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The Battle of Dunkirk was a pivotal battle at Dunkirk during the Second World War, fought from late May to 4 June 1940. It was the unintended conclusion to Nazi Germany's Blitzkrieg ("lightning war") against the Allied nations in Western Europe, and proved to be the battle on which the outcome of the war ultimately hinged. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)

History Edit

Origins Edit

After the Invasion of Poland in September 1939, Britain and France declared war on Germany. After the Germans were satisfied by the progress of the Polish campaign, Adolf Hitler began preparing for an onslaught in the West. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus) When the Allies rejected the German offer of an armistice, (PROSE: Just War, AUDIO: Just War, Their Finest Hour) Hitler ordered a Blitzkrieg maneuvere against Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)

Denmark, (AUDIO: Human Conflict) Norway, (AUDIO: Their Finest Hour) Holland (PROSE: Just War, AUDIO: Just War) and Belgium and quickly fell to the German forces, aided by Hitler's ability to control the Timewyrm, who had tried to invade his mind. This amplified Hitler's skills and abilities, and he directed his forces with exceptional strategic thinking from his command post in Felsennest, near Aachen. Soon, General Heinz Guderian and his Panzer Division managed to encircle the British and French forces and began squeezing the pocket. Abbeville, Boulogne and Calais were all captured, leading the Allied forces encircled in the one remaining port down at Dunkirk.

The battle Edit

The encircled British Expeditionary Force, which had consisted of nearly half a million men, (AUDIO: The Nemonite Invasion) tried to hold out, awaiting the arrival of Guderian's Panzers. Stuka dive-bombers harassed the besieged men. The situation spelled certain doom for the Allied war effort. However, the fate of the battle, and ultimately the entire war, played out in Hitler's command post at Felsennest.

Hitler was visited and confronted by the Seventh Doctor and Ace, who had won much of his trust while following his timeline seeking to prevent a divergent future from coming to pass. The Doctor challenged the Timewyrm within Hitler's mind and infuriated her enough to allow her to escape, after which he fired her through time. Having lost his amplified abilities, Hitler's confidence was drastically drained. He implored the Doctor to help him decide the outcome of the battle. The Doctor advised:

You must let the British Army go! Even though you are at war with the British, you respect them, you admire their Empire. Let their army go home, postpone your invasion plan and eventually they will make peace with you. They will become your allies against the Bolshevik hordes, your real enemy.The Seventh Doctor [src]
Hitler accepted the Doctor's reasoning and immediately picked up the field-telephone with a message for Guderian: "There is to be no further advance on Dunkirk. No further advance." The German generals never found out the reason for the order but did not disobey the Führer. The advancing German ground forces stopped outside Dunkirk. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)

Operation Dyanmo Edit

Main article: Operation Dynamo

The delay gave the British a window of six days from which to organise an evacuation. Winston Churchill called a tense meeting with Vice Admiral Bertram Ramsay in London. The result of the meeting was Operation Dynamo, which called fore the recruitment of civilian ships and sailors to ferry the troops from the beaches to the 42 Royal Navy vessels waiting further out at sea for transportation back to England. (AUDIO: The Nemonite Invasion) among those vessels was the HMS Grenade. (AUDIO: Fugitives)

In the early hours of 26 May, Ramsay returned to the naval headquarters at Dover, in the tunnels beneath the Castle above the White Cliffs, tasked with launching the operation. However, he was reluctant to order untrained civilians to head so close to enemy territory and contemplated cancelling Dynamo outright. He favoured coming up with another way to evacuate the men.

That night, the base was attacked by the Nemonites, who infiltrated the tunnels through the host of a captured German U-boat crewmember named Engel. With the help of the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble, Ramsay was instilled with renewed hope and confidence. He prepared to launch the evacuation while simultaneously fending off the Nemonites. He was able to contact the HMS Brazen to help with the co-ordination. After confirming the go-ahead with Churchill, Dynamo officially launched.

In the morning, 850 civilian ships launched from the south coast of England towards the embattled troops at the Dunkirk beaches. (AUDIO: The Nemonite Invasion)

The evacuation began the following day, 27 May. (AUDIO: Neverland) Long lines of soldiers stretched from the beaches towards the sea as they awaited evacuation. Although the German ground forces had stalled, the Luftwaffe's Stuka dive-bombers continued to attack them from the air. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)

The evacuation was a major source of controversy. 10,000 men died, 40,000 were captured, and 50,000 vehicles, 9 destroyers, 200 marine vessels and 77 aircraft were lost. (TV: Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart) Corporal Gibbs, who was evacuated along with Captain Clive Freeman, considered the handling of the Dunkirk situation "a mess". (AUDIO: The Forsaken)

In the end, by 4 June, 338,000 men had been successfully evacuated on boats from the area, 100,000 coming straight from the beaches, (TV: Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart) out of a possible 400,000 men. (AUDIO: The Nemonite Invasion)

The First Doctor was present at Dunkirk and witnessed the evacuation, (PROSE: Just War, PROSE: Byzantium!) as did the Eighth Doctor. (AUDIO: Fugitives)

Aftermath Edit

After the Battle of Dunkirk, Germany was left in control of the European continent. (AUDIO: The Ultimate Adventure) The Germans proceeded to occupy the Channel Islands (PROSE: Just War, Illegal Alien, AUDIO: Just War) and began planning Operation Sealion, the cross-Channel invasion of Britain to conclude the Blitzkrieg. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)

The evacuation left Winston Churchill dispirited. The Doctor spoke to him in the aftermath and was able to lift his mood and convinced him to keep Britain in the war in defiance of Nazi Germany. (AUDIO: The Ultimate Adventure) Churchill reminded the British population that "wars are not won by evacuations". However, the deliverance of the British Army meant that the country could fight on. The British looked upon the success of the evacuation as a miracle. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)

The British prepared for invasion, (PROSE: Losing the Audience, Made of Steel, et al.) defended their skies against the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain, (PROSE: /Carpenter/Butterfly/Baronet, AUDIO: Their Finest Hour) withstood the Blitz (PROSE: Illegal Alien, TV: The Empty Child, The Doctor Dances, et al.) and even fought on the continent again in April 1941 when the Germans invaded Greece, but they were forced to evacuate again. Yet by the winter of 1941, after the Soviet Union and United States had been brought into the war, an invasion of Britain had still not materialised. It was officially cancelled in December of that year. (PROSE: Just War)

Erwin Rommel, who later fought British and Australian forces in North Africa, (COMIC: The Instruments of War) called Hitler's order to halt "utter madness" in his secret diary. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus) As the war progressed, Rommel became even more opposed to Hitler, eventually leading him to become involved in the Valkyrie conspiracy against the Führer. (COMIC: The Instruments of War)

Vice Admiral Bertram Ramsay later launched the naval operation which brought Britain and her allies back to the continent during the Normandy landings in 1944. (AUDIO: The Nemonite Invasion) The Allies liberated Paris later that year. (COMIC: Trust)

In 2009, the Torchwood Three team found the body of a sailor from the Dunkirk evacuation washed up on a beach. (AUDIO: The Sin Eaters)

Legacy Edit

When ATMOS polluted the Earth's air, people in America were forced to take boats out into the Atlantic Ocean in a scene likened to Dunkirk. (TV: The Poison Sky)

In November 2016, Miss Shah taught about the evacuation of Dunkirk to her sixth form Coal Hill Academy history class. She asked her students to imagine they were one of the soldiers being evacuated to learn about the mind-set of a soldier. Corakinus, king of the Shadow Kin and leader of the War of the Underneath, spoke through April MacLean, saying that those soldiers were cowards, and should have stayed to fight and die. (TV: Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart)

The flotilla of the Hydran Navy led by Admiral Jonas Kaan facing the Voord on Hydra reminded Barbara Wright of photographs that she had seen of the Dunkirk evacuation. (AUDIO: Domain of the Voord)

The evacuation of The Mnemosyne Cincture during the later 21st century was compared by the Second Doctor to the Dunkirk evacuation. (PROSE: The Wheel of Ice)

In the 34th century, Vernon Terrell hung a painting of the Dunkirk evacuation in the Adjudication Lodge on the Darkheart colony. It was part of a collection of paintings which depicted the theme of triumph over adversary. (PROSE: The Dark Path)

The events at Dunkirk left a legacy in British history in the form of the "Dunkirk spirit", a belief to never give up in the face of adversity. The Tenth Doctor quoted this belief to the crew of the SS Pentallian when they lost hope in escaping the nearby sun's pull. (TV: 42)

Alternate timeline Edit

In an alternate timeline in which Hitler never lost the power of the Timewyrm, he never issued the order for the German forces to halt. The Germans advanced on Dunkirk and totally defeated the British Army. The Luftwaffe defeated the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain and freak storms, summoned by Hitler using the Timewyrm's powers, decimated the Royal Navy. The Germans then launched Operation Sealion, a practically-unopposed cross-Channel invasion of England which lasted only six days. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)

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