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Posted by Murrisk on May 21, 2001 at 05:32:33:

The "phoney war" between Germany France and Britain lasted eight months. Then, on May 10, 1940, the German Army invaded Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. Convinced the attack was a replay of 1914, the French army and the British Expedionary Force rushed to the rescue. But it was not a replay of 1914. General Rundstedt attacked through the Ardennes where 4 years later the Battle of the Bulge would take place - an example of where those who won't learn from history are forced to repeat it. On May 20th, in a 14 hour/40 mile dash, the 2nd Panzer Division reached Abbeville and the sea. The British Expedionary Force, two French armies and all of the Belgian forces were "sealed in Flanders, pinned against the sea, ready for plucking". The rescue boats began arriving on May 26th - ferries, pleasure craft as well as RN vessels. On May 24, 1940, some 400,000 Allied troops were pinned down near the French port of Dunkirk and the German tanks were only 10 miles away. Miraculously, by June 4th - just eleven days later - over 338,000 men, including 123,095 French troops, had been evacuated safely to England and another 4,000 lifted to Cherbourg and other French ports still in Allied hands. This was one of the greates rescues of all time.

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