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 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
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kl70
Sydney, Australia
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How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/12/2017 8:05:03 AM
If you were in the Battle of Dunkirk in WW2, how would you (seriously or humorously)
escape Dunkirk, if you had to - by air/land/sea and why?

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/12/2017 8:17:30 AM
Welcome to MHO k170-do hope you enjoy your stay.

Re Escape from Dunkirk beaches-The Little Ships of Dunkirk were 700 private boats that sailed from Ramsgate in England in groups to Dunkirk in France between 26 May and 4 June 1940 as part of Operation Dynamo, helping to rescue more than 338,000 British and French soldiers who were trapped on the beaches at Dunkirk.

I think that these little boats did a marvellous job in very difficult and very often dangerous conditions-this would be "my ticket home"

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/12/2017 8:35:56 AM
Well if I was a Marathon Swimmer, I'd just swim the Channel!

MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
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Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/12/2017 2:59:16 PM
Luxury private plane would be ideal.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/12/2017 4:40:01 PM
How did the top officers get away? General Viscount Gort for example. Alan Brooke. French General Gamelin.

No judgement passed here but were they flown out?

George

SJ
Belfast N Ireland, UK
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Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/13/2017 2:48:05 PM

Quote:
How did the top officers get away? General Viscount Gort for example. Alan Brooke. French General Gamelin.

No judgement passed here but were they flown out?

George
--George


Gort was recalled to Blighty 31 May.

The last British Senior Rank on the beach was Ulsterman Harry Alexander from County Tyrone. He left on the last destroyer on June 4.

40,000 Brits were left behind, including the Royal Marines Rear Guard who held the perimeter until they ran out of ammo/water. I was privileged to serve with one such veteran (Bill Balmer,County Antrim)who renewed his career after a war spent as a PoW.

Alan Brooke was much distressed to be relieved of his command (there are reports outside his diary entry)that he wept at having to abandon them, and his fellow Ulstermen Montgomery and Alexander took over the BEF.

Brook reported to Churchill are was ordered to return to France with 2nd BEF ! He arrived in Cherbourg on June 12 with 1st Canadian and Lowland Divisions, and - seeing the situation with French X Army was hopeless - was finally evacuated on the dirty little trawler on June 18.

Worth reading up on Operation Ariel. Its often eclipsed by Dynamo.


kaii
Edinburgh, UK
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Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/13/2017 7:12:42 PM
Teleportation
---------------
A fool and his money are soon elected.

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/13/2017 9:15:07 PM

Quote:
Worth reading up on Operation Ariel. Its often eclipsed by Dynamo.


Yes it was a significant operation to retrieve more troops.

We forget that the Brits weren't completely out of France after Dunkirk. They were fighting to the south, near the western French ports.

Or that more troops were sent to France after Dunkirk including the CDN 1st division.

It's been a while since I read about this but it seems to me that the credit for the evacuation has to go to the merchant navy and the RN. The miracle of Dunkirk effected by the little boats wasn't repeated during Ariel, I don't believe.

I think that at least one troop ship was sunk by the Germans but I don't remember the French port.

There was a Canadian destroyer that was damaged or sunk in a collision.


The Canadians were sent in and travelled inland about 300 km. Almost immediately they were ordered to head to a French port for evacuation.

St. Malo I think. The Canadians had to leave all of their new transport behind. They argued with the British officer who was loading the ships and managed to convince him to load their guns but the transport was lost.

So they arrived in Britain with their guns which helped as they were one of the few units in the UK that was close to fully equipped to fight.

anemone
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Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/14/2017 4:18:28 AM
George-it was the RMS Lancastria sunk by bombing in the Loire estuary with a known death toll of 1738; but estimates have been made between 5 and 6000. There were 2477 survivors.Truth to tell no one knows precisely- just how many were on board on that fateful day-17 June 1940.
Cynically -Not a good way of escaping from France in 1940

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

SJ
Belfast N Ireland, UK
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Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/14/2017 5:16:48 AM

Quote:
George-it was the RMS Lancastria sunk by bombing in the Loire estuary with a known death toll of 1738; but estimates have been made between 5 and 6000. There were 2477 survivors.Truth to tell no one knows precisely- just how many were on board on that fateful day-17 June 1940.
Cynically -Not a good way of escaping from France in 1940

Regards

Jim
--anemone



Thanks Jim. One of the great services of this forum, is that it can wittingly educate. As George has written above, the other evacuations - in dire circumstances - are not widely known. The general assumption was that it all happened at Dunkirk.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/14/2017 6:51:29 AM
Thank you SJ-as you say- not a lot is known about Operation Ariel and the 2nd BEF of the "new" 51st-ex 9th- (Highland) and 52nd (Lowland)Divisions along with the Canadian 1st Division


Quote:
Many families of the dead knew only that they died with the 2nd British Expeditionary Force (BEF); the death toll accounted for roughly a third of the total losses of the BEF in France. Lancastria sank around 5 nmi (9.3 km) south of Chémoulin Point in the Charpentier roads, around 9 nmi (17 km) from St. Nazaire.

The Lancastria Association names 1,738 people known to have been killed. In 2005, Fenby wrote that estimates of the death toll vary from fewer than 3,000 to 5,800 people although it is also estimated that as many as 6,500 people perished, the largest loss of life in British maritime history.


The great loss of life was such that the British government suppressed news of the disaster through the D-Notice system, but the story was broken by the Press Association on 25 July, in the United States by The New York Times and in Britain by The Scotsman(many Lowland Scottish soldiers were lost with Lancastria) on 26 July, more than five weeks after the sinking.

Partly extracted from Wikipedia

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

SJ
Belfast N Ireland, UK
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Posts: 697

Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/14/2017 7:38:55 AM

Quote:
Thank you SJ-as you say- not a lot is known about Operation Ariel and the 2nd BEF of the "new" 51st-ex 9th- (Highland) and 52nd (Lowland)Divisions along with the Canadian 1st Division


Quote:
The Lancastria Association names 1,738 people known to have been killed. In 2005, Fenby wrote that estimates of the death toll vary from fewer than 3,000 to 5,800 people although it is also estimated that as many as 6,500 people perished, the largest loss of life in British maritime history.


The great loss of life was such that the British government suppressed news of the disaster through the D-Notice system, but the story was broken by the Press Association on 25 July, in the United States by The New York Times and in Britain by The Scotsman(many Lowland Scottish soldiers were lost with Lancastria) on 26 July, more than five weeks after the sinking.

Partly extracted from Wikipedia

Regards

Jim
--anemone


yeah- kinda takes the shine off "the Miracle" (and historical myth) of Dunkirk

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/14/2017 9:23:37 AM

Quote:
Teleportation
--kaii



Beam me up Scotty!
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Phil andrade
London, UK
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Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/14/2017 10:03:16 AM
From letters to the Editor, today's Daily Torygraph :

....My father's artillery battery were ordered to spike their guns and surrender, as it was impossible for them to get to an already overcrowded Dunkirk.

They carried out the first part of the order, then pooled their petrol and used one truck to head west. With the enemy closing in,they eventually commandeered a fishing boat at St Valery, west of Dieppe, and made for the sea, hugging the western bank of the estuary while coming under small - arms fire from Germans on the east bank.

All made it home safely.


I wonder what commandeered meant.

Regards , Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/14/2017 10:36:58 AM
Phil-Commandeered-"Took it without permission" would be my guess-desperate times called for desperate measures-QED to be sure.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

SJ
Belfast N Ireland, UK
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Posts: 697

Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/14/2017 11:32:13 AM

Quote:
Phil-Commandeered-"Took it without permission" would be my guess-desperate times called for desperate measures-QED to be sure.

Regards

Jim
--anemone


To commandeer

Plan A "Excuse Moi, Monsieur, mais moi avec moi mates need your boat"

Plan B Unlock bolt of Lee Enfield SMLE Mk3, raise a .303 round from the magazine, carry it on the bolt face to the chamber, and secure bolt in lock/fire position with safety off.

"As I was saying Monsieur Frog, we need your frigging boat- like now"

redcoat
Stockport, UK
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Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/14/2017 4:40:20 PM

Quote:
Well if I was a Marathon Swimmer, I'd just swim the Channel!

MD
--Michigan Dave
Its only 46 miles as the crow flies from Dunkirk to England.

R leonard
Richmond, VA, USA
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Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/23/2017 12:22:46 AM

Learn to parler francais, find some civvies, try to play refugee

BWilson

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Re: How would you have escaped from the Battle of Dunkirk, if you had to?
Posted on: 7/23/2017 2:59:02 AM

Quote:

Learn to parler francais, find some civvies, try to play refugee
--R leonard


 More than a few GIs did the first two things you mention in 1944-45.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
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