The Battle of Dunkirk

May 26- June 4 1940

When Was The Battle Of Dunkirk?

On May 21st 1940 British commander Viscount Gort, launched an attack from arras while the Nazi's attacks the canal line until May 24 1940. The evacuation of the allied troops Began on May 26th and ended on June 4 1940.

Where was the battle of Dunkirk?

-Dunkirk (Europe)

- Battle was on the western front

- German Heinz Guderian tanks continued to the canal defense line, which was The only port left in Dunkirk for the allies (British, French and American troops,) to evacuate from.

Big image

What Happened in the battle of Dunkirk?

-19 May 1940 British commander, Viscount Gort, was considering the withdrawal of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).
- 24th May, Hitler gave the order to withdraw the Nazi attacks towards the Canal line which made the the allies' evacuation from Europe easier.

- The reason as to why Hitler withdrew his attacks towards the canal line is unknown.

- Many believe it was because, head of the Luftwaffe, (German air force) convinced Hitler that the Luftwaffe could kill off the allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk.

-The evacuation of the allied troops began on may 26th 1940, this was the beginning of the battle of Dunkirk.

- May 27th the German commander -in- chief, Field Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch, persuaded Hitler to take back his orders and have tanks advance to Dunkirk.

- The allies had improved their equipment therefore the tanks had faced heavy resistance once fired against the allies.

-Heavy German bombing destroyed Dunkirk beaches, and killed many of the allied troops.

-Luftwaffe attacked Dunkirk whenever the weather allowed therefore leaving Dunkirk to rubble.

-on the 29th of May, the evacuation of the allied troops was announced to the British public.

-private boats soon arrived into Dunkirk to rescue allied troops. (nick named the, "little ships")

- 4th of June 1940, the operation had ended and the troops evacuated Dunkirk by sea.

-Total of evacuated troops= 558,000

-Number of causalities= 60,000

Evacuation of Dunkirk (1940)


The countries participating in the war were Britain, France, Belgium, and Germany. The British had the British Expeditory Force (BEF) made up of 13 infantry divisions. The Germans on the other hand had the 19 and 41 Panzer corps which was lead by General GH Reinhardt.
Big image


Restating briefly “what” happened will be give you a better understanding of why it happened. So the British, French and Belgian forces were divided in May, 11 1940, and the situation was looking very bad in their perspective as in the near future, many lives are going to be lost in a short amount of time. The Germans had taken over parts of Belgium and were going to enclose on the allies (The Allies were against the coast of the Franco-Belgium border), making this a very risky situation. As The Allies were pushed up against the border, Hitler halted his troops to go father which gave The Allies time to escape. On the 29th of May, out of nowhere lifeboats, pleasure yachts, fishing boats, all types of civilian boats approached the troops to excavate them. This happened because The Allies were up against the border so the only way of escaping death’s grasp is to leaving from the seas. The British announced publically that they needed help so that is why private owned ships wen to save their troops. All of this resulted in different dates that they saved them here are the days in chronological order:

27 May (7669 men)

28 May (17,804 men)
29 May (47,310 men)
30–31 May (120,927 men)
1 June (64,229 men)
2–4 June (up to 54,000 men)

The war ended 4th of June and because of the halt from Hitler it saved tens of thousands of The Allies as the boats could reach in time. The decision why Hitler personally chose to halt is still yet not known for its finite reason but it is reasoned as one of his air force commanders told Hitler to halt as the planes would kill off the troops, this was not successful.

Why Was the Battle of Dunkirk Significant?

The Battle of Dunkirk was significant because of the amount of the soldiers saved because of Hitler's surprising actions as he halted the troops which gave enough time for the allies to escape saving lives by the hundreds of thousands. This battle is also very significant because there is a "What if" factor. What I mean by this is as had the German army not been halted in their advancement on Dunkirk it is possible that all those Allied troops would have been obliterated.The consequences of this could have been catastrophic for England. It's possible that their morale would have been so deteriorated that our government would have been shut down and crashed, and replaced with one who would have been more ready to collaborate with Nazi Germany, as had occurred in France. This would've been a turning point of history if this ever happened fortunately it did not. This is why the Battle of Dunkirk is significant in World War II
Big image