Don’t Panic! Dad’s Army ready to repel all invaders!
The Real Story of the Local Defence Volunteers
At 9.30am on 4 June 1940, the rear guard covering the withdrawal of British and Allied troops from the beaches of Dunkirk surrendered.
Operation Dynamo, as the evacuation had been codenamed, was at an end, though instead of the 20-30,000 troops expected to be brought back to Britain, the Royal Navy with a lot of help from civilian boat owners and the French Navy, had brought back 336,427 men.
Even so, 90,000 troops were taken prisoner and the British Expeditionary Force had been forced to abandon most of its heavy equipment and artillery.
That day, Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed Parliament and asked that the deliverance not be hailed as a victory. ‘Wars are not won by evacuations,’ he said. The fight would continue, though with the threat of invasion now hanging over Britain, there was an urgent need to redeploy regular troops to anti-invasion duties.
A few weeks earlier on 14 May, Anthony Eden, the newly appointed Secretary of State for War, made a nationwide broadcast on the BBC. The German invasion of France and the Low Countries was underway. It was a new way of fighting and things were not going well for the Allies.