Dunkirk - the miracle of the mirage

One of the things that has always fascinated me about World War II is how the utter embarrassment of the British during the summer of 1940 somehow morphed in popular minds into a great "triumph" centered around Dunkirk. The evacuation of the shattered army is generally treated as a high point of the war, rather than the end result of a chaotic and ill-planned campaign. And not just in the popular imagination, but in (supposedly) serious history books as well.

That apparently fascinated the BBC as well, and they've put together a fine report here (written by Duncan Anderson) putting the evacuation into better perspective. The title of the piece pretty much gives away its slant: "Spinning Dunkirk."

The article can be found here.

It's truly amazing that barely a year or so after the fall of France, British soldiers would look down on the American Army in Africa and elsewhere as hopelessly incompetent. As bad as our Army was - and the Americans certainly had a long way to go after entering the war - nothing the Americans experienced came close to the rout suffered by the British when France fell. But I suppose we all believe what we need to believe.

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