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.
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 rescue of Allied soldiers from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, France, between 26 May and 4 June 1940. Though initially it looked hopeless, by the end of the 9-day 'Operation Dynamo', 338,000+ soldiers had been rescued by a hastily-assembled fleet of 850 boats.
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.
This Day in History: Jun 4, 1940: Dunkirk evacuation ends & Winston Churchill delivers his famous "We shall fight on the beaches" speech. http://dingeengoete.blogspot.com/2013/06/this-day-in-history-jun-4-1940-dunkirk.html