1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

[Europe] 70 Years Ago: Dunkirk

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by cmhbob, May 26, 2010.

  1. cmhbob

    cmhbob Did...did I do that? Staff Member

    70 Years Ago: Dunkirk

    70 years ago today, a flotilla of "little ships" helped save the British Army from what would have been almost total destruction.

    Here are the BBC Archives from that day and week.

    Here's a nice write-up by Bayou Renaissance Man.

    Over the next week, some 700 "little ships" and another 200-plus military ships helped rescue over 330,000 troops. Without Operation Dynamo, Great Britain would have been finished, and world history would be much different.

  2. John R. Beanham

    John R. Beanham Typical Aussie Male


    "Without Operation Dynamo, Great Britain would have been finished, and world history would be much different."

    Britain may well have been convinced to sue for peace, but I doubt it. A failed 'Dynamo' would still have left Britain with enough troops AND equipment, together with ships and planes, to repel 'Sealion'. She would have outnumbered the invaders, assuming they got ANY over the beach and inland, by at least 2 to 1, and probably a LOT more.

    But 'Dynamo' gave Britain an ENORMOUS boost, and that extends to the Commonwealth, and even the USA. The Battle of Britain confirmed the backbone of the British people.

    John B.
  3. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Veteran Member

    I think Britain had more leeway than is commonly believed. First of all, the German tanks were worn out and had to rest; second of all, the Germans were truly afraid of a French counterattack, and, without hindsight, they were concerned about a second Miracle of the Marne, a repeat of the rally by the French in the First World War. Last, but perhaps not least the streets of Dunkirk and surrounding areas were quite narrow, and they would have been easy to block.
  4. John R. Beanham

    John R. Beanham Typical Aussie Male


    One of the stories I really like about that period was of the 1st Canadian Division.

    They landed and disembarked at a French port, Le Havre I think, and the GOC was briefed on the situation. It was immediately obvious to him that the situation was hopeless, and that defeat and imprisonment awaited his Division.

    He ordered the men and gear re-loaded and sailed back to England to await the probable invasion.

    John B
  5. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    I'm a few days late with this because I had to search for the poem first. It's not currently available online, but will be after they finish digitizing an anthology of patriotic poetry. Meanwhile, my librarian sister in a university library in Nova Scotia didn't have that anthology, but I managed to find another one that she did have and gave her the page number for it. She just sent me the scanned images about 30 minutes ago.

    I cannot put the poem on the forum because of copyright restrictions, but I can send anyone who would like to read it a copy by e-mail or by PM.

    This poem is called "The Little Boats of Britain" (by an Irish-born Canadian immigrant called Sara E. Carsley), and it was in one of my readers in either junior high or high school. There's more than one poem with that name, I believe, but this one is my favorite. It's a nice tribute to the courage and resolve of the British people during the terrible period when they were standing alone against the Nazis. I'm so happy to have it back again after all these years of trying to remember bits and pieces of it in my head!
  6. cmhbob

    cmhbob Did...did I do that? Staff Member

    I'd love a copy. I think you have my email.
  7. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Will send in just a minute. Let me know here how you like it. To me it's very poignant and serves as a reminder this Memorial Day weekend that freedom is never free and it is always worth fighting for.
  8. mikepd

    mikepd Veteran Member

    Operation Dynamo certainly gave Britain a great boost but even without it the Germans would have had a very difficult time with carrying out an invasion since they did not have full air supremacy. The RAF was still a potent force and because of Goering's mistakes during the Battle of Britain, Operation Sealion was never undertaken.
  9. Judith Brown

    Judith Brown New Member

  10. Judith Brown

    Judith Brown New Member

    Arlene: Your reader was probably The Canada Book of Prose and Verse, Book Three (usually Grade 9 athology) published by the Macmillans in Canada and Ryerson Press 1930...1941. The full poem by Carsley is on pg 237. I am still searching for it on-line in Jan. 2015!
    Allene and ethics like this.
  11. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Thank you, Judith. You must be from my generation. That poem stuck in a lot of high school kids' minds back then.
  12. Char Vetsch

    Char Vetsch New Member

  13. Char Vetsch

    Char Vetsch New Member

    I would like to get a copy of the poem the little boats of britan if that would be alright. My email charvetsch@gmail.com. thanks
  14. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Hi Char,
    I am sending the scanned poem to your gmail address in a few minutes as two attachments. Enjoy!

  15. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    I didn't see this until now, nearly a year after you posted it. Sorry! I can PM it to you, if you still need it.


Share This Page