Soldiers of the BEF being evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk.  Although the vast majority of the 330 thousand were lifted by the Royal Navy, a flotilla of small privately owned boats were there to help, adding to the legend.

Soldiers of the BEF being evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk. Although the vast majority of the 330 thousand were lifted by the Royal Navy, a flotilla of small privately owned boats were there to help, adding to the legend.

MAY  30 1940 134,000 troops now saved by Dunkirk evacuation - See more at: http://ww2today.com/British troops during the evacuation from Dunkirk, 1940.

MAY 30 1940 134,000 troops now saved by Dunkirk evacuation - See more at: http://ww2today.com/British troops during the evacuation from Dunkirk, 1940.

On this day in History, Dunkirk evacuation ends on Jun 04, 1940. Learn more about what happened today on History.

On this day in History, Dunkirk evacuation ends on Jun 04, 1940. Learn more about what happened today on History.

How the British Army Was Saved at Dunkirk: The Evacuation of Dunkirk as painted by Charles Cundall, Dunkirk, France, June 1, 1940.

How the British Army Was Saved at Dunkirk

How the British Army Was Saved at Dunkirk: The Evacuation of Dunkirk as painted by Charles Cundall, Dunkirk, France, June 1, 1940.

In May 1940, British, French and Belgian troops were cut off on the French coast by German forces and faced death or capture. A hastily assembled fleet of 850 'little ships', code-named 'Operation Dynamo', departed from Britain (many making several return voyages) and rescued over 338,000 British and French troops. The event inspired Winston Churchill's 'We shall fight them on the beaches' speech and gave rise to the phrase 'Dunkirk Spirit' and to the Brits' reputation for turning a defeat…

In May 1940, British, French and Belgian troops were cut off on the French coast by German forces and faced death or capture. A hastily assembled fleet of 850 'little ships', code-named 'Operation Dynamo', departed from Britain (many making several return voyages) and rescued over 338,000 British and French troops. The event inspired Winston Churchill's 'We shall fight them on the beaches' speech and gave rise to the phrase 'Dunkirk Spirit' and to the Brits' reputation for turning a defeat…

The Allied position was quite terrible, once surrounded, they had little hope of breaking through.

The Allied position was quite terrible, once surrounded, they had little hope of breaking through.

HMS Jackal (F22) was a J-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy. Completed in 1939, Jackal served in the Norwegian campaign and the Dunkirk evacuation before being deployed to the Mediterranean in 1941.

HMS Jackal (F22) was a J-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy. Completed in 1939, Jackal served in the Norwegian campaign and the Dunkirk evacuation before being deployed to the Mediterranean in 1941.

Troops under fire on the beaches of Dunkirk, as seen from a ship offshore. Dunkirk evacuation underway

Troops under fire on the beaches of Dunkirk, as seen from a ship offshore. Dunkirk evacuation underway

World War 2 The Dunkirk Evacuation WW II

World War 2 The Dunkirk Evacuation WW II

Dutch troops cycling to the front during the battle of the netherlands of may - of May 1940

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