On the shores of Lake Erie, the city of Dunkirk rose into a commercial fishing center, lake port, and successful industrial city. The lake provided an invaluable natural resource and allowed the coastal community to flourish. The inspired leadership of individual residents, coupled with the arrival of waves of hardworking immigrants, contributed to Dunkirk's place in the industrial movement of the early 1800s to the mid-1900s. As it grew, the community of Dunkirk hosted steamships in its harbor in 1810, greeted the arrival of the first train to connect the Atlantic and the Great Lakes in 1851, and produced massive steam locomotives for over half a century.
New York Times Bestseller THE EPIC TRUE STORY OF DUNKIRK—NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHER NOLAN, AND STARRING KENNETH BRANAGH, TOM HARDY, AND MARK RYLANCE The Battle of Dunkirk, in May/June 1940, is remembered as a stunning defeat, yet a major victory as well. The Nazis had beaten back the Allies and pushed them across France to the northern port of Dunkirk. In the ultimate race against time, more than 300,000 Allied soldiers were daringly evacuated across the Channel. This moment of German aggression was used by Winston Churchill as a call to Franklin Roosevelt to enter the war. Now, historian Joshua Levine explores the real lives of those soldiers, bombed and strafed on the beaches for days on end, without food or ammunition; the civilians whose boats were overloaded; the airmen who risked their lives to buy their companions on the ground precious time; and those who did not escape.
Christopher Nolan's previous films have reflected the uncertainties of the twentieth-first century. With Dunkirk, Nolan has gone back into the past and brought to life one of the momentous events of the twentieth-century - the evacuation of British troops from Dunkirk, telling the tale by land, sea, and sky. Dunkirk opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea, they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in. The film features a prestigious cast, including Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, and newcomer Fionn Whitehead, with Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy. The screenplay is accompanied by a conversation about the film between Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan,as well as selected storyboards.
* * * Special 75th Anniversary Edition * * * Hugh Sebag-Montefiore's Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man tells the story of the rescue in May 1940 of British soldiers fleeing capture and defeat by the Nazis at Dunkirk. Dunkirk was not just about what happened at sea and on the beaches. The evacuation would never have succeeded had it not been for the tenacity of the British soldiers who stayed behind to ensure they got away. Men like Sergeant Major Gus Jennings who died smothering a German stick bomb in the church at Esquelbecq in an effort to save his comrades, and Captain Marcus Ervine-Andrews VC who single-handedly held back a German attack on the Dunkirk perimeter thereby allowing the British line to form up behind him. Told to stand and fight to the last man, these brave few battalions fought in whatever manner they could to buy precious time for the evacuation. Outnumbered and outgunned, they launched spectacular and heroic attacks time and again, despite ferocious fighting and the knowledge that for many only capture or death would end their struggle. 'A searing story . . . both meticulous military history and a deeply moving testimony to the extraordinary personal bravery of individual soldiers' Tim Gardam, The Times 'Sebag-Montefiore tells [the story] with gusto, a remarkable attention to detail and an inexhaustible appetite for tracking down the evidence' Richard Ovary, Telegraph Hugh Sebag-Montefiore was a barrister before becoming a journalist and then an author. He wrote the best-selling Enigma: The Battle for the Code. One of his ancestors was evacuated from Dunkirk.
This is the Naval Staff History of "Operation Dynamo", originally published internally in 1949. British ships evacuated nearly 100,000 men of the BEF from the beaches, and over 200,000 from harbours. Other nations' vessels carried more than 30,000.
The evacuation of British forces from Dunkirk is one of the pivotal moments in the Second World War - an astonishing endeavour that snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Sent to help the Belgians and French hold back the German army, the small British Expeditionary Force was ill-equipped and under-trained. When Hitler attacked on 10 May 1940 and the French and Belgian armies collapsed in the face of Germany's swift and brutal advance, the British soldiers found themselves in mortal danger. In Dunkirk: Retreat to Victory, Major General Julian Thompson recreates the action as the British fought hard for three desperate weeks, conducting a successful fighting withdrawal in the face of a formidable foe. He describes the individual acts of bravery and sacrifice and analyses the decisions of the commanders who made the choice to evacuate. He also takes us to Dunkirk harbour and onto the beaches, where the British army was trapped and under attack, while the Royal Navy and the 'little ships' raced against time to rescue them. A masterly work of military history, Dunkirk: Retreat to Victory is also a tribute to the soldiers whose courage and self belief sustained them through their darkest hours.
The true story of the World War II evacuation portrayed in the Christopher Nolan film Dunkirk, by the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Day of Infamy. In May 1940, the remnants of the French and British armies, broken by Hitler’s blitzkrieg, retreated to Dunkirk. Hemmed in by overwhelming Nazi strength, the 338,000 men gathered on the beach were all that stood between Hitler and Western Europe. Crush them, and the path to Paris and London was clear. Unable to retreat any farther, the Allied soldiers set up defense positions and prayed for deliverance. Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered an evacuation on May 26, expecting to save no more than a handful of his men. But Britain would not let its soldiers down. Hundreds of fishing boats, pleasure yachts, and commercial vessels streamed into the Channel to back up the Royal Navy, and in a week nearly the entire army was ferried safely back to England. Based on interviews with hundreds of survivors and told by “a master narrator,” The Miracle of Dunkirk is a striking history of a week when the outcome of World War II hung in the balance (Arthur Schlesinger Jr.).
Dunkerque (France) by J. L.,John Langley (bookseller.)
With All Its Fortifications, Viz. Rice-bank, Forts, Harbour, Peere, the Bason, the Number of the Ships in the Harbour, and Canon in Each Fort, ... With a Particular Account of the Churches, Cloisters, and Nunneries, ...
A gripping account of the most famous military defeat and retreat in history. The NEW YORK TIMES of 2 June 1940 summed up the greatest disaster in British history thus: 'As long as the English tongue survives, the word 'Dunkirk' will be spoken with reverence.' This book tells the story of the Dunkirk evacuation. It traces the fortunes of the British Expeditionary Force during those dark days of May 1940 when boys armed with little more than rifles took on the might of Hitler's Panzer divisions - and held them while Allied armies crumbled on all sides. The evacuation at Dunkirk lifted more than 338,000 men from France to the safety of Britain using everything from Destroyers to pleasure yachts. It was the biggest single defeat ever suffered by British arms, but it was also one of the most astounding exoduses in history.
At 2am on the morning of the 3rd of June 1940, General Harold Alexander searched along the quayside, holding onto his megaphone and called "Is anyone there? Is anyone there?" before turning his boat back towards England. Tradition tells us that the dramatic events of the evacuation of Dunkirk, in which 300,000 BEF servicemen escaped the Nazis, was a victory gained from the jaws of defeat. For the first time, rather than telling the tale of the 300,000 who escaped, Sean Longden reveals the story of the 40,000 men sacrificed in the rearguard battles. On the beaches and sand dunes, besides the roads and amidst the ruins lay the corpses of hundreds who had not reached the boats. Elsewhere, hospitals full of the sick and wounded who had been left behind to receive treatment from the enemy's doctors. And further afield - still fighting hard alongside their French allies - was the entire 51st Highland Division, whose war had not finished as the last boats slipped away. Also scattered across the countryside were hundreds of lost and lonely soldiers. These 'evaders' had also missed the boats and were now desperately trying to make their own way home, either by walking across France or rowing across the channel. The majority, however, were now prisoners of war who were forced to walk on the death marches all the way to the camps in Germany and Poland, where they were forgotten until 1945.
Dunkirk, Battle of, Dunkerque, France, 1940 by Nicholas Harman
In May 1940 disaster befell the BEF. They were isolated from the rest of the fighting forces - alone and encircled by large numbers of enemy troops. All could have been lost were it not for an order for the German land forces to halt briefly. Taking an opportunity while it was available, the British forces fled for the beaches of Dunkirk and fortified them while Churchill scrambled together any seaworthy vessel available to rescue his troops from the jaws of death. In all 900 vessels rescued over 300,000 men, while 40,000 brave rearguard troops lost their lives or their freedom for the good of their allies. Operation Dynamo, and its rescues from beaches and harbour, has gone down in history as a victory from certain defeat. Here Tim Lynch presents the true story of this miraculous event using stunning, rare images from the Mirrorpix archive.
SURVIVOR STORIES FROM DUNKIRK, NOW THE SUBJECT OF A MAJOR FILM FROM CHRISTOPHER NOLAN When Britain declared war against Germany in September 1939, thousands of young men sailed across the English Channel to fight for their country. Among them were the seven soldiers who share their stories in this book. Some joined up out of patriotism, others for adventure or the prospect of a secure wage. They were fit, trained and proud to wear the armband of the British Expeditionary Forces. For many, the first months were strangely peaceful, but when the Germans invaded in May 1940 they advanced with shocking speed. The German armoured columns sliced through neutral Holland and Belgium. The French Army collapsed and within a week the soldiers of the BEF were forced to retreat. Fighting tough and bloody rearguard actions, they endured relentless shelling and fearsome dive-bomb attacks. Constantly on the move, and facing a German onslaught on three fronts, they were soon exhausted, hungry and low on ammunition. They headed finally to their one chance of salvation: the beaches of Dunkirk. Mike Rossiter tells the stories of seven veterans who went through a hellish baptism of fire in the first battles on the front line, and fought in the last-ditch defence of Dunkirk. They saw their comrades bombed and drowned off the beaches. Their accounts give us a fascinating and privileged insight into the reality of the war and what it was really like to face the German Blitzkrieg in 1940. They take us from the confident, idyllic days of the phoney war in the French countryside to the sudden shock of battle, from the fear and confusion of retreat to the wait for an uncertain rescue. These are the compelling stories of seven men who are proud to say I Fought at Dunkirk.
Dunkerque (France), Battle of, 1940 by Robert Carse
Category: Dunkirk, Battle of, Dunkerque, France, 1940
Read the book that inspired Christopher Nolan's epic film This is the story of Dunkirk and of the men who planned it (insofar as it was planned) and of the men who carried it out, and of their ships. Mr Divine, who was himself with the small boats, writes with the authority of direct knowledge. He had the assistance of the men who were intimately concerned with planning and organizing the operation. This is the true story of Dunkirk from its almost nebulous beginnings to the astonishing triumph of its end.
Dunkirk, Battle of, Dunkerque, France, 1940 by David Boyle
Category: Dunkirk, Battle of, Dunkerque, France, 1940
Dunkirk has gone into British history as a myth, with its patient queuing on the beaches, its ferry boats and stew in cocktail glasses. We have forgotten the blood, thirst and desperation, and the extraordinary feat of organisation. This day-by-day account puts the story back in context. It records those crucial nine days in summer, looking not just at the beaches, the rearguard, the naval operation and the little ships, but at what was happening in the military headquarters, in the cabinets in London and Paris, and how people felt at the time about what was taking place - events that were to change Europe and the UK forever. It reveals not just a miracle, but an amazing feat of administration and endurance, that made the reputation of one man in particular - Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay.
The subject of the new major film by Christopher Nolan It could have been the biggest military disaster suffered by the British in the Second World War, but against all odds the British Army was successfully evacuated, and 'Dunkirk spirit' became synonymous with the strength of the British people in adversity. On the same day that Winston Churchill became Prime Minister, Nazi troops invaded Holland, Luxembourg and Belgium. The eight-month period of calm that had existed since the declaration of war was over. But the defences constructed by the Allies in preparation failed to repel a German army with superior tactics.The British Expeditionary Force soon found themselves in an increasingly chaotic retreat. By the end of May 1940, over 400,000 Allied troops were trapped in and around the port of Dunkirk without shelter or supplies. Hitler's army was just ten miles away. On 26 May, the British Admiralty launched Operation Dynamo. This famous rescue mission sent every available vessel - from navy destroyers and troopships to pleasure cruisers and fishing boats - over the Channel to Dunkirk. Of the 850 'Little Ships' that sailed to Dunkirk, 235 were sunk by German aircraft or mines, but over this nine day period 338,000 British and French troops were safely evacuated. Drawing on the wealth of material from the Imperial War Museum Sound Archive, Forgotten Voices of Dunkirk presents in the words of both rescued and rescuers in an intimate and dramatic account of what Winston Churchill described as a 'miracle of deliverance'.
From Disaster to Deliverance - Testimonies of the Last Survivors
Author: Sinclair McKay
Publisher: Aurum Press Limited
When Churchill made one of the most inspiring speeches of the 20th century - 'we will fight them on the beaches' - some thought that it was his way of preparing the public for the fall of France. Others heard it as a direct appeal to the Americans. The Prime Minister was speaking in the Commons in June 4 1940, giving thanks for the miracle of deliverance, the harrowing and breathless evacuation of over 338,000 troops - British and French and Belgian - from the beaches and harbor at Dunkirk in the teeth of nightmarish German onslaught. Churchill was determined it shouldn't be labelled a victory. He was already too late. Hours later, broadcaster JB Priestley was to call it 'an absurd English epic'. The last of the boatloads had returned to Dover in the small hours of June 4th. And the mythologizing had already begun - from euphoric American journalists to the thousands of women who lined up on railway platforms, crowding round exhausted soldiers as if they were movie stars. But was Churchill privately convinced that the Germans were about to successfully invade England? Those days of Dunkirk, and the spirit, and the image of the indefatigable little ships, are still invoked now whenever the nation finds itself in any kind of crisis. But there is a wider story too that involves a very large number of civilians - from nurses to racing enthusiasts, trades union leaders to dance hall managers, novelists to seaside cafe owners. And even wider yet, a story that starts in September 1939: of young civilian men being trained for a type of war that was already 25 years out of date; and the increasing suspense - and occasional surrealism - of the Phoney War. The 'absurd epic' of Dunkirk - told here through fresh interviews with veterans, plus unseen letters and archival material - is the story of how an old-fashioned island was brutally forced into the modernity of World War Two.