Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day 278 June 4, 1940

Operation Dynamo, evacuation of Dunkirk, ends. Overnight, British Royal Navy embarks 26,175French troops mostly from Dunkirk harbour. In total, 338,226 men have been evacuated including 112,000 French troops. At 10:20 AM, Germans raise the swastika over Dunkirk, capturing 30,000 - 40,000 French troops. British material losses include 2000 field guns, 60,000 vehicles & 676,000 tons of ammunition, fuel and supplies.

Evacuation of Narvik begins. Overnight, British destroyers and Norwegian fishing boats start shuttling Allied troops to 6 fast liners (troop transports) hidden in various small fjords and inlets on the main Ototfjord.

Operation Juno. British supply lines to Narvik are vulnerable to naval as well as air attack. Admiral Wilhelm Marschall leads German battleships Scharnhorst & Gneisenau, cruiser Admiral Hipper and destroyers Karl Galster, Hans Lody, Erich Steinbrinck & Hermann Schoemann from Kiel to attack Allied warships and supply vessels off Norway.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gives one of his finest speeches in the House of Commons, reviewing the conduct of the war in France and Belgium “the German eruption swept like a sharp scythe around the right and rear of the Armies of the North….. cut off all communications between us and the main French Armies”,
the evacuation of Dunkirk “We must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations”
and the prospect of invasion of the Britain “We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender” (text and MP3 at, stream all Churchill speeches

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