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31 July 2014
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Dunkirk - a few facts

Two soldiers338,226 troops were evacuated from Dunkirk between 27 May and 4 June 1940

98,780 men were lifted from the beaches; 239,446 from the harbour and mole (a wooden breakwater protecting the harbour) at Dunkirk

933 ships took part in Operation Dynamo, of which 236 were lost and 61 put out of action

The number of little boats that sailed on their own initiative will never be known

French, Belgian, Dutch and Norwegian ships took part in the operation alongside the ships of the Royal Navy

The BEF left the following equipment behind in France, much of it to be recycled by the German Army -
o 2,472 guns
o 63,879 vehicles
o 20,548 motorcycles
o 76,097 tons of ammunition
o 416,940 tons of stores

68,111 men of the BEF were captured or killed during Blitzkrieg, retreat and evacuation

40,000 French troops were taken into captivity when Dunkirk fell

126 merchant seamen died during the evacuation

Churchill had been Prime Minister for only 16 days when the evacuation began

The threat of invasion was so real that on 29 May Churchill proposed laying gas along the beaches of the south coast

1,000 Dunkirk citizens died during air raids on 27 May

In the early hours of 29 May the destroyer Wakeful was torpedoed and sank in 15 seconds with the loss of 600 lives

47,081 men embarked from the mole during the devastating air raid of 1 June


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