The Battle of France and the Flight to Dunkirk


German paratroopers invade the Netherlands on May 10, 1940.  Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images
German paratroopers invade the Netherlands on May 10, 1940. Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Retellings of the Dunkirk rescue often leave out how the Allied forces got into such a predicament, with a huge part of the British Expeditionary Force stranded. Today, we'll talk about the lead-up to WWII and its relentless progression into France.

A correction to this episode! The German invasion of Scandinavia really happened in April 1940, so things weren't quite as simultaneous as presented here. So, rather than invading the Low Countries the very next day, it was roughly a month later.

Tracy's Research:

  • "The Evacuation at Dunkirk, 1940," EyeWitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2008). http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/dunkirk.htm
  • BBC. "Invasion of Poland." http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/invasion_poland_01.shtml
  • BBC Press Office. "Dunkirk: A Few Facts." http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2004/02_february/03/dunkirk_facts_figures.shtml
  • Craig, Olga. "Wormhoudt: 'Every day I thank God we did our duty'." Telegraph. 5/23/2010. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/7753912/Wormhoudt-Every-day-I-thank-God-we-did-our-duty.html
  • Farndale, Nigel. "The Miracle of Dunkirk." 5/14/2010. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/7724309/The-miracle-of-Dunkirk.html
  • Sebag-Montefiore, Hugh. "Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man." Harvard University Press. 2006.
  • Sheffield, Gary. "The Fall of France." BBC History. 3/30/2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/fall_france_01.shtml
  • The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Dunkirk Evacuation." Encyclopedia Britannica. 6/7/2017. https://www.britannica.com/event/Dunkirk-evacuation
  • Thompson, Julian, Major General. "Dunkirk: Retreat to Victory." Arcade Publishing. New York. 2008.
  • Wilson, Patrick. "Dunkirk: Victory or Defeat?" History Today. Issue 37. September 2000. http://www.historytoday.com/patrick-wilson/dunkirk-victory-or-defeat

Topics in this Podcast: wwii, World War II, British history, French history, German history, European history, military history, Dunkirk, 20th century, warfare