Skip to comments.My dad was one of the 3,000 heroes sacrificed by Winston Churchill to save Dunkirk [tr]
Posted on 02/12/2018 2:28:21 AM PST by beaversmom
They were the lost brigade, just a few thousand British soldiers, doomed by a mortified Winston Churchill to fight to the last man to hold up the Germans at the French port of Calais.
They courageously did as ordered, sacrificing their futures and lives to delay the advance of Hitlers armies, buying time for the miracle evacuation from the beaches of Dunkirk, just 30 miles up the coast, in May 1940.
And at last the heroic stand of the Calais garrison has been widely recognised, figuring prominently in Darkest Hour, the marvellous film starring Gary Oldman that depicts those desperate days when Churchill inspired the nation to defiance rather than surrender.
I have just watched it at the cinema, choking back the tears. I have a very personal interest. My father, Alec Jay, then just a 20-year-old rifleman, was one of those who fought in that battle and at great cost. It left scars on his mind from which he never recovered. And nor, indirectly, have I.
I never really understood my Dad when he was alive. He was a remote figure, angry, impatient and rude, both in his job as a City stockbroker and at home with his family. I wasnt close to him.
In truth, I barely knew him and much of what I knew I didnt like. When he died suddenly in 1993, aged 73, from a ruptured aorta, I deeply regretted our failure to talk more.
Only years later did I sift through dusty papers hed left in carrier bags, notes summarising the chapters of the autobiography he never got round to writing. He had made a start, though just seven precious pages.
As I read them, my real father emerged. Not the curmudgeon of my childhood, but a hero--first on the battlefield...
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
"My dad was one of the 3,000 heroes sacrificed by Winston Churchill to save Dunkirk"
Author reveals bravery of his soldier father whose garrison 'fought to the last man' to hold back the Nazis
As much as I feel for the author, I do not believe Churchill “sacrificed” the lost brigade. They had a job to do, and because of their heroic stand, over 100,000 soldiers and sailors got to England to keep the battle going.
I do not think the author’s father ever thought that his unit was being “sacrificed” either. I believe he would have argued that they knew exactly what they were doing and why.
They sacrificed their lives, they were not a “sacrifice”. There is a huge difference.
And what a great picture.
I thought 100,000 seemed a little light. Wikipedia says there were 338,226 allied troops rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk. Not all were British, of course.
Yeah, the joke is old men with their pants pulled up over their belly button. But you see a pic like that and you realise why they did it. It’s because it didn’t look half bad on them when they were young men.
I watched Dunkirk last weekend and thought it was excellent. Will probably see the Churchill movie soon.
Here’s one of those old fellows:
Every military formation has a skirmish line in front to serve the main body.
These are the best history lessons. Most books have maps and arrows depicting movements and units. You could read his story and it could be from medieval times, or Afghanistan. What we do to our young is simply horrible.
And it never ends.
You are correct, my apologies. i was just thinking of the British, but I am having a difficult time learning the exact proportion of British troops.
I do not particularly like the title either. It makes it sound like the author has a grudge against Churchill. I don’t think that is the case.
One of the great men of the 20th century was Airey Neave, author of “Flames of Calais: A Soldier’s Battle 1940”. Essential reading for anyone interested in the campaign of 1940.
As a young officer, wounded and captured at Calais, he endured years of incarceration at the hands of the Nazis but was never cowed by them. He went on to become Margaret Thatcher’s right hand man and a force behind her path to Prime Ministership. In 1979 he was murdered by another gang of neo-fascists, the so-called Provisional Irish Republican Army. A great loss.
Sounds like an amazing book. I will definitely check that out. Thank you for sharing.
I watched a couple of more modern "war" movies with my son last night...13 Hours and Black Hawk Down. I had just seen 13 Hours, but want my kids to see it, too. It was definitely worth a second viewing.
But at the very beginning of BHD, the quote by Plato is, "Only the dead have seen the end of war."
I know that to be true...not from personal experience, but in my gut and heart, and with my common sense. There will never be a utopia here.
And this veteran, who was at Dunkirk, says the same here at 2 minutes 2:07:
Through out history it has been proven over and over that freedom from tyranny can only be purchased with blood because tyrants are more than eager to shed the blood of innocents to gain power.
Yes, I dont know what the breakdown was either. 😖
Wow, very impressive. It’s probably best that he died in 1993, rather than live on to see what the UK has become, or what has happened to the ‘men’ in the UK.
***They were the lost brigade, just a few thousand British soldiers, doomed by a mortified Winston Churchill to fight to the last man to hold up the Germans at the French port of Calais. ****
This reminds me of the book about the PT Boat war, THEY WERE EXPENDABLE in which the opening paragraph tells how you are to man a machine gun, and fight to the death, while others are rescued. You realize YOU are expendable.
Britain needs men like him now as much as then.
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