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24 September 2014
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Dunkirk - a few facts

Two soldiers• 338,226 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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