The Dunkirk Evacuation 1940

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Dark Horse
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The Dunkirk Evacuation 1940

Post by Dark Horse »

(For a refresh of memory or for those who need more specific details - Battle Of Dunkirk 1940)

Had the Germans not hesitated could they have destroyed a large 'chunk' of Allied forces during the evacuation of over 100,000 troops from Dunkirk, France - across the English channel?

I think the Third Reich would have lived to see a couple of more years, at the least, if it weren't for Hitlers hesitance to attack.

From a strategical point of view, why did he hold a defensive position, when Allied troops evacuating from Dunkirk were literally (My sincere apologies for the pun) sitting ducks, crossing the English channel?

Could an attack, played out a whole new stepping stone during the Second World War?
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty"- Winston Churchill

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Re: The Dunkirk Evacuation 1940

Post by JimQwilleran »

From what I remember, by 1940 Hitler still had a hope of signing a truce with Britain. You should remember that during those events it was Churchill already who was the British prime minister ( just a few weeks iirc). If Hitler destroyed that so called "chunk" that would make any chances for reaching some kind of agreement with Brits impossible. There was quite strong pro-nazi lobby in UK before the war, and generally many of the old nobel-lords were sympathizing with Germans. Of course, that changed during the war, especially that Churchill's strong will was nothing like Chamberlain's one (appeasement ftw). You could accuse Churchill of many things, including using his allies then neglecting them, but he had the balls. That's where Hitler's decision turned out to be a mistake. Had he known Churchill was not going to seek a truce, most probably he would order his army to destroy retreating enemy forces.

On the other hand, what was evacuated during the battle of Dunkirk was mainly just the manpower. British left most of their heavy equipment ashore (it was impossible to load it on fish boats). I don't think that this incident had "such" a big impact on the whole war outcome. It might have lowered allies' morale, but comparing it with the fall of France, in terms of material and political loses Dunkirk was just a small episode. In other words, no matter if they had managed to evacuate or not, Brits still had no chance until US showed up anyway... (And I mean land forces now, the navy and the air forces are entirely different case)

You said it was 100,000 men. Wasn't it around 300,000? I don't have a time to check this now ;).

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Re: The Dunkirk Evacuation 1940

Post by Wake »

Are you posting this because of the movie coming out later this year?

There was a big thread about the movie "Fury" on the old forum when that film came out, because the "Fury" tank was like a US Armor doc Jumbo or Easy 8 with a tank commander. It was almost unstoppable and the tank commander was like Brad Pitt, killing all German infantry and destroying Tiger tanks 1v1.

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