WWII: Dunkirk Evacuation | How the 'little ships' helped rescue the Allied troops
BBC Internal Circulating Memo
Subject: GERMAN HIGH COMMAND COMMUNIQUE.
[handwritten note - 12.25 am] [illegible]
From: Mr. Adam.
To: O.N.E. Eur. N.E. E.N.E. S/P N.E. Arab Ed., Hind. Ed., Col. Stevens
Mr. R. Stevens, Ministry of Information, calls attention to the German High Command Communique tonight, in which it is claimed that 1,300,000, Allied prisoners of war and 1,841 Allied aircraft have been respectively taken and destroyed by German arms. He suggests that a good answer would be (and the War Office agree) that the British losses only amount to approximately 30,000, as stated by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons this afternoon, a figure which is difficult to reconcile with 1,300,000, for all Allied prisoners.
All British Naval losses were announced by the Admiralty in a full statement last night: viz. 6 destroyers and 24 smaller craft out of 222 Naval vessels engaged.
The Air Ministry have told Mr. Stevens that the British aeroplanes lost since the 10th May, as already stated in periodical Air Ministry communiques, total 302. This will put the German claim in the right perspective.
Colonel [colonel crossed out,'Mr' handwritten over it] Stevens has War Office consent for our saying, if we want to, that it is believed that such figures as those given in the German communique (10,000 dead, 8,000 missing, and 40,000 wounded) have greatly minimised their own losses.
[Illegible handwritten initials]
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Document Type | Internal Memo
04 June 1940
In this memo, Director of Publicity Kenneth Adam outlines the BBC's position regarding a blatantly inflated figure of 1.3 million for Allied losses released in a communique from the German High Command. Highlighting the role of the Ministry of Information in governing the output of facts and figures from the BBC during wartime, the actual figure for Allied losses is put at a more realistic (though still horrifying) 30,000 casualties.
The last day of the Dunkirk operation was 4 June 1940. Over 338,000 Allied troops had been saved as a result of the evacuation, but both sides suffered heavy losses, with around 30,000 Allied troops killed or wounded and 52,000 German casualties.
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A Pathe news cameraman describes Dunkirk.
The role of Margate's lifeboats in the Dunkirk evacuation.
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A senior officer's account of Dunkirk.
A former sergeant speaks about his dramatic escape from Dunkirk.
Recollections of those who took part at Dunkirk on shore, in the air and at sea.
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A summary of a telephone conversation between the BBC and MI7.
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Recognition for the part played by the French.
The Ministry of Information sends an urgent message forbidding interviews with servicemen.
The Ministry of Information stops further broadcasts by a general.
The War Office warning about recent news reports.
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Worries about France and instructions from Ministry of Information and the Foreign Office.
The unprecedented demands of broadcasting in wartime continue to cause problems.
The War Office reconfirm their policy on broadcasts by serving officers and men.
A yachtsman tells of his voyage to Dunkirk.
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