The Battle of Dunkirk

At the end of May a group of allies including an English expeditionary corps and some French units found themselves in a trap on the small territory around the French port Dunkirk. By this moment it was clear that the battle for France had been lost and one could talk only about the rescue of 400.000 British corps.

From May the British military commanders began preparations for the Operation Dynamo – a crossing of British units over the English Channel. All the available ships were mobilized for this purpose, including private yachts and Dutch ships interned in the ports of England.

Meanwhile, the Dunkirk trap was narrowing fast. Several hundreds of thousands of British and French soldiers, who had ganged around the city and adjoining beaches, represented a sitting target for Wehrmacht. It seemed that it was enough for the Germans only to press a little but…

On May 24 Hitler gave a strange order which forbade the German tank divisions to approach Dunkirk less than at the distance of 10 kilometres and use tanks against the besieged grouping. In order not to break Hitler’s will, the German generals had to use artillery and aircraft against the evacuating English. But in the course of the Battle of Dunkirk the German air attacks didn’t give a result because of ally air defence and protection from the side of British fighter planes.

When the German units were moving forward they encountered the fierce counter-attacks of allies, besides, the irregular channelled terrain immensely hindered an offensive. As a result, the British managed to evacuate 338.000 soldiers, leaving all the tanks, heavy guns, motor vehicles and a great amount of small arms in Dunkirk. On the beaches, nearby the city the British soldiers were throwing their helmets, as a promise to come back.

But the return didn’t happen very soon: only in September 1944 the allies besieged Dunkirk, but the German garrison had been holding still fast for full eight months, till May 1945.

In Panzer Strategy: Blitzkrieg you may correct the mistakes of the German military leaders. There are overland units, long-range artillery, aircraft and navy at your disposal. Realize an alternative variant of history: win the Battle of Dunkirk, breaking up the evacuation of allies!