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Dunkirk

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by EagleSquadron12, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. EagleSquadron12

    EagleSquadron12 New Member

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    So with the news of the new movie Dunkirk, I figured I'd start a thread about one of the most important operations of the war. Not just because of the military importance but the purpose of humanity itself.

    Had the British command decided not to save those boys from death or capture it would have led to, a severe blow to morale, and possibly an uproar from the British citizens.

    I'm not going into to much of thought here mainly because I'm interested in what all of you think.
     
  2. harolds

    harolds Member

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    I'm sure that this has been worked over on this forum before. However, the key question is: were Hitler and von Rundstedt correct in issuing the "stop order" or could have Guderian's forces have taken Dunkirk?
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Did they really have a choice?
     
  4. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    People seem to assume that the stop order was what determined the outcome. I am not so sure.
     
  5. EagleSquadron12

    EagleSquadron12 New Member

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    I feel the stop order wasn't much influence but at the same time you can't help but wonder if it changed a bitter ending into a more bittersweet ending
     
  6. Christian Ankerstjerne

    Christian Ankerstjerne Member

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    The German situation maps from 22 May and 23 May show an unknown, possibly motorized or cavalry, Allied force approaching the Somme river at Corbie west of Amiens. The 24 May map further speculates that this may be a British army-sized unit, showing advances against Picquigny, Amiens, Villers-Bretonneux, Péronne, and Ham.

    If the Allies had been capable of launching an attack across the Somme river and linking up with the British pocket, at the time less than 50 kilometers away, it would have cut off effectively the entire German mechanized force, including all ten tank divisions and all four motorized infantry division. Since the divisions in such a pocket were all motorized, the lack of supplies would quickly have become critical.
     
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  7. harolds

    harolds Member

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    The Germans had air supremacy and could/did? have mounted aerial recon to find out what was out there. Plus, the Germans could have pushed out recon units on the ground. Personally, I haven't ever read anything that shows this supposed army really had an effect on the decision compared to the tactical situation, ground conditions, and the wear and tear on the panzers that would have affected future ops.
     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Did they really have air supremacy at that point? Certainly they could achieve air superiority at will but that's not quite the same thing.
     
  9. Christian Ankerstjerne

    Christian Ankerstjerne Member

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    I don't know why the advancing units of the 7th French Army didn't begin being identified until 26 May. All I can tell from the maps is that they weren't. My guess would be that, with the Somme river as a defensive line until Fall Rot could be launched, the focus of reconnaissance operations was on the encircled Allied forces in the north.

    Considering the shock the Germans had at the British counter-attack at Arras on 21 May, which resulted in the Germans delaying their advance, it seems at least probable that the possibility of an attack from the south would have been part of the reason for the German order to halt.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  10. BFBSM

    BFBSM Member Patron  

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    The advances by the British against the bridges crossing the Somme at Picquigny, Ailly & Dreuil les Amiens, were conducted by tanks from a single Squadron ("C" Sqn) of the Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards) supported by infantry from the 4th Border Regiment. They had no artillery. The troops from the two Regiments had never worked together, and it would seem apparent from my research, that the 4th Border Regiment had not been trained to fight with tanks, in fact the 4th Border Regiment was a Line of Communication unit and 'not intended for front line service' (The 1st Armoured Division, John Plant, New Generation Publishing, 2013. p.12/13). The 4th Border Regiment managed to get troops across the Somme at only one point, Ailly, but were forced to withdraw due to heavy artillery and mortar fire.

    Mark
     
  11. Christian Ankerstjerne

    Christian Ankerstjerne Member

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    I know that the Allies didn't have any realistic chance of breaking the encirclement after 21 May. My point is that the Germans didn't know that, and may well have over-estimated the strength of the French 7th Army.
     
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  12. Brian Smith

    Brian Smith Active Member

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    Well certainly important for those who got back. I live next door to a Dunkirk veteran who, having become separated with a few mates from his unit just considers himself lucky to have found his way to the boats and get away. The bigger picture regarding advancing British troops and air supremacy were at that time as he looked for a way out not his greatest concern.
     
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  13. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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  14. Denis Caron

    Denis Caron New Member

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    That must be an incredible experience to speak with someone who was on the beaches. What else did you learn?
     
  15. Brian Smith

    Brian Smith Active Member

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    He and a few from his Unit, completely separated from the rest found their way to where boats were loading on moles and were ordered by some unknown officer to help load injured soldiers on stretchers on to the boats, this they did and having found themselves embarked and ready to sail decided to sit tight. He puts this action down to saving his life.
     
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  16. Highway70

    Highway70 Member

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    A story I read years ago. Some British soldiers in a truck got separated from their unit and lost. On a very dark night they spotted a convoy headed in the right direction so pulled in behind it. At dawn they found out thy were following a German convoy. They did make it to Dunkirk and were evacuated England.
     

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