Timeline of the Dunkirk Evacuation (May 27th - June 4th, 1940)

Timeline of the Dunkirk Evacuation (May 27th - June 4th, 1940)

Facing annihilation of grand proportions, tens of thousands of Allied troops were evacuated from Dunkirk, France and lived to see another day - the same could not be said about the tons of war goods left behind.





By this period in the war, the heroic effort on the part of the Allies in defending against the tide of encroaching Axis armor was all but spent. Poland and Holland had already fallen to the Germans and Belgium was soon to follow. French and British forces began congregating at the French port city of Dunkirk with British soil sitting some ways across The Channel. Sensing total annihilation of the forces, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered a flotilla of civilian ships to help shuttle troops to awaiting transports from the port. The effort would become one of epic proportions as thousands of souls were saved in the brazen rescue operation.


The Belgium defense had now fallen though the Allies benefited some from the German military resources partially tied to this effort. The window of opportunity allowed more Allied forces to arrive at Dunkirk and the relative safety that it offered. The operation then came underway and over 338,000 Allied troops were rescued from certain death or imprisonment in what became known as the "Miracle at Dunkirk". Despite this effort, a generation of British and French children would grow up without fathers such was the cost.


A final French Army stand at Dunkirk netted the Germans some 40,000 French soldiers as Prisoners of War while thousands of vehicles and small arms were captured. The Germans then would eventually take the port city under their control and end the stand. ©www.SecondWorldWarHistory.com




There are a total of (19) entries in the Timeline of the Dunkirk Evacuation (May 27th - June 4th, 1940). Entries are listed below by earliest date to latest date.


May 20th
1940
Sensing a catastrophic loss in the making, Winston Churchill orders preparation of vessels to evacuate the British Expeditionary Forces from northern France.
May 20th
1940
Compounding battlefield losses across France and the Low Countries force a change at the helm - General Maxime Weygand replaces General Maurice-Gustave Gamelin as supreme Allied commander.
May 24th
1940
In a stunning move, Hitler orders his forces not to cross the Lens-Bethune-St Omer-Gravelines line, allowing the retreating Allied forces more time to reach the French coast.
May 24th
1940
German Luftwaffe bombers hammer Allied defensive positions in and around the French port city of Dunkirk.
June 4th
1940
German Luftwaffe bombers cease bombardment of Dunkirk.
June 4th
1940
Operation Dynamo - the evacuation of Allied forces at Dunkirk - officially ends. 338,326 total soldiers are saved including 113,000 French troops.
May 25th
1940
The German Army takes Boulogne.
May 25th
1940
More and more retreating Allied units arrive at the French port city of Dunkirk.
May 26th
1940
Hitler orders his army forces towards Dunkirk for the final blow to the Allied cause.
May 26th
1940
Operation Dynamo - the all-out evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk - officially begins at 6:57 PM.
May 26th
1940
Over 850 British civilian vessels take part in assisting military forces off of French soil to awaiting transports in what would become the largest military evacuation in history.
May 28th
1940
With the fight gone out of them, the Belgian Army surrenders to the German 6th and 18th armies. Their actions, however, supply the evacuating Allies with much-needed time.
May 28th
1940
Belgium falls to Germany in just 18 days.
May 28th
1940
By the end of this day, some 25,473 British soldiers have been evacuated from France.
May 29th
1940
Another 47,000 British troops are evacuated from Dunkirk.
May 30th
1940
6,000 French soldiers join some 120,000 total Allied soldiers evacuated from Dunkirk on this day.
May 31st
1940
Over 150,000 Allied soldiers (including some 15,000 French) arrive in Britain.
June 1st
1940
Defense of the outlying region near Dunkirk now passes to French XVI Corps.
June 4th
1940
Some 40,000 French soldiers are taken prisoner by Germany at the fall of Dunkirk.