Dunkirk Evacuation (1940)

Dunkirk Evacuation — 26th of May to 4th of June 1940 World War II In May 1940, Germany invaded the Netherlands, Belgium, and Northern France. A German blitzkrieg attack by airborne forces quickly demolished Dutch and Belgian forces, who surrendered within a few days. British, French and Belgian Troops reinforced the position against the advancing German army into Belgium, but were unable to hold their positions. France was falling rapidly, and by the 14th and 15th of May, the main German Force had moved into the River Meuse, advancing in the west direction towards the English Channel. During a visit to Paris on the 17th of May, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was astonished to learn that the French commander-in-chief had no strategic reserves for such an emergency. By this point, without telling the French, British High Command had began planning Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force by sea. On the 21st of May, commander of the BEF, General General Viscount Gort, launched an attack from Arras. However, lacked enough armor. Nevertheless, this counter-attack put some anxiety into the German advance. German tanks, under General Heinz Guderian, moved the Allies closer into a trap… until they were forced into a perimeter around the port of Dunkirk, the only port left for an Allied withdrawal. Surprisingly, on the 22nd of May 1940, a halt order was issued by the German High Command with Adolf Hitler’s approval. Whatever the reason was, this order provided the Allies an unexpected and crucial opportunity to evacuate their troops. The Luftwaffe continued to attack the port of Dunkirk when the weather allowed it, while the Allies strengthened their defenses against the German tanks. Now, thousands of British and French troops sat on the beaches waiting for a rescue attempt. Evacuation began on the 29th of May by the Royal Navy, and civilian fishing and life boats pressed into service; known as “Little Ships,” their efforts would become known as the “Dunkirk Spirit.” RAF fighters also provided important air cover for the evacuation on the ground from Luftwaffe. By the 4th of June, 338,000 soldiers, including 120,000 French, had been evacuated by the hastily formed fleet of 860 boats. The BEF lost 68,000 soldiers during the campaign and had to leave nearly all of their tanks, vehicles, and equipment behind. Thousands of French troops were also left behind to be taken prisoner. 6 British and 3 French destroyers, and 200 small craft were sunk by German mines, torpedo boats, u-boats, and aircraft. Both sides lost over 100 aircraft. The success of the evacuation when it could have gone so wrong was a big boost to British morale. And the valuable trained soldiers of the BEF, now rescued, ensured Britain could eventually fight back later in the war. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the outcome a “miracle” in his “We Shall Fight On The Beaches” speech on the 4th of June to the House of Commons. Subscribe for more history videos. Get Simple History: World War II, out today. Thank you for all your support on the Simple History YouTube channel. If you enjoy the channel, please consider supporting us at Patreon.

96 thoughts on “Dunkirk Evacuation (1940)

  1. Patreon supporters of the show will be able to vote for the next rare gun / gun attachment video here!


  2. I love when people get all psyched when they beat a boss in Souls then die because they forgot they are playing SOULS!

  3. France is being humiliated for the defeats that were inevitable yet they were the ones who stood back while others ran for there lives #respect

  4. L'ingratitude anglaise dans toute sa splendeur!
    Pendant que les rosbifs filaient comme des lapins et chiaient dans leur froc,des braves soldats français se sont sacrifiés pour que les lapins puissent retourner dans leur île de merde te nous faire passer pour des lâches!
    Churchill s'étonnait de quoi?
    Lui et son général qui a dit"mes hommes sont fatigués"alors que l'amiral français Abrial lui,a déclaré défendre Dunkerque coûte que coûte!

  5. I was ill so I missed a lot of history lessons and I now have two days until the test, without any notes to revise from your videos are saving me. Thank you.

  6. The Germans halted because the commander in chief of the Luftwaffe reasoned he could destroy the forces retreating by air. Allowing guederians troops to rest after a long advance and allow them to be refitted and re-equipped. The advance was later restarted when hitler realized that it was a mistake to stop but it was too late lots of Brits escaped

  7. I have a question, was the p08 webbing still used by some BEF soldiers during the battle of Dunkirk or even till the end of WW2 ?

  8. 1:05 question for anyone reading this do you think the counterattack could have been more successful (even just a little) if the British used the Vickers six ton?

  9. “For whatever reason the Germans stripped their advance on Dunkirk” I can tell you what the reason was: Hitler didn’t want to wipe out the British army on the beach because he considered them fellow Arians.

  10. My great grandfather fought in Dunkirk and he got 4 brave medals 🏅 I’ll never forget what he and the English did

  11. but the reason why the germans were holding was because they had lost 40% of theit tanks and the running men to rest because they were exhausted from the running

  12. Being one of those soldiers, what goes through your mind is nothing can’t stop now, I can’t go back. What has been started must be finished.

  13. I believe I know why Hitler halted the advance. As we know, Hitler had admired the British people because a lot of them had Germanic roots. He then dropped pamphlets telling the troops of Dunkirk to surrender. I believe he did this in hopes that he could recruit them into the German Army after they surrender, instead of just decimating them. Let’s not forget that Hitler had close ties to some of the Royal Family, which also could of been a reason for the halt.

  14. There were many reasons Guderian stopped:
    1) Nobody believed that tanks could pass the Ardennes at that time – both, the german and french high commandos were surprised when they actually did it.
    2) Hitler tried to keep a backdoor for a peace treat open
    3) Troop exhaustion
    It was this day the war was lost for Hitler – without the retreat the UK wouldn't had enough men to continue the war

  15. For germany was an operation fail…. They stop because they need to rest and they where out of supplies

  16. Hindsight 20/20 Hitler should not have halted and killed the troops and not relied on the luftwaffe alone to stop them and dealt the finishing blow instead of trying to seek peace with the British.

  17. 2.5 Million Indian Soldiers were sent to fight off Axis powers under British.

    I don't think so anyone recognised it ……
    Sad 🕯️

  18. Tu n’as pas dit que toutes les forces anglaise était sur les Plage pendant que les français combattait en 1 contre 20. Afin de défendre les plages.

  19. ขอซับไทยเเบบนี้ของคลิปล่าสุด

  20. To Dunkerque the french army save the great Britain
    Long live to the France
    Long live to the brave french soldiers
    The English soldiers was a caward in 1940

  21. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=w6C5P-AYGdY&lact=11&itct=CCQQpDAYACITCPy96ti4_-MCFUrwFgod6ocNvzIGc2VhcmNoUhtGcmFuY2Ugc2F2ZSBlbmdsYW5kIGR1bmtpcms%3D&csn=qHZSXZnSMtuKmLAP-Ny9eA&has_verified=1 look at this and you will see the french are not coward

  22. U forgot indian solder who saved British solder and Churchill's said saved only white solder Churchill was the pig

  23. you missing a big point here that make why the Allies probably winn WWII approx 20,000 French soldier were holding the german army approx 600.000 soldiers and they did that so good that german colonel wrote in his diaries how impress he was of being held up by the french who were " fighting like lions " thoses french soldiers who fight to death permit the UK and the rest of the FR soldiers to evacuate safely if not germany would have run over UK and D-DAY would have been a slaughter resulting to the lost of the war. Dunkirk was a key point of WWII

  24. There was a surprise hault due to Hitler's decession was no miracle. It indicated only one thing, the life long cherished dream of Hitler that British will come forward for a pact. With the bulk amount of German aircrafts it will never be possible to evacuate such a large number of trops despite RAF continuous support if the Germans wanted to stop them . Germans high command was expecting fine wine but they got backlashed.

  25. If Hitler was destroying all of British and French army in Dunkirk…. Germans were defeating Britain army in every fronts

  26. But no body knows that.. British indian troops were also fighting there for no reason..all because of the colonial rule of britain …but in return Churchil left those indian fighters to die …all because there were no space left after taking the English and French troops..

  27. All the Britain and France could've done was fully support Poland during September campaign, and if that would've happend, all of it would've never happen. [Fall of Poland, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Mostly – France.]

  28. I saw a comment saying “How does running away mean you got balls?” And linked this video. Safe to say I have no response yet 😂😂😂

  29. The Rothschild family ordered Hitler to pull back as they were not ready for the war to end yet. Hitler followed the orders of his masters. Tragically the war continued for many more years and millions more died in another Rothschild funded massacre.

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