things,
                And battles long ago:
                -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by gabagool View Post
                  Hi everyone......

                  Would anyone care to share their views and opinions on WHAT was occurring at the time of the rescue at Dunkirk?

                  Since I know so little about the intricacies of WW2, my views are limited to commonly expressed theories.

                  1. Hitler admired GB and saw this as a chance to throw a bone Churchills way.
                  2. The German troops were tired and needed to rest before delivering the fatal
                  Blow.
                  3. The German Air Force was SUPPOSED to deliver the fatal blow and simply
                  Failed at the task.

                  After reading various threads I KNOW that the true answers are much more complicated. For the life of me, I CANNOT see hitler doing GB a favor in return for GB becoming an ally, or at the very least, sitting the rest of the war out. Those British troops in Dunkirk were basically all that GB had left, correct? How could hitler have simply decided that they were to be spared? It just doesn't make sense to me. But then again his mind didn't seem to work like most
                  people's.

                  So, fatigue or HG's incompetence was the answer? Or perhaps a combination of all? Whatever the reason, I look forward to getting educated on this matter.
                  Thanks for taking the time.
                  How long have you been on this Forum my friend? Look over some of the back numbers on Dunkirk,there have been so many threads on the subject you can't miss 'em!! I come from the same era and area,BUT I'VE HAD ENOUGH!!! lcm1 P.S, Still, welcome to the Forum,I am sure you will be glad you have joined us. lcm1
                  'By Horse by Tram'.


                  I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                  " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                    A few points to remember

                    1) Orders to halt the Panzer spearheads had been issued several times prior to 24th May and they'd all been ignored, or at least circumvented, by the commanders in the field. Even if the latest one had Hitler's backing there is no doubt that had the tactical situation been favourable the Panzer formations would have closed the net.

                    2) Goering may have been over-confident regarding the Luftwaffe's capacity to halt the evacuation but then the British were very pessimistic about their capacity to evacuate more then 10% of the troops pinned around Dunkirk.

                    3) One can discuss for hours/days/weeks/months/years the relative fighting capabilities of the troops engaged in the 1940 Campaign but those who defended the Dunkirk beaches did so with great tenacity. There is a tendency to look at famous battles or campaigns and ascribe victory/defeat down to the mistakes of one side or the clever strategy/tactics of the other. Warfare is rarely, if ever, that simple.

                    Anyway, enough of my meanderings! Take a read of this article by ACG's pet historian, Carlo D'Este, for a worthy perspective on the events of late May 1940. Bear in mind that any article, book or internet rant on any historical topic is only ever a perspective - there is no 'truth' out there.
                    For Gawd sake Monty,don't encourage him! lcm1
                    'By Horse by Tram'.


                    I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                    " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                      This should be one of the top ten things people never forget about that war.

                      A bunch of people took their own boats out (from crab-boats to yachts) and saved their nation's army. They went without being shepherded by their Navy, without written permission filed in triplicate by the French consulate, they went without knowing anything but where they were going and that the war was waiting for them there.

                      How many such people are left in the Europe of today, hundreds, dozens?
                      Soon there won't be any at all unless stories like this are kept alive.
                      Hi TE, I may have said this before,but it is well worth repeating.The fishermen from my home town of Brighton tied their rowing boats one behind the other to a boat that was lucky enough to have a motor and set off for Dunkirk under the guidance of a MTB and no, none of them were asked to do it they just went.Not to sure how many were lost,but I do not believe that their was ever any OFFICIAL recognition for what they did that day. lcm1
                      'By Horse by Tram'.


                      I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                      " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Surprisingly, I was well into adulthood before I realized that Dunkirk had been a somewhat inglorious retreat. It was always presented as a kind of glorious moment for the British in the war. Which, in a way, I guess it was.

                        For the participants of Operation Dynamo the ‘miracle’ of Dunkirk was seen from quite a different perspective. Far from a glorious triumph, the soldiers came home expecting to be booed and were astonished at their glowing reception. One veteran describes Dunkirk as a "shambolic disaster" and it seems certain that in fact, it could have been little more than this had the weather not been as good as it was. The majority of Little Ships simply were not built for Channel crossings. Many of them were used for nothing more than pottering around the Thames and even some of the larger, more seaworthy craft had only been intended for such trips as a day sail to the Isle of Wight and back.
                        Without pressure it is doubtful whether many of these vessels would attempt a visit to France and weighed down to overflowing with troops in 1940 it was a most hazardous crossing. As Admiral Ramsay, mastermind of the Operation, later reported "It must be fully realised that a wind of any strength in the northern sector between the southwest and northeast would have made beach evacuation impossible. At no time did this happen".
                        From: http://www.researchthepast.com/dunkirk_article.htm
                        "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."— Bertrand Russell

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                          This should be one of the top ten things people never forget about that war.

                          A bunch of people took their own boats out (from crab-boats to yachts) and saved their nation's army. They went without being shepherded by their Navy, without written permission filed in triplicate by the French consulate, they went without knowing anything but where they were going and that the war was waiting for them there.

                          How many such people are left in the Europe of today, hundreds, dozens?
                          Soon there won't be any at all unless stories like this are kept alive.

                          My old grandfather, WW1 Vet RNVR, took his three fishing trawlers on a cross Channel cruise to pick up a large number of wet khaki glad gentlemen......said they were very well behaved on the way back to England ]other than having to fend off some peski Germans flying overhead...

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