Operation Dynamo 1940
Quotes, Speeches and Facts from 1940
Friday May 24th 1940
The Kings broadcast to the Empire on the occasion of Empire Day:
The decisive struggle is now upon us. Let no one be mistaken. It is no mere territorial conquest that our enemies are seeking. It is the overthrow, complete and final, of this Empire and of everything for which it stands: and after that, the conquest of the World.
It is a life and death struggle for us all.
And if their will prevails, they will bring to its accomplishment all the hatred and cruelty which they have already displayed.
But confidence alone is not enough. It must be armed with courage and resolution, with endurance and self-sacrifice.
Keep your hearts proud and your resolve unshaken. Let us go forward to that task as one man, a smile on our lips, and our heads held high, and with God's help we shall not fail.
King George VI broadcast in May 1940
On the retreat: May 1940
'As the battered battalions swarmed up the corridor, the Luftwaffe continued to roam the skies unopposed. Besides bombs, thousands of leaflets fluttered down, urging the Tommies to give up. The addressees reacted in different ways. In the 58th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, most men treated the leaflets as a joke and a useful supply of toilet paper. Some men in the 250th Field Company, Royal Engineers, actually felt encouraged by a map that featured the Dunkirk beachhead. Until now, they hadn't realized that there was still a route open to the sea so near at hand.'
The German 6th Army on the advance: May 1940 (The division responsible for pushing the 58th and many other units onto Dunkirk)
Renamed the 6th Army for the 1940 campaign in the West, von Reichenau and Paulus spearheaded the attack through Belgium, establishing their army as one of the elite of the Wehrmacht. Theirs was among the forces which pinned the British Expeditionary Force and the Remnants of the French Army against the sea at Dunkirk. Chosen for the cross-channel invasion of Britain, Paulus worked up the operational details for an amphibious assault by the 6th Army.
Von Reichenau was probably the very antithesis of Paulus. An ardent Nazi, coarse and unkempt, he loathed routine paper work, preferring duty in the field. During the Polish campaign, he set an example for his troops by swimming across the Vistula river. He was perfectly content to let Paulus handle the organizational duties, and as a result, his army was running as efficiently as a Swiss watch.
Author: Mike Yoder
6th Army: General von Reichenau:
Hoepner's 16th Panzer Corps (Stumpf's 3rd Panzer Division and Stever's 4th Panzer Division)
4 infantry corps, the 4th, 9th, 11th and 27th comprised of 15 infantry divisions and the 20th Motorized Division..