What happened at Dunkirk in May 1940 must rank as the greatest maritime evacuation in history.
A race against time to save the Allied army trapped in France that is as much defined by its audacity as it is by its miraculous nature.
The greatest escape?
Told from the perspective of the decision makers and the soldiers on the ground, this series follows the dramatic events from the 25th May 1940, to the early hours of 4th June. As British and French troops were forced back into an ever-decreasing pocket of land by the relentless onslaught of the Germans, the British Navy launched a momentous effort to save them at short notice and with very slender means.
3 x 60 minutes:
A rear-guard action is put in place to hold the Germans back, allowing the bulk of the army to make its way to Dunkirk. Operation Dynamo swings into action, masterminded by the cool and efficient Admiral Ramsay. Meanwhile in London, Churchill fends off a drive by Lord Halifax to sue for peace. As the drama begins to escalate, three soldiers, Wilf, Clive and Titch, man a signals truck on what will become the front line of the German attack.
The reality of the war hits home back in England as the fisherman of Leighton-Sea have their boats requisitioned by the navy. Many volunteer to go with their vessels. Churchill, much to the dismay of the organisers of Operation Dynamo, promises the French to save their army as well. As the rescue mission gets under way properly, the Leigh fisherman, their boats packed with soldiers, start for home. Not all will make it though.
This episode details the last desperate efforts to get away and tells the stories of those who were left behind. One of those who stay behind is Dr Newman. He struggles to get the remaining wounded away as the Germans bear down on Dunkirk. Only a few hundred men are left to face the Germans as the finally enter the town. But some 325,000 men have been saved.
|Cast||Simon Russell Beale|
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