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D u n k i r k - Reality vs Film


The Fall of France lasted for six weeks from 10 May 1940

Port of Dunkirk before the Battle - May 1940

The Battle of Dunkirk - 26 May – 4 June 1940

French Refugees

Winston Churchill had only been British Prime Minister for 16 days at the time of this event.

Casualties and losses
  • British
    68,111 killed, wounded or captured (~3,500 killed)

    63,879 vehicles including tanks and motorcycles
    2,472 field guns
    6 destroyers
    over 200 marine vessels
    over 100 aircraft[5][6]
  • French
    18 000 killed
    35,000 captured

    3 destroyers[7][8][9]
  • (Estimated)
    German  20,000 killed and wounded
  • 100 tanks
    156 aircraft[10]
Civilian casualties: 1,000 civilians killed during air raids

                               (source: Wikipedia)

from beaches
Dunkirk Harbour

27 May7,669                                    7,669
28 May 5,390                11,874         17,804
29 May13,752                33,558        47,310
30 May29,512                24,311        53,823
31 May22,942                45,072        68,014
1 June17,348                 47,081        64,429
2 June6,695                   19,561         26,256
3 June1,870                   24,876        26,746
4 June622                       25,553        26,175
Totals    98,671                 239,555          338,226

source: (Knickerbocker, H.R. (1941). Is Tomorrow Hitler's? 200 Questions On the Battle of Mankind. New York: Reynal & Hitchcock. OCLC 1246282.


2017 Film

                                            *No Spoilers

After first-hand accounts of the Dunkirk evacuation revealed to Christopher Nolan how young and inexperienced the soldiers were, he decided to cast young and unknown actors for the beach setting.

The movie used over 50 boats on the sea. The most that's ever been put on film.

In creating of this film, director Christopher Nolan focused on the "real" of every aspect: putting an IMAX camera on the cockpit and wing of an actual Spitfire plane, floating cameramen around in the water with actors.

Director Christopher Nolan actually rode in the Spitfire shown in the movie in order to get a sense of the aerial feel of the fighter plane; with the purpose being to help him shoot and provide an authentically realistic experience of the dogfights for the audience.

In regards to the Battle of Dunkirk's importance, Christopher Nolan stated: "This is an essential moment in the history of the Second World War. If this evacuation had not been a success, Great Britain would have been obliged to capitulate. And the whole world would have been lost, or would have known a different fate: the Germans would undoubtedly have conquered Europe, the US would not have returned to war. It is a true point of rupture in war and in history of the world. A decisive moment. And the success of the evacuation allowed Churchill to impose the idea of a moral victory, which allowed him to galvanize his troops like civilians and to impose a spirit of resistance while the logic of this sequence should have been that of surrender. Militarily it is a defeat; on the human plane it is a colossal victory."

Do yourself the old favour.

An absolutely exceptional piece of film-making. 
More of an experience than a movie.

Dunkirk is literally flawless. It's tense throughout from the first second. No schmaltz. No traditional narrative.
No heroes. No villains. Merely human beings caught up in horrendous circumstances. 

I suggest you see it on the big screen, or on BluRay on the biggest screen possible. 

For further reading, look up Hitler's Halt Order. 


  1. I didn't know about any of this - much less what a pivotal role in played during WWII, and for the survival of humanity. Thank you for the info and recommendation, friend.
    Love ya.

  2. Replies
    1. Cool. Come back here and let us know your thoughts.

  3. Great post Anthony! I haven't seen the movie yet, but have read a lot about this terrible, uplifting, and amazing event.


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