World War II’s Battle of Dunkirk in 1940 saw the deaths of 11,000 people, and the injuries of another 9,000. Forty-thousand troops were captured. The battle nearly resulted in the surrender of the British to Nazi Germany, but the Germans decided to halt fighting for three days. The reasons remain under debate — some say it was to give Germans a rest, some suggest that Hitler delayed fighting to arrange a peace and surrender from Britain — but in either respect, the Germans thought they had the war won at that point.
However, the cease fire allowed the Royal Navy to evacuate 330,000 Allied troops from Dunkirk. That’s the story being told here by Christopher Nolan. The rescue of those 330,000 troops allowed the allies to rally and eventually build enough momentum to defeat the Nazis. It was a huge turning point in the war.
Here’s the trailer for Nolan’s Dunkirk, which combines the bloody, visceral elements of war seen in Saving Private Ryan, and the attempts to evacuate in a losing situation, as seen in Titanic. Like both movies, it is based on a true story and sees massive causalities.
It’s going to be epic.
Dunkirk opens in July 2017.