Friday, May 1, 2020

The Miracle Behind Dunkirk: A World War II Story

Dunkirk Beach in 2012. User: Eporte 
Wikimedia Commons
The end of May and early days of June mark the 80th anniversary of the "Miracle of Dunkirk." Many have seen the 2017 war drama Dunkirk and learned about the facts that shaped this extraordinary event, but few know what was behind this miracle. 

In May 1940, the British Expeditionary Force, approximately 400,000 strong, was stationed in Europe in anticipation of German hostilities. On May 10th, the Germans invaded Holland and Belgium, and the bulk of the Allied forces moved into Belgium to meet the attack. What the Allies didn't expect was that the main thrust of the German forces would come through the Ardennes Forest to the south of their position. The Allied military leaders didn't believe it was possible to move a large amount of soldiers and equipment through this area, but the Germans proved them wrong.

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