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Dunkirk: We found archive pics from 1940 to compare with Christopher Nolan’s war film

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk captured the urgency of Operation Dynamo, in which 400,000 Allied soldiers were evacuated. We found real pictures from 1940 to compare with the movie.

hollywood Updated: Jul 27, 2017 08:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Dunkirk,Christopher Nolan,World War II
Soldiers stranded at the Dunkirk beach in 1940 (top), and the same image captured in Christopher Nolan’s movie (bottom).

Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic, Dunkirk, brought to life one of the Great War’s most pivotal moments. It is a visceral, harrowing film, which depicts the horrors of war with more accuracy than most mainstream Hollywood films. But how accurately does it capture the atmosphere in Dunkirk during the evacuation? We’ve unearthed some terrific images from the archives for you to see.

When German troops pinned down 400,000 Allied forces on a beach in the seaside French town of Dunkirk, it could have altered the course of the war. The Allied soldiers were fish in a barrel, assaulted from three sides on land, with only the vast English Channel between them and home. The Luftwaffe planes were dropping bombs on from above and there weren’t enough Navy ships available to extract the stranded soldiers. It was then that the government deployed civilian vessels to aid in the evacuation.

Operation Dynamo, as it was called, lasted from 26 May to 4 June, 1940. Here are some images from the operation. You can compare them to stills from the film.

Fire at the oil reserves at Dunkirk. (AFP)
Fire engulfs the oil reservoirs of Dunkerque on June 7, 1940. (AFP)

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First Published: Jul 27, 2017 08:03 IST