Master director Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is in theatres. And as it was expected, the movie has been well received by both fans as well as the critics, with some going on to say that Nolan has redefined the war genre movie. But very few know that movie is based on real-life event – Operation Dynamo – during World War II. So, whether you have already watched the movie or are planning this weekend, we bring you 10 bizarre facts about the Dunkirk evacuation aka Operation Dynamo.
1. The rescue of Dunkirk survivors was codenamed Operation Dynamo courtesy of dynamo room where the operation was formulated in Dover cliffs.
2. As mentioned in the movie, the initial plan was to rescue only 45,000 British soldiers.
3. On first day, only 8,000 soldiers were rescued. But in the next eight days, as many as 338,226 Allied soldiers were rescued.
4. Due the sheer number of soldiers trapped on Dunkirk beach, Royal Navy enlisted help from British civilians.
5. British civilians responded with everything; from private yachts, pleasure boats to motor lifeboats and fishing boat. The smallest boat to take part was the Tamzine, a 14ft fishing boat.
6. The success of Dunkirk rescue is also partly attributed to Hitler’s foolishness; he shot down the idea of full-scale Panzer attack which were standing just few miles off the beach.
7. A Spitfire aircraft that crashed during the evacuation was recovered in the 1980s, after complete restoration the plane is expected to fetch £2.5 million in an auction.
8. A Mersey Ferry that actively took part in the Operation miraculously escaped a German attack. ‘The Royal Daffodil’ came under attack by six German aircraft. But it successfully completed its voyage without any loss.
9. The term ‘Dunkirk Spirit’ is used to describe someone who stays unshaken in the face of difficulty and impossibility.
10. Not all soldiers made back home from Dunkirk, a total of 40,000 troops could not be rescued and ended up as POWs.