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Thread: Dunkirk - movie
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Old 12-31-2017, 02:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dave Schwartz View Post

The war for England was all but over because almost their entire army was on that beach, helpless.

One must remember (which I did not when I saw Dunkirk) that the U.S. was prepared to allow England and Europe to sink rather than to engage.

This was May, 1940. We did not enter the war effort until Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in December, 1941, almost 18 months later. At that time, both houses of Congress voted unanimously for war.

Even Russia did not enter the conflict until a year after Dunkirk, when Germany attack their western border.

I do not yet understand how or why Hitler did not simply move forward to England while the army was on the beach at Dunkirk.

BTW, it was not "all is well" after getting the men off the beach. Over 40,000 men were captured from the beach at Dunkirk and another 40,000 in that same area. They were treated horribly in concentration camps, and transported all over Europe to work on farms and in factories.
The UK would never have lost the war. The RAF defeat of the Luftwaffe in the Battle Britain marked the end of any chance Germany had of winning against the Empire and it was miniscule even before that. An interesting fact that is largely glossed over is Hitler never wanted war with France or Britain and was furious when they declared war on him over Poland. Hitler's real aim was Lebensbraum and defeating the Bolsheviks but actions like the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact eroded any chance of that happening as far as the UK and French were concerned.

The What-ifs of WW2 are fascinating to ponder. Instead of the Phony War if the Allies had actually attacked Germany the Nazis would have been pounded and likely defeated early. If anyone other than Petain commanded the French and threw the reserves into the Ardennes the Nazis would have been suing for peace in a matter of months. If Britain and France don't declare war after Poland, Hitler in likely '41 or '42 gets the Nazi-Soviet showdown he really wanted as France, the UK, and US likely cheer him on.
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