On War & Society E6: Dunkirk

by | Oct 26, 2017 | LCSC, Podcast | 0 comments

Christopher Nolan’s film Dunkirk hit theatres this past summer. It was met with critical acclaim and made hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office. It is arguably one of the greatest war films Hollywood has ever produced and certainly gave its viewers an authentic portrayal of the Battle of Dunkirk from the air, the water and the beach in the spring of 1940. It was a film that as Terry Copp explains “makes your blood boil.”

But what we learn from Dunkirk is more raw emotion, fear and suspense of being a soldier, a pilot or a civilian crew member sailing the waters of the British channel. What the viewers do not get from the film is the broader history of the Second World War. What led these British troops to the beaches of Dunkirk? What role did the Royal Navy or the Royal Air Force play in the battle? Where were the French? Terry Copp, an eminent military historian in Canada, has been researching the Second World War for decades and has some insight into what exactly constitutes this broader historical picture. In the episode, Terry helps answers the question––what is the history of the Battle of Dunkirk?

And for those interested in Terry’s new website on Montreal and the First World War, you can find it here: montrealatwar.com.

Music by Lee Rosevere.

Click here for more episodes.

Three of the armada of ‘little ships’ which brought the men of the BEF from the shores in and around Dunkirk, to the safety of British warships and other vessels. Source: Imperial War Museum, HU 41241.