Today, In 1940, We Abandoned Europe. Let Us Not Do So Again.

Today, 4th June, marks the 76th Anniversary of the final day of the Dunkirk Evacuation.

340,000 men of the British Expeditionary Force, pressed in by all sides and forced into the tiny previously obscure town of Dunkerque, were rescued a small group at a time, by both the Royal Navy and a flotilla of small pleasure boats and fishing crafts; 861 vessels in all.

What is well know now is that the other option, a counter-attack and breakout, was entirely feasible as German forces, particularly the Luftwaffe, were close to breaking point. Abandoning the Continent was decided on instead.

What is perhaps less well known in England - but still well remembered in France - is that not only did we abandon most of our wounded, but also most of our French Allies. 40,000 of them, into German hands.

It took many in France 20 years, or more, to forgive us for that.

Some still do not, just as we are still not forgiven for the Royal Navy sinking of French ships at Mers-El-Kebir in July 1940 (to prevent them falling in to German hands), resulting in 1300 dead French sailors.

French ships burning at Mers-El_Kebir,
destroyed by British Guns, July 1940.

Somewhere in there ... is a Brexit lesson.

Stab your friends in the back, and they will remember for a long, long time. They will not forget, nor should they, and don't expect any favours in the meantime.