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Old 03-24-2011, 06:39 PM
 
Location: New York City
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Dunkirk was an important achievement. The military, just as any organization, depends to a great extent on its human capital and its morale. Saving hundreds of thousands of men for a country that has a rather limited manpower is a very big deal.

THAT SAID, Dunkirk wasn't critical to the final outcome of the war.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Finally escaped The People's Republic of California
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Dunkirk was as much a British victory as was America's Alamo, Custer's Last Stand, or Pearl HArbor a defeat used to motivate....
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:55 PM
 
Location: London, England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMarbles View Post
Dunkirk was an important achievement. The military, just as any organization, depends to a great extent on its human capital and its morale. Saving hundreds of thousands of men for a country that has a rather limited manpower is a very big deal.

THAT SAID, Dunkirk wasn't critical to the final outcome of the war.
If they had wiped out the men on the beach we would not of had a ground force. This would have made us surrender and the war would have been over.
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:35 PM
 
Location: New York City
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Originally Posted by LondonUSA View Post
If they had wiped out the men on the beach we would not of had a ground force. This would have made us surrender and the war would have been over.
Not really an issue unless Germany actually tried to land in Britain. The beauty of being on an island is that a ground force is not necessary. And since there is no way Hitler could have invaded England in June 1940, the British had plent of time to reconstitute its forces. The Soviets reconstituted 10 times more troops and without the benefit of the English Channel.
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LondonUSA View Post
If they had wiped out the men on the beach we would not of had a ground force. This would have made us surrender and the war would have been over.
Not really true. The entire force at Dunkirk represented about 12% of the British Army at the time. Also as was said in another thread, the real disaster at Dunkirk was the loss of vehicles and material. The British left the equivalent of 10 divisions worth of equipment in France, including the bulk of the armor and mechanized forces. Stocks in the whole of Britain were barely able to re-equip 2 divisions. The need for trucks (excuse me, lories, lol) was so great that the British began cannibalizing scrap yards and converting retired busses to war use. Some of those lories stayed in operation until well into 1942 when Lend-Lease finally allowed the British to replace the losses at Dunkirk.

The real benefit of the evacuation wasn't the military importance of saving the troops, it was the morale boost and the spin placed on the operation that helped to galvanize the British people. The "Dunkirk spirit" became synonymous with the tendency of the British public to pull together in times of need.

If the operation had ended in a total disaster, it would have been a major blow to the British militarily and even moreso to morale. However, I don't think that it would have seen Britain capitulate as the actual ability of the Germans to invade Britain simply didn't exist.

Germany didn't have the navy, they didn't have the air forces needed to actually attack the British navy effectively and they completely lacked anything beyond river barges to actually cross the channel in. As it was with most of history, the Royal Navy remained an insurmountable obstacle to an invasion. In fact the Germans drawing up the plans had determined that in order for the attack to succeed the Germans needed to achieve naval AND air superiority. While localised air superiority was possible, the Germans had zero chance of attaining anything remotely close to naval superiority.
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,145 posts, read 20,186,804 times
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Default In America how do you see the Dunkirk event?

(Typical American response)

Uh.. what's Dunkirk?

Last edited by Chango; 03-25-2011 at 03:41 PM..
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
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Originally Posted by LondonUSA View Post
Actually i would have to disagree. I believe Russia won the war. They weakened the germans the most. The US won in the pacific obviously.

And i have always seen it as a defeat. Yes we saved our army but we were still booted out of Europe. If we hadn't won the Battle Of Britain then the war would have been lost for sure in my opinion.
Dunkirk was a defeat that germinated the seeds of victory for the Allies. Without the preservation of those 300,000 Tommies and the successful outcome in the Battle of Britain, the Soviets would've been "on the ropes" considerably longer.

The Russian grunt soldier won the war in Europe with the help of the American Lend-Lease program that sent the Soviets 18,000,000 tons of food & equipment 1941-45, including 21,000 airplanes & scores of thousands of transportation vehicles. Otherwise it would've been very touch & go for them to finally overwhelm the Germans by 1945.

The US farmer kept millions of Russians from starvation, since the nazis held much of the productive farmland in Mother Russia.

The world owes as much to Franklin Roosevelt as it does to Churchill and the Russian grunt.

IMO.

The UK is lucky the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, because a majority of the US population wanted nothing to do with the European war, and German sympathizers (German Bund) were pretty strong here until 1941. Don't forget, the largest ethnic group in the US is of German descent. Thank goodness FDR wasn't short-sighted.....at least until then.
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:43 PM
 
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I think Churchill said it best.

"Wars are not won by evacuations."

To me, Dunkirk was less of a disaster than it could have been, chiefly because of the brilliant improvisation of the British people. But that does not make it a victory.

No, to me, what was impressive was what came next: The steely resolve of the British people, with Winston Churchill thundering defiance across the channel to Calais. The British held almost alone for a full year after Dunkirk by itself, which is an impressive feat given the sheer overwhelming power of Nazi Germany at the time.
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:48 PM
 
Location: FROM Dixie, but IN SoCal
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Speaking only for me, I view it as a pyrrhic victory at most. That takes nothing away, of course, from the valor and dogged determination of the English peoples...

Pyrrhic victory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:26 PM
 
48,508 posts, read 87,824,146 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
I think Churchill said it best.

"Wars are not won by evacuations."

To me, Dunkirk was less of a disaster than it could have been, chiefly because of the brilliant improvisation of the British people. But that does not make it a victory.

No, to me, what was impressive was what came next: The steely resolve of the British people, with Winston Churchill thundering defiance across the channel to Calais. The British held almost alone for a full year after Dunkirk by itself, which is an impressive feat given the sheer overwhelming power of Nazi Germany at the time.
I have always foud it really strange that he real hero of britai who fohgt for years to fund the radar and air defese that saved britain gets lillte crdit. Air Chiuef Marshall Hugh Dowding who basically saved britain in the battle of britain. He actually was more inportant than nany other military leader during the war and without his struggle britain might have not survive the war long.But even then Hitler's mistake played a big part in the final win during that battle also as it often does in the fog of war.
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