The British count the cost of Dunkirk

Aerial view of beach at Dunkirk

Destroyed equipment on the beach at Dunkirk, photographed by the RAF on 3rd June 1940.

From the ‘Naval Military and Air Resume’, the situation report to the War Cabinet for the week ending 12 noon 6th June 1940:

NAVAL SITUATION. General Review.
THE evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force and the Allied Troops from Dunkirk has been completed and the naval forces employed redisposed. There has been an increase of U-boat activity against merchant shipping

Evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force.

2. The evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force and Allied troops from the port of Dunkirk and neighbouring beaches was continued until the 4th June by which date 224,318 British and 111,172 Allied troops—a grand total of 335,490—had been safely landed in England.

Weather conditions were favourable during most of the period, mist interfering with German bombing operations on the 30th May and the 3rd and 4th June. Heavy surf on the 31st retarded embarkation from the beaches. Ships engaged in the operation were heavily attacked by German bombers during daylight hours, – and at night M.T.Bs. (apparently based on Ymuiden and Helder) were used to harass them. In addition, the work was increasingly hampered by shell fire from batteries erected to the westward of Dunkirk. Patrols by corvettes, trawlers and Fleet Air Arm aircraft were carried out throughout the period of the evacuation to protect the ships engaged in the operation.

The British losses were as follows

Sunk Damaged
Destroyers 6 21
Corvette 0 1
Gunboat 1 0
Yachts 2 0
Mine sweepers 4 9
Trawlers 8 3
Drifters 5 0
Special service vessels 4 0
Dan-laying vessel 1 0
Tug 1 0
Total 32 34

See: TNA cab/66/8/25

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