Clive Ponting on the Myth of Dunkirk

The film Dunkirk directed by Christopher Nolan, has raked in almost $500 million dollars. One of the sub-plots of the film, that is the sea aspect of it, shows an everyday ‘Joe’ played by Mark Rylance, courageously sailing the English Channel to rescue the retreated and stranded Tommy holed up on the coast of Dunkirk. But as the British historian Clive Ponting conclusively tells us in his book, 1940: Myth and Reality, this was very much a propagandistic interpretation what actually happened:

“One of the myths of Dunkirk is that the troops were evacuated from the beaches by an armada of small boats manned by volunteers from all over England. In fact two-thirds of those evacuated were lifted directly on to Royal Navy ships from the east mole of Dunkirk harbour. No public information about the evacuation was given until the evening of 30 May when nearly three-quarters of the BEF [British Expeditionary Force] had already been rescued. Only then could volunteers come forward and play in the operation. Over the last four days of the operation the small boats helped lift 26,000 troops from the beaches, about 8% of the total evacuated from Dunkirk.”

When you keep in mind there was well over 300,000 BEF troops holed up in Dunkirk, you realise the film was just another Hollywood blockbuster lie made by the multinational corporation, Warner Brothers.

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