Explain the evacuation at Dunkirk and why it was called a miracle.?

Question by misscarter: Explain the evacuation at Dunkirk and why it was called a miracle.?
i need a good answer

Best answer:

Answer by Erik Van Thienen
“Only 50,000 or less were expected to escape but amazingly 338,226 men were evacuated amidst constant bombing (the miracle of Dunkirk, as Winston Churchill called it).”

“Dunkirk : Dunkirk in World War II” : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunkirk#Dunkirk_in_World_War_II

“The successful evacuation of 338,000 Allied troops from Dunkirk ended the first phase in the Battle of France. It provided a great boost to British morale, but left the remaining French to stand alone against a renewed German assault southwards. German troops entered Paris on June 14 and accepted the surrender of France on June 22.”

“The successful evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940, and particularly the role of the “little boats” was subsequently exploited very effectively in British propaganda. The “little boats” were private vessels, such as fishing boats, that independently assisted the official evacuation out of patriotic duty. The result was that for many decades after the war the catch-phrase “Dunkirk spirit” stood for an almost romantic belief in the solidarity of the British people in times of adversity.”

“Battle of Dunkirk” : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Dunkirk

“The Dunkirk evacuation, also known as the Miracle of Dunkirk and codenamed Operation Dynamo by the British, was the large evacuation of Allied soldiers from May 26 to June 4, 1940, during the Battle of Dunkirk. British Vice Admiral Bertram Ramsay planned the operation and briefed Winston Churchill in the Dynamo Room (a room in the naval headquarters below Dover Castle which contained the dynamo that provided the electricity), giving the operation its name.”

“In nine days, more than three hundred thousand (338,226) soldiers — 218,226 British and 120,000 French — were rescued from Dunkirk, France and the surrounding beaches by a hastily assembled fleet of about seven hundred boats. These craft included the famous “Little Ships of Dunkirk”, a mixture of merchant marine boats, fishing boats, pleasure craft and RNLI lifeboats, whose civilian crews were called into service for the emergency. These small craft ferried troops from the beaches to larger ships waiting offshore. Though the “Miracle of the Little Ships” is a prominent folk memory in Britain (and a great morale booster for the time), over 80% of the evacuated troops actually embarked from the harbour’s protective mole onto the 42 destroyers and other large ships.”


“Before the operation was completed, the prognosis had been gloomy, with Winston Churchill warning the House of Commons to expect “hard and heavy tidings”. Subsequently, Churchill referred to the outcome as a “miracle” and exhortations to the “Dunkirk spirit” — of triumphing in the face of adversity — are still heard in Britain today. The British press presented the evacuation as a “Disaster Turned To Triumph” so successfully that Churchill had to remind the country, in a speech to the House of Commons on 4 June, that “we must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations.” ”

“The rescue of the British troops at Dunkirk provided a psychological boost to British morale which ended any possibility that the British would seek peace terms from Germany, since they retained the ability to defend themselves against a possible German invasion. Most of the rescued British troops were assigned to the defence of Britain. Once the threat of invasion receded, they were transferred overseas to the Middle East and other theatres, and also provided the nucleus of the army which returned to France in 1944.”

“Dunkirk evacuation” : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Dynamo

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One thought on “Explain the evacuation at Dunkirk and why it was called a miracle.?”

  1. During two short weeks in May 1940, the Germans launched a blitzkrieg offensive that broke through French lines, defeated the Belgians and pinned a reeling British army against the ocean at Dunkirk.

    Several British generals said that “only a miracle” could save their beleaguered forces.

    Yet with certain victory within their grasp, Hitler suddenly halted German tanks just 20 miles from Dunkirk, fearing that they were dangerously exposed and had outrun their supply lines. During this lull, a severe thunderstorm grounded German planes, allowing Allied troops to move toward Dunkirk and set up a defense perimeter.

    Following a National Day of Prayer led by King George VI for the hopelessly trapped army, the British began an evacuation effort that lasted for nine days, during which the normally rough and unpredictable English Channel remained as smooth as a “mill pond.” Yet, the day after the evacuation ended, “the wind moved to the north, and giant breakers came rolling over the empty beaches” (The Miracle of Dunkirk, Lord, p. 272).

    A British general recorded that “the evacuation of Dunkirk was surely a miracle” and Churchill called the evacuation of more than 330,000 soldiers (almost the entire British army) a “miracle of deliverance.”

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