DUNKIRK... a name inscribed in the annals of military history as the site of one?
DUNKIRK... a name inscribed in the annals of military history as the site of one of the greatest rescue operations of all time. From its beaches - now filled with carefree holiday-makers - 330,000 battle-weary Allied troops were evacuated May 30-June 1, 1940, by an armada of assorted craft ranging from small fishing boats and sailing yachts, to pleasure paddle steamers and Royal Naval destroyers. This magnificent World War two achievement was accomplished despite uninterrupted aerial bombardment by German 'Stuka' dive bombers.
Today, twenty years after, the small French sea-port is being rebuilt. Completely devastated by the ferocious German attacks, Dunkirk is fast resuming its rightful place in French commerce. New buildings continue to rise from the rubble, and blocks of modern flats accommodate the influx of new citizens.
For many Dunkirk is a shrine. Relatives and friends of men killed fighting the heroic rearguard action, or blasted by bombs as they huddled defenceless on the sandy beaches, make an annual pilgrimage to the memorial and cemetery, both well-kept by grateful townspeople.