Did Hitler stop his tanks to allow the BEF to escape from Dunkirk? -


Read more about This question has been asked many times, some say that Hitler wanted the BEF to escape in the hope that a separate peace could be achieved with Britain. One of

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February 11th, 2009   #1
BritinAfrica
 
 

Did Hitler stop his tanks to allow the BEF to escape from Dunkirk? info


This question has been asked many times, some say that Hitler wanted the BEF to escape in the hope that a separate peace could be achieved with Britain.

One of my uncles who served with the Royal Horse Artillery, who managed to escape from Dunkirk stated emphatically NO. All the time while waiting on the beaches to get off, were constantly pounded by by JU87 dive bombers.

So the question is, why did Hitler stop his tanks?


I try to be the man my dog thinks I am.
 
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February 11th, 2009   #2
LeEnfield
 
 
The German Army got a bit of scare when attacked by a couple of Squadrons of Matilda Mk 1 tanks. They had a hell of job to stop these tanks and it was the first time that the Germans used the 88 mm gun as an anti tank weapon. Although the Germans had a a job to stop the British tanks they were so under gunned that they did not do a lot of damage, but they did kill Rommel's 2 I/C who was standing beside him. As the Germans had pushed so far so fast it was decided to take a few days break to allow them to get ready for the final push in France. Most of the German tanks needed servicing also they were low on fuel and ammunition, once this was done they resumed their attack. I don't think they expected over 300,000 men would escape across the sea to fight them again and I think even Churchill was surprised that operation Dynamo had been such a success.


LeEnfield Rides again

 
February 15th, 2009   #3
redcoat
 
 
The 'halt order', which only lasted 3 days, ended before the British had even started any large scale evacuation.

The claim that Hitler had 'allowed' the British to escape was merely an excuse to cover the fact that the German High Command had blown the chance to destroy the BEF.


If in doubt...... Panic!!!!!!!!
 
February 25th, 2009   #4
aleph
 
Destroying the BEF totally may have in hindsight won the war for Germany,if it resulted in a truce of sorts with Britain, however Hitler may have concluded this may allie Britain with his intended real enemy the Russians.
A gesture of mercy as surely it was he may have concluded would see Britain let Germany take care of the communist menace once and for all, and endear him to the United States also many of whoms citizens had Germanic Roots.
Unfortunately Hitler underestimated British aversion to any foreign power in Europe dominating the landscape, yes Britain rubbed their hands when Germany weakened the Russian Beast, but what they really wanted was a stalemate, and perhaps only when Germany started losing against Russia did they with the US decide to come from the west.
In my opinion Hitler did spare destruction to the allies in 41 but not for anything other than his own purposes which he would have fulfilled had he not allowed Japan to bomb Pearl Harbour and had he started the Russian invasion just weeks earlier to avoid the pitfalls of the Russian winter
 
July 31st, 2009   #5
lljadw
 
I think LeEnfield siad a lot of good things,but some remarks:after all these years I have to find yet a beginning of a proof that the Germans were be on the point of capture Dunkirk;I think it is all a myth from Blumentritt to lay the blame on Hitler (he was a collaborator of von Rundstedt who has given the order) .The reason to stop the tanks was :they were spent,tanks were(and are )not made to drive from the German frontier to the coast;it is as simply as that. An other point :I doubt that the capture of Dunkirk would have been a military disaster for the UK :you had 200000 troops from the BEF-the others beying French- (the Bef was 400000 men) they escaped without weapons!! How much of these 9 divisions were operational in september? The impossibility of Sealion was not caused by the escape fromthose 200000 men but by other factors as the weather,....
 
July 31st, 2009   #6
perseus
 
 
Quote:
An other point :I doubt that the capture of Dunkirk would have been a military disaster for the UK
It's difficult to defend an Island without any trained troops, or anyone to train the green ones even if the supply lines are blocked. All they needed to do was land half a million trained troops with a rifle and a few hundred rounds, the rest of the supplies could be taken from the land.

With regards to why they didn't take Dunkirk was due a combination of the following
  1. A series of stop orders from Hitler/high command
  2. Tanks needed servicing for invading rest of France and weren't suited to ground around Dunkirk
  3. Goering convinced Hitler the Luftwaffe could do the job
  4. Stubborn defence by the BEF and French 1st.
  5. Germans simply didn't realise the BEF could be evacuated (being a land based nation at heart)


I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters. Frank Lloyd Wright
 
August 1st, 2009   #7
AussieNick
 
Oh yeah right, just surviving off the land is so easy. Given how the Germans did 'living off the land' in Russia after Stalingrad I wouldn't get so excited about the idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
It's difficult to defend an Island without any trained troops, or anyone to train the green ones even if the supply lines are blocked. All they needed to do was land half a million trained troops with a rifle and a few hundred rounds, the rest of the supplies could be taken from the land.

With regards to why they didn't take Dunkirk was due a combination of the following
  1. A series of stop orders from Hitler/high command
  2. Tanks needed servicing for invading rest of France and weren't suited to ground around Dunkirk
  3. Goering convinced Hitler the Luftwaffe could do the job
  4. Stubborn defence by the BEF and French 1st.
  5. Germans simply didn't realise the BEF could be evacuated (being a land based nation at heart)
 
August 1st, 2009   #8
Del Boy
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
This question has been asked many times, some say that Hitler wanted the BEF to escape in the hope that a separate peace could be achieved with Britain.

One of my uncles who served with the Royal Horse Artillery, who managed to escape from Dunkirk stated emphatically NO. All the time while waiting on the beaches to get off, were constantly pounded by by JU87 dive bombers.
I agree with your uncle. My stepfather escaped from Dunkirk and rearguard actions were mounted all the way; one such sacrificed his freedom and a screwed up leg to effect this and spent 5 years in captivity; in 1953 he was my training sergeant - Jamieson MM.
In my regiment they sang a song of the hell on the beaches of St Valery - the chorus went : "Thank God for the Navy, those heroes in blue ; The song that we sing is in honour of you." Correctly or otherwise, another line ran " When we were surrounded by artillery, that day at St Valery".


English by the grace of God.


Last edited by Del Boy; August 1st, 2009 at 00:23..
 
August 1st, 2009   #9
perseus
 
 
Quote:
Oh yeah right, just surviving off the land is so easy. Given how the Germans did 'living off the land' in Russia after Stalingrad I wouldn't get so excited about the idea
I don't really understand what your point is here. Against an trained armed enemy it would be unfeasible yes where you need constant supplies of heavy ammunition, but here the enemy hardly existed. Armies relied on living of the land up to the time of Napoleon, and unofficially did to some extent throughout WW2. The only additional thing you need other than your weapon and small arms is food, morale and good feet. Surely if there are stores and fields to feed 40 million people an extra half a million hardly constitutes a problem. This is England in the late Summer not a bleak Russian winter.
 
August 1st, 2009   #10
IIyx
 
One of the very good versions is Hitler thought that if he spares the britts then they wont involve further in war as a sign of gratitude and fear.


the german generals were going crazy screaming let us go in and slaughter the britts!
 



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