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Old 03-24-2011, 03:26 PM
 
Location: London, England
643 posts, read 1,021,611 times
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Long story short. British landed in France pushed forwards, met German resistance, got pushed back right back to Dunkirk, boats of all kind carried troops back to Britain, lots of troops saved, lots of equipment left behind.

In Britain this is seen as a kind of victory as it is believed this contributed to the eventual winning of WW2.

How do the others see this?
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:01 PM
 
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Actaully there were two evactuations of Dunkirk. In the secod britain suffer the worse losss of men in its naval history when a ship was sunk. Gorget the enme but Churchilll surpresss the new to keep moral up.Generally i thnik it was fortunate that Hitler allowed his generals to pause in their drive to thw western french coast.Otherwsie it would hav ebeen a slughter. Hitler's second mistake of the war.
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:06 PM
 
Location: occupied east coast
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I'm sorry to say... however in my experience, Dunkirk is largly view as a defeat, on this side of the Atlantic.

A defeat that Great Britain triumphantly rebounded from to go on to defeat the Axis powers.

Naturally, as a native born citizen of the United States...We won the war, but you guys helped (a little). lol
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:09 PM
 
Location: London, England
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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.
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 12,916,214 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LondonUSA View Post
Long story short. British landed in France pushed forwards, met German resistance, got pushed back right back to Dunkirk, boats of all kind carried troops back to Britain, lots of troops saved, lots of equipment left behind.

In Britain this is seen as a kind of victory as it is believed this contributed to the eventual winning of WW2.

How do the others see this?
I'd call it a very heroic salvage of irreplaceable military resource: manpower and morale. Had the BEF been lost, the damage to Britain in both areas would have been severe and perhaps even mortal.

Attempting to classify it as a victory or defeat would seem to oversimplify the case, an attempt to find black or white that doesn't really obtain. If we see it as the effort to keep German forces out of France, well, we can see that didn't succeed. If we see the Dunkirk operation as a campaign to salvage what could be salvaged to fight another day, and to help preserve the national will to resist even with only Commonwealth allies alongside, then it must be seen as a great success and important to the eventual victory. That so many small craft set out on their own to assist, making this in essence the assertion of a seafaring nation's maritime soul, mattered a lot more than the relatively small number of troops they could actually carry. My reading is that it helped your country to close ranks and weather the greater storms to come.

The RAF's largely successful air cover of the evacuation also showed (or further emphasized) that British airpower was a force capable of challenging the Luftwaffe. The battle for air superiority over the evacuation's path cannot be seen as anything but a victory; you drove them off with bloody noses. Likewise--though far more predictably--the Royal Navy covered and executed the evacuation with great success. It must have been pretty annoying to Adolf to know that, like Napoleon, his ability to exert his will ended right about where the water got about waist deep. And there was nothing for that. Had there been, the entire evacuation force would have been torpedoed, deck-gunned and shelled to flinders. That it was not speaks to the capable actions of both air and naval forces, British, Commonwealth and exile Allied alike.

If I were British, I'd certainly take pride in many aspects of Dunkirk.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
10,018 posts, read 11,166,818 times
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It was a major, major victory as well as being a miracle. To have lost all of those who were rescued could have effected the UK so badly that who know's what would have happened? A separate peace deal with the Germans maybe?

The way the entire country came together and did what ever they could set the self sacrificing tone of the people for the rest of the war. I'm sure that Dunkirk also gave lots of different people a great deal of hope to see that the Nazis were not invincble.

What happened at Dunkirk also had a large effect on FDR who up until that time had kept the USA mostly neutral. The British army having lost most of it's equipment in France left the island largly undefended. It was around that time that Churchill convinced FDR of the absolute need for America to become "The arsenel of democracy". Without lend lease things would have been impossible.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Britain seems to be uncommonly habitual in insisting upon ultimately successful campaigns beginning with disasters.

Before the heroism of Rorke's Drift and the eventual victory in the Zulu War, there had to be Isandlwana.

Before the final conquest of Sevastopol there had to be the misfire at Balaclava and the destruction of the Light Brigade.

Although there was a 14 year gap, the prelude to Omdurman was fall of Khartoum.

The Anglo-Afghan Wars went Britain's way in the end, but not before the massacre of Elphinstone's army in the Khyber Pass.

Britain drove the French from the American NE and added Canada to the empire in the Seven Years War, but that show had opened with Braddock's calamity along the Monongahela.

So Dunkirk?

It was traditional.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
1,448 posts, read 4,447,791 times
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I see it as as a kind of victory and believe it contributed to the eventual winning of WW2.

There are victories and there are victories. They come in different sizes and shapes. Dunkirk was clearly a moral victory. And moral victories have a real place in winning a war. (Just ask Xerxes! Or think of the Alamo or Pearl Harbor in our history.)

And we can all think of numerous examples where, faced with a similar situation, an entire allied army just surrendered and was taken out of the war. Many of the soldiers who were evacuated at Dunkirk lived to fight another day and contributed to the eventual victory.

I, for one, see it as yet another of the many events that show the unbelievable resilience of the British people.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:10 PM
 
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Seeing that it rescued about 300,000 British soldiers, I see it in a favorable light.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:31 PM
 
2,790 posts, read 5,871,884 times
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[quote=lucknow;18426940] It was around that time that Churchill convinced FDR of the absolute need for America to become "The arsenel of democracy". quote]

You mean Detroit won the war?!? lol

"Roosevelt referred to Detroit, Michigan as "the great arsenal of democracy" because of the rapid conversion of much of the Detroit-area automotive industry to produce armaments during World War II."

- from Wikipedia
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