The Miracle of Dunkirk

May-June 2020 marks the 80th anniversary of “the Miracle of Dunkirk”. Between 26 May and 4 June  1940 338,000 Allied soldiers (British, French, Canadian and Belgian) were evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk to England by an improvised armada of vessels, navy and civilian, narrowly escaping total destruction by the seemingly unstoppable German forces. “Operation Dynamo” remains one of the most extraordinary episodes of World War II and is considered by many as a turning point in the early stages of the conflict. It gave the Allies, and Great Britain in particular, some well-needed breathing space after weeks of disastrous events.

Liberas preserves a series of photographs taken by somebody in the German army during the first weeks of the war in northern France and Belgium. Although these amateur shots are too fragmentary to tell the whole story, as an eyewitness account they offer interesting snippets of the German advance and occupation. Above all they remind us of the destruction and horror of war. Even in this early stage of the conflict, it was already clear that this was a war of unprecedented scale and impact. And this was only the beginning.