Dunkirk (/dʌnˈkɜːrk, ˈdʌnkɜːrk/; West Flemish: Duunkerke; French: Dunkerque [dœ̃kɛʁk]; Dutch: Duinkerke(n) [ˈdœyŋkɛr(ə)kə(n)] (listen); German: Dünkirchen) is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It lies 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the Belgian border. The population of the city (commune) at the 2016 census was 91,412 inhabitants.
Dunkirk Town Hall and port
Location of Dunkirk
|• Mayor (2014-2020)||Patrice Vergriete|
|43.89 km2 (16.95 sq mi)|
|• Density||2,000/km2 (5,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
59183 /59140, 59240, 59640
|Elevation||0–17 m (0–56 ft) |
(avg. 4 m or 13 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.|
The name of Dunkirk derives from West Flemish dun(e) 'dune' or 'dun' and kerke 'church', which together means 'church in the dunes'. Until the middle of the 20th century, the city was situated in the French Flemish area; today the local Flemish variety of the Dutch language can still be heard, but has largely been supplanted by French.
Today Dunkirk is the world's northernmost Francophone city (not counting minor Canadian settlements such as Fermont, Quebec, which does have French as a majority language, but is not classified as a city).
A fishing village arose late in the tenth century, in the originally flooded coastal area of the English Channel south of the Western Scheldt, when the area was held by the Counts of Flanders, vassals of the French Crown. About 960AD, Count Baldwin III had a town wall erected in order to protect the settlement against Viking raids. The surrounding wetlands were drained and cultivated by the monks of nearby Bergues Abbey. The name Dunkirka was first mentioned in a tithe privilege of 27 May 1067, issued by Count Baldwin V of Flanders. Count Philip I (1157–1191) brought further large tracts of marshland under cultivation, laid out the first plans to build a Canal from Dunkirk to Bergues and vested the Dunkirkers with market rights.
In the late 13th century, when the Dampierre count Guy of Flanders entered into the Franco-Flemish War with his suzerain King Philippe IV of France, the citizens of Dunkirk sided with the French against their count, who at first was defeated at the 1297 Battle of Furnes, but reached de facto autonomy upon the victorious Battle of the Golden Spurs five years later and exacted vengeance. Guy's son, Count Robert III (1305–1322), nevertheless granted further city rights to Dunkirk; his successor Count Louis I (1322–1346) had to face the Peasant revolt of 1323–1328, which was crushed by King Philippe VI of France at the 1328 Battle of Cassel, whereafter the Dunkirkers again were affected by the repressive measures of their lord-paramount.
Count Louis remained a loyal liensman of the French king upon the outbreak of the Hundred Years' War with England in 1337, and prohibited the maritime trade, which led to another revolt by the Dunkirk citizens. After the count had been killed in the 1346 Battle of Crécy, his son and successor Count Louis II of Flanders (1346–1384) signed a truce with the English; the trade again flourished and the port was significantly enlarged. However, in the course of the Western Schism from 1378, English supporters of Pope Urban VI (the Roman claimant) disembarked at Dunkirk, captured the city and flooded the surrounding estates. They were ejected by King Charles VI of France, but left great devastations in and around the town.
Upon the extinction of the Counts of Flanders with the death of Louis II in 1384, Flanders was acquired by the Burgundian, Duke Philip the Bold. The fortifications were again enlarged, including the construction of a belfry daymark. As a strategic point, Dunkirk has always been exposed to political covetousness, by Duke Robert I of Bar in 1395, by Louis de Luxembourg in 1435 and finally by the Austrian archduke Maximilian I of Habsburg, who in 1477 married Mary of Burgundy, sole heiress of late Duke Charles the Bold. As Maximilian was the son of Emperor Frederick III, all Flanders was immediately seized by King Louis XI of France. However, the archduke defeated the French troops in 1479 at the Battle of Guinegate. When Mary died in 1482, Maximilian retained Flanders according to the terms of the 1482 Treaty of Arras. Dunkirk, along with the rest of Flanders, was incorporated into the Habsburg Netherlands and upon the 1581 secession of the Seven United Netherlands, remained part of the Southern Netherlands, which were held by Habsburg Spain (Spanish Netherlands) as Imperial fiefs.
The area remained much disputed between the Kingdom of Spain, the United Netherlands, the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France. At the beginning of the Eighty Years' War, Dunkirk was briefly in the hands of the Dutch rebels, from 1577. Spanish forces under Duke Alexander Farnese of Parma re-established Spanish rule in 1583 and it became a base for the notorious Dunkirkers. The Dunkirkers briefly lost their home port when the city was conquered by the French in 1646 but Spanish forces recaptured the city in 1652. In 1658, as a result of the long war between France and Spain, it was captured after a siege by Franco-English forces following the battle of the Dunes. The city along with Fort-Mardyck was awarded to England in the peace the following year as agreed in the Franco-English alliance against Spain. The English governors were Sir William Lockhart (1658–60), Sir Edward Harley (1660–61) and Lord Rutherford (1661–62).
It came under French rule when King Charles II of England sold it to France for £320,000 on 17 October 1662. The French government developed the town as a fortified port. The town's existing defences were adapted to create ten bastions. The port was expanded in the 1670s by the construction of a basin that could hold up to thirty warships with a double lock system to maintain water levels at low tide. The basin was linked to the sea by a channel dug through coastal sandbanks secured by two jetties. This work was completed by 1678. The jetties were defended a few years later by the construction of five forts, Château d'Espérance, Château Vert, Grand Risban, Château Gaillard, and Fort de Revers. An additional fort was built in 1701 called Fort Blanc. The jetties, their forts, and the port facilities were demolished in 1713 under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht.
During the reign of King Louis XIV, a large number of commerce raiders and pirates once again made their base at Dunkirk. Jean Bart was the most famous. The main character (and possible real prisoner) in the famous novel Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas was arrested at Dunkirk. The eighteenth-century Swedish privateers and pirates Lars Gathenhielm and his wife Ingela Hammar, are known to have sold their gains in Dunkirk. The Treaty of Paris (1763) between France and Great Britain ending the Seven Years' War, included a clause restricting French rights to fortify Dunkirk, to allay British fears of it being used as an invasion base to cross the English Channel. This clause was overturned in the subsequent Treaty of Versailles of 1783.
Dunkirk's port was used extensively during the war by British forces who brought in dock workers from, among other places, Egypt and China.
From 1915, the city experienced severe bombardment, including from the largest gun of the world, the German 'Lange Max'. On a regular basis, heavy shells weighing approximately 750 kg were fired from Koekelare, about 45–50 km away. The bombardment killed nearly 600 people and wounded another 1,100, both civilian and military, while 400 buildings were destroyed and 2,400 damaged. The city's population, which had been 39,000 in 1914, reduced to fewer than 15,000 in July 1916 and 7,000 in the autumn of 1917.
In January, 1916, a spy scare took place in Dunkirk. The writer Robert W. Service, then a war correspondent for the Toronto Star, was mistakenly arrested as a spy and narrowly avoided being executed out of hand. On 1 January 1918, the United States Navy established a naval air station to operate seaplanes. The base closed shortly after the Armistice of 11 November 1918.
In October 1917, to mark the gallant behaviour of its inhabitants during the war, the City of Dunkirk was awarded the Croix de Guerre and, in 1919, the Legion of Honour and the British Distinguished Service Cross. These decorations now appear in the city's coat of arms.
During the Second World War, in the May 1940 Battle of France, the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), while aiding the French and Belgian armies, were forced to retreat in the face of the overpowering German Panzer attacks. Fighting in Belgium and France, the BEF and a portion of the French Army became outflanked by the Germans and retreated to the area around the port of Dunkirk. More than 400,000 soldiers were trapped in the pocket as the German Army closed in for the kill. Unexpectedly, the German Panzer attack halted for several days at a critical juncture. For years, it was assumed that Adolf Hitler ordered the German Army to suspend the attack, favouring bombardment by the Luftwaffe. However, according to the Official War Diary of Army Group A, its commander, Generaloberst Gerd von Rundstedt, ordered the halt to allow maintenance on his tanks, half of which were out of service, and to protect his flanks which were exposed and, he thought, vulnerable. Hitler merely validated the order several hours later. This lull gave the British and French a few days to fortify their defences and evacuate by sea across the English Channel, codenamed Operation Dynamo. Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister, ordered any ship or boat available, large or small, to collect the stranded soldiers. 338,226 men (including 123,000 French soldiers) were evacuated – the miracle of Dunkirk, as Churchill called it. It took over 900 vessels to evacuate the BEF, with two-thirds of those rescued embarking via the harbour, and over 100,000 taken off the beaches. More than 40,000 vehicles as well as massive amounts of other military equipment and supplies were left behind, their value being regarded as less than that of trained fighting men. Forty thousand Allied soldiers (some who carried on fighting after the official evacuation) were captured or forced to make their own way home through a variety of routes including via neutral Spain. Many wounded who were unable to walk were abandoned.
Dunkirk was again contested in 1944, with the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division attempting to liberate the city in September, as Allied forces surged northeast after their victory in the Battle of Normandy. However, German forces refused to relinquish their control of the city, which had been converted into a fortress. To seize the now strategically insignificant town would consume too many Allied resources which were needed elsewhere. The town was by-passed masking the German garrison with Allied troops, notably 1st Czechoslovak Armoured Brigade. During the German occupation, Dunkirk was largely destroyed by Allied bombing. The artillery siege of Dunkirk was directed on the final day of the war by pilots from No. 652 Squadron RAF, and No. 665 Squadron RCAF. The fortress, under the command of German Admiral Friedrich Frisius, eventually unconditionally surrendered to the commander of the Czechoslovak forces, Brigade General Alois Liška, on 9 May 1945.
|2017||Emmanuel Macron||En Marche!||54.42|
Dunkirk has an oceanic climate, with cool winters and warm summers. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Dunkirk has a marine west coast climate, abbreviated "Cfb" on climate maps. Summers are averaging around 21 °C (70 °F), being significantly influenced by the marine currents.
|Climate data for Dunkirk (1981–2010 averages, records 1917–present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||15.0
|Average high °C (°F)||7.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||5.0
|Average low °C (°F)||2.9
|Record low °C (°F)||−13.4
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||55.0
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||11.4||8.9||10.1||8.9||9.3||9.1||8.3||8.9||10.4||11.8||12.6||12.0||121.6|
|Average snowy days||2.9||2.7||1.8||0.8||0.1||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.8||1.9||11.0|
|Average relative humidity (%)||86||84||81||80||79||80||80||80||80||83||84||85||81.8|
|Source #1: Météo France,  Infoclimat.fr (humidity and snowy days, 1961–1990)|
|Source #2: |
The commune has grown substantially by absorbing several neighbouring communes:
Dunkirk has the third-largest harbour in France, after those of Le Havre and Marseille. As an industrial city it depends heavily on the steel, food processing, oil-refining, ship-building and chemical industries.
In June 1792 the French astronomers Jean Baptiste Joseph Delambre and Pierre François André Méchain set out to measure the meridian arc distance from Dunkirk to Barcelona, two cities lying on approximately the same longitude as each other and also the longitude through Paris. The belfry was chosen as the reference point in Dunkirk.
Using this measurement and the latitudes of the two cities they could calculate the distance between the North Pole and the Equator in classical French units of length and hence produce the first prototype metre which was defined as being one ten millionth of that distance. The definitive metre bar, manufactured from platinum, was presented to the French legislative assembly on 22 June 1799.
Dunkirk was the most easterly cross-channel measuring point for the Anglo-French Survey (1784–1790), which used trigonometry to calculate the precise distance between the Paris Observatory and the Royal Greenwich Observatory. Sightings were made of signal lights at Dover Castle from the Dunkirk Belfry, and vice versa.
Dunkirk has a ferry with the firm DFDS with regular services each day to England. The Gare de Dunkerque railway station offers connections to Gare de Calais-Ville, Gare de Lille Flandres, Arras and Paris, and several regional destinations in France. The railway line from Dunkirk to De Panne and Adinkerke, Belgium, is closed and has been dismantled in places.
In September 2018, Dunkirk's public transit service introduced free public transport, thereby becoming the largest city in Europe to do so. Several weeks after the scheme had been introduced, the city's mayor, Patrice Vergriete, reported that there had been 50% increase in passenger numbers on some routes, and up to 85% on others. As part of the transition towards offering free bus services, the city's fleet was expanded from 100 to 140 buses, including new vehicles which run on natural gas.
Dunkirk has co-operation agreements with:
The French name of Dunkerque in fact is derived from the Flemish Duinkerke, which means 'church in the dunes'!
The 90th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 2017 and took place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. The ceremony was held on March 4, 2018, rather than its usual late-February date to avoid conflicting with the 2018 Winter Olympics. During the ceremony, AMPAS presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 24 categories. The ceremony was televised in the United States by American Broadcasting Company (ABC), produced by Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd and directed by Glenn Weiss. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel hosted for the second consecutive year, making him the first person to host back-to-back ceremonies since Billy Crystal in 1997 and 1998.In related events, the Academy held its 9th Annual Governors Awards ceremony at the Grand Ballroom of the Hollywood and Highland Center on November 11, 2017. On February 10, 2018, in a ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, the Academy Scientific and Technical Awards were presented by host actor Sir Patrick Stewart.The Shape of Water won a leading four awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Guillermo del Toro. Dunkirk won three awards; Blade Runner 2049, Coco, Darkest Hour and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won two awards each. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell won Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor awards for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri while Gary Oldman won Best Actor for Darkest Hour. Allison Janney won Best Supporting Actress honor for I, Tonya. With a U.S. viewership of 26.5 million, it was the least-watched show in Oscar history.Action of 18 February 1639
The action of 18 February 1639 was a naval battle of the Eighty Years' War fought off Dunkirk between a Dutch fleet under the command of Admiral Maarten Tromp and the Spanish Dunkirk Squadron under Miguel de Horna. Horna, who had orders to join with his ships Admiral Antonio de Oquendo's fleet at A Coruña, escorted at the same time a transport convoy carrying 2,000 Walloon soldiers to Spain, where they were needed. The attempt to exit Dunkirk was done in sight of the Dutch blockading squadron of Maarten Tromp. A 4-hour battle ensued and Horna was forced to retreat into Dunkirk leaving behind two of his galleons, whilst another ran aground. Despite his success in stopping the sortie, many of Tromp's ships suffered heavy damage, and the Dutch Admiral was forced to abandon the blockade. Therefore, De Horna, after repairing his squadron, was able to accomplish his mission.Atonement (film)
Atonement is a 2007 romantic war drama film directed by Joe Wright and based on Ian McEwan's 2001 novel of the same name. The film stars James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Saoirse Ronan, Romola Garai, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Vanessa Redgrave, and chronicles a crime and its consequences over the course of six decades, beginning in the 1930s. It was produced by StudioCanal and filmed in England. Distributed in most of the world by Universal Studios, it was released in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 7 September 2007 and in North America on 7 December 2007.
Atonement opened both the 2007 Vancouver International Film Festival and the 64th Venice International Film Festival, making Wright, at the age of 35, the youngest director ever to open the latter event. A commercial success, the film earned a worldwide gross of approximately $129 million against a budget of $30 million. Critics gave the drama positive reviews, praising its acting performances, its cinematography and Dario Marianelli's score.
Atonement won an Oscar for Best Original Score at the 80th Academy Awards, and was nominated for six others, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Ronan. It also garnered fourteen nominations at the 61st British Academy Film Awards, winning both Best Film and Production Design, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama.Battle of Dunkirk
The Battle of Dunkirk (French: Bataille de Dunkerque) was a military operation that took place in Dunkirk (Dunkerque), France, during the Second World War. The battle was fought between the Allies and Nazi Germany. As part of the Battle of France on the Western Front, the Battle of Dunkirk was the defence and evacuation to Britain of British and other Allied forces in Europe from 26 May to 4 June 1940.
After the Phoney War, the Battle of France began in earnest on 10 May 1940. To the east, the German Army Group B invaded the Netherlands and advanced westward. In response, the Supreme Allied Commander—French General Maurice Gamelin—initiated "Plan D" and entered Belgium to engage the Germans in the Netherlands. The plan relied heavily on the Maginot Line fortifications along the German–French border, but German forces had already crossed through most of the Netherlands before the French forces arrived. Gamelin instead committed the forces under his command, three mechanised armies, the French First and Seventh Armies and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), to the River Dyle. On 14 May, German Army Group A burst through the Ardennes and advanced rapidly to the west toward Sedan, then turned northward to the English Channel, using Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein's plan Sichelschnitt under the German strategy Fall Gelb, effectively flanking the Allied forces.A series of Allied counter-attacks—including the Battle of Arras—failed to sever the German spearhead, which reached the coast on 20 May, separating the BEF near Armentières, the French First Army, and the Belgian Army further to the north from the majority of French troops south of the German penetration. After reaching the Channel, the German forces swung north along the coast, threatening to capture the ports and trap the British and French before they could evacuate to Britain.
In one of the most debated decisions of the war, the Germans halted their advance on Dunkirk. Contrary to popular belief, what became known as the "Halt Order" did not originate with Adolf Hitler. Generalobersten (Colonel-Generals) Gerd von Rundstedt and Günther von Kluge suggested that the German forces around the Dunkirk pocket should cease their advance on the port and consolidate to avoid an Allied breakout. Hitler sanctioned the order on 24 May with the support of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW). The army was to halt for three days, which gave the Allies sufficient time to organise the Dunkirk evacuation and build a defensive line. While more than 330,000 Allied troops were rescued, British and French military forces nonetheless sustained heavy casualties and were forced to abandon nearly all their equipment.Battle of the Downs
The naval Battle of the Downs took place on 21 October 1639 (New Style), during the Eighty Years' War, and was a decisive defeat of the Spanish, commanded by Admiral Antonio de Oquendo, by the United Provinces, commanded by Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp.Chautauqua County, New York
Chautauqua County is the westernmost county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 134,905. Its county seat is Mayville, and its largest city is Jamestown. Its name is believed to be the lone surviving remnant of the Erie language, a tongue lost in the Beaver Wars; its meaning is unknown and a subject of speculation. The county was created in 1808 and organized in 1811.Chautauqua County comprises the Jamestown-Dunkirk-Fredonia, NY Micropolitan Statistical Area. It is located south of Lake Erie and includes a small portion of the Cattaraugus Reservation of the Seneca.Christopher Nolan
Christopher Edward Nolan, (; born 30 July 1970) is an English film director, screenwriter, and producer who holds both British and American citizenship.
Having made his directorial debut with Following (1998), Nolan gained considerable attention for his second feature Memento (2000), for which he was nominated for numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The acclaim garnered by his independent films gave Nolan the opportunity to make the big-budget thriller Insomnia (2002) and the mystery drama The Prestige (2006). He found further popular and critical success with The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005–2012); Inception (2010), which received eight Academy Award nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay; Interstellar (2014); and Dunkirk (2017), which earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Director. His ten films have grossed over US$4.7 billion worldwide and garnered a total of 34 Oscar nominations and ten wins. Nolan has co-written several of his films with his brother Jonathan, and runs the production company Syncopy Inc. with his wife Emma Thomas.
Nolan's films are typically rooted in epistemological and metaphysical themes, exploring human morality, the construction of time, and the malleable nature of memory and personal identity. His body of work is permeated by materialistic perspectives, nonlinear storytelling, practical special effects, innovative soundscapes, large-format film photography, and analogous relationships between visual language and narrative elements. In addition to his filmmaking, he is an advocate for film preservation and the continued availability of film stock.Dunkirk, New York
Dunkirk is a city in Chautauqua County, New York, in the United States. It was settled around 1805 and officially incorporated in 1880. The population was 12,563 as of the 2010 census, with an estimated population of 12,328 in 2013. Dunkirk is bordered on the north by Lake Erie. It shares a border with the village of Fredonia to the south, and with the town of Dunkirk to the east and west. Dunkirk is the westernmost city in the state of New York.Dunkirk, Wisconsin
Dunkirk is a town in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 2,053 at the 2000 census. The unincorporated communities of Dunkirk and Hanerville are located in the town.Dunkirk (1958 film)
Dunkirk is a 1958 British war film directed by Leslie Norman that depicts the Dunkirk evacuation of World War II, and starring John Mills, Richard Attenborough, and Bernard Lee. The film is based on the novels The Big Pick-Up by Elleston Trevor and Dunkirk co-authored by Lt. Col. Ewan Butler and Maj. J. S. Bradford.Dunkirk (2017 film)
Dunkirk is a 2017 war film written, directed, and produced by Christopher Nolan that depicts the Dunkirk evacuation of World War II. Its ensemble cast includes Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D'Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, and Tom Hardy. The film is a British-American-French-Dutch co-production, and was distributed by Warner Bros.
Dunkirk portrays the evacuation from three perspectives: land, sea, and air. It has little dialogue, as Nolan sought instead to create suspense from cinematography and music. Filming began in May 2016 in Dunkirk and ended that September in Los Angeles, when post-production began. Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema shot the film on IMAX 65 mm and 65 mm large-format film stock. Dunkirk has extensive practical effects, and employed thousands of extras as well as historic boats from the evacuation, and period aeroplanes.
The film premiered on 13 July 2017 at Odeon Leicester Square in London, and was released in the United Kingdom and the United States on 21 July in IMAX, 70 mm, and 35 mm film formats. It is the highest-grossing World War II film, making $526 million worldwide. Dunkirk received praise for its screenplay, direction, musical score, sound effects, and cinematography; some critics called it Nolan's best work, and one of the greatest war films.
The film received eight nominations at the 23rd Critics' Choice Awards, winning for Best Editing, eight at the 71st British Academy Film Awards, winning for Best Sound, and three at the 75th Golden Globe Awards. At the 90th Academy Awards, it received eight nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director (Nolan's first Oscar nomination for directing); it went on to win for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Film Editing.Dunkirk evacuation
The Dunkirk evacuation, code-named Operation Dynamo, also known as the Miracle of Dunkirk, was the evacuation of Allied soldiers during World War II from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, in the north of France, between 26 May and 4 June 1940. The operation commenced after large numbers of Belgian, British, and French troops were cut off and surrounded by German troops during the six-week long Battle of France. In a speech to the House of Commons, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called this "a colossal military disaster", saying "the whole root and core and brain of the British Army" had been stranded at Dunkirk and seemed about to perish or be captured. In his "we shall fight on the beaches" speech on 4 June, he hailed their rescue as a "miracle of deliverance".After Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, France and the British Empire declared war on Germany and imposed an economic blockade. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was sent to help defend France. After the Phoney War of October 1939 to April 1940, Germany invaded Belgium, the Netherlands, and France on 10 May 1940. Three of their panzer corps attacked through the Ardennes and drove northwest to the English Channel. By 21 May German forces had trapped the BEF, the remains of the Belgian forces, and three French field armies along the northern coast of France. Commander of the BEF, General Viscount Gort, immediately saw evacuation across the Channel as the best course of action, and began planning a withdrawal to Dunkirk, the closest good port.
Late on 23 May, a halt order was issued by Generaloberst Gerd von Rundstedt, commander of Army Group A. Adolf Hitler approved the order the next day and had the German High Command send confirmation to the front. Destroying the trapped BEF, French, and Belgian armies was left to the Luftwaffe until the order was rescinded on 26 May. This gave trapped Allied forces time to construct defensive works and pull back large numbers of troops to fight the Battle of Dunkirk. From 28 to 31 May, in the Siege of Lille, the remaining 40,000 men of the once-formidable French First Army fought a delaying action against seven German divisions, including three armoured divisions.
On the first day only 7,669 Allied soldiers were evacuated, but by the end of the eighth day, 338,226 of them had been rescued by a hastily assembled fleet of over 800 boats. Many troops were able to embark from the harbour's protective mole onto 39 British Royal Navy destroyers, four Royal Canadian Navy destroyers, and a variety of civilian merchant ships, while others had to wade out from the beaches, waiting for hours in shoulder-deep water. Some were ferried to the larger ships by what came to be known as the little ships of Dunkirk, a flotilla of hundreds of merchant marine boats, fishing boats, pleasure craft, yachts, and lifeboats called into service from Britain. The BEF lost 68,000 soldiers during the French campaign and had to abandon nearly all of its tanks, vehicles, and equipment. In his speech to the House of Commons on 4 June, Churchill reminded the country that "we must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations."Four Days of Dunkirk
The Four Days of Dunkirk (French: Quatre Jours de Dunkerque) is road bicycle race around the Nord-Pas de Calais region of northern France. Despite the name of the race, since the addition of an individual time trial in 1963, the race has been held over a 5 or 6 day period for most of its history. Since 2005, the race has been organised as a 2.HC event on the UCI Europe Tour. French cyclist Clément Venturini won the most recent edition of the race.Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day (Pennsylvania German: Grund'sau dåk, Grundsaudaag, Grundsow Dawg, Murmeltiertag; Nova Scotia: Daks Day) is a popular tradition celebrated in Canada and the United States on February 2. It derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog (Marmota monax, also called "woodchuck"; Deitsch: Grundsau, Grunddax, Dax) emerging from its burrow on this day sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will persist for six more weeks, and if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early. While the tradition remains popular in modern times, studies have found no consistent correlation between a groundhog seeing its shadow or not and the subsequent arrival time of spring-like weather.The weather lore was brought from German-speaking areas where the badger (German: Dachs) is the forecasting animal. This appears to be an enhanced version of the lore that clear weather on the Christian Holy Day of Candlemas forebodes a prolonged winter.
The Groundhog Day ceremony held at Punxsutawney in western Pennsylvania, centering around a semi-mythical groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil, has become the most attended. Grundsow Lodges in Pennsylvania Dutch Country in the southeastern part of the state celebrate them as well. Other cities in the United States and Canada have also adopted the event.HMS Dunkirk (1651)
Worcester was a 48-gun third rate frigate built for the navy of the Commonwealth of England at Woolwich Dockyard, and launched in 1651.After the Restoration in 1660, she was renamed HMS Dunkirk. By 1677 her armament had been increased to 60 guns. In 1704 she underwent a rebuild at Blackwall Yard, relaunching as a 60-gun fourth rate ship of the line. On 12 September 1729 Dunkirk was ordered to be taken to pieces at Portsmouth, and rebuilt as a 60-gun fourth rate to the 1719 Establishment. She was relaunched on 3 September 1734.Dunkirk was broken up in 1749.PS Medway Queen
The PS Medway Queen is a paddle driven steamship, the only mobile estuary paddle steamer left in the United Kingdom. She was one of the "little ships of Dunkirk", making a record 7 trips and rescuing 7000 men in the evacuation of Dunkirk.
She was the subject of a £1.8 million National Lottery Heritage Memorial Fund grant to restore her hull. By 2014, her hull had been reconstructed and she is sitting at Gillingham Pier on the River Medway.Sundowner (yacht)
Sundowner is a motor yacht formerly owned by Charles Lightoller, the second officer of RMS Titanic and the most senior officer to survive her sinking in 1912.
She participated in the Dunkirk evacuation as one of the "little ships" as well as a number of commemorations of the event, and is now a museum ship at the Ramsgate Maritime Museum in Southern England.Treaty of Dunkirk
The Treaty of Dunkirk was signed on 4 March 1947, between France and the United Kingdom in Dunkirk (France) as a Treaty of Alliance and Mutual Assistance against a possible German attack in the aftermath of World War II. It entered into force on 8 September 1947 and according with article VI paragraph 2 of its text it remained in force for a period of fifty years.
According to Marc Trachtenberg, the German threat was a pretext for defense against the USSR.This Treaty preceded the Treaty of Brussels of 1948 (also known as "Brassels Pact"), which established the Western Union among Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, that became Western European Union in 1955, after the entry into force of the Treaty of Brussels of 1954 (also known as "Modified Brussels Treaty (MBT)"), when Italy and West Germany were added to the other nations.USL Dunkerque
USL Dunkerque (French: Union Sportive du Littoral de Dunkerque) is a French football club based in the commune of Dunkirk.
They currently play in the Championnat National. Their kit colours are white and blue. They play their home matches at the Stade Tribut in Dunkirk.