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Posted by Kevin Stewart on 8/9/2017, 9:24 am, in reply to "Re: Dunkirk - film"
The evacuation could not have succeeded without the French defensive fight. But with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, it's clear that prioritizing British units for evacuation was the right choice, given that France would soon surrender. Under Churchill Britain was going to fight on, and it wasn't at all clear what France would do, or what would become of the evacuated French soldiers. Most in fact were returned to France and ended up surrendering within weeks. Only about 3,000 of the 100,000 French evacuated ended up fighting in the Free French Army. Britain needed an army to defend against an invasion, and it made sense to prioritize the BEF. The decision to limit the RAF deployment to France ( in general, not Dunkirk, where the RAF did make a huge effort, losing 106 fighters ) was similar. All of Fighter Command would probably not have stopped the Wehrmacht and the Battle of Britain would have been lost.
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