Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 277 June 3, 1940

At 4.56 AM, U-37 sinks Finnish SS Snabb with the deck gun, 300 miles west of Cape Finisterre, Spain (1 killed). 20 survivors are picked up by Greek SS Kyriakoula and landed at Cork on 6 June.

Dunkirk. The last of the BEF embark overnight. General Harold Alexander commanding British 1st Infantry Division uses a small boat to check no-one is left behind. At 10:50 AM, Royal Navy "Beachmaster" Captain William “Dunkirk Joe” Tennant signals "Operation completed; returning to Dover”, after calling on a megaphone for any British soldiers, but Churchill insists on evacuating as many French troops as possible, so the Royal Navy returns in the evening. In total, 24,876 Allied troops embark from Dunkirk harbour & only 1,870 from the beaches. However, the shrinking beachhead and crumbling perimeter allow German forces within 2 miles of Dunkirk.

French armed merchant cruiser Ville D'Oran evacuates 212 tons of gold including sacks of gold coins from French gold reserves at Pauillac, arriving at Casablanca June 7. The gold will journey on to USA for safekeeping.

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