Stranded on the beach with the Nazis closing in, the British army managed one of the most unlikely maneuvers in modern military history
In May of 1940, the remnants of the French and British armies, broken by Hitler’s blitzkrieg, retreated to Dunkirk. Hemmed in by overwhelming Nazi strength, the 338,000 men who gathered on that beach were all that stood between Hitler and Western Europe. Crush them, and the path to Paris and London was clear. And so, unable to retreat any farther, the Allied soldiers set up defense positions and prayed for deliverance.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered an evacuation on May 26th, expecting to save no more than a handful of his men. But Britain would not let its soldiers down. Hundreds of fishing boats, pleasure yachts, and commercial vessels streamed into the Channel to back up the Royal Navy, and in a week nearly the entire army was ferried safely back to England. Assembled from interviews with hundreds of survivors who witnessed the evacuation, The Miracle of Dunkirk is a striking history of a week when the fate of Britain hung in the balance.