Sunday, September 12, 2021

good morning jessicca


Eleanor Roosevelt and friends.

Jerry Colonna and Bob Hope top NBC radio lineup.

Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegal murders stoolie.

Count Basie swings at the Apollo.

Dale Messick discovers Brenda Starr, reporter.

Einstein becomes a Yankee Doodle.

Circus clowns make funny.

Midwest Freshman Class.

Hattie McDaniel wins Oscar.

Hank Greenberg belts homer but Reds take Series.

New Mexico Saturday night.

Oregon sunset.




©  Tom Taylor



Sunday, September 5, 2021

good morning jeremy





Friday - 24 May, 1940

You'd think it would be congratulations all around amongst 

German high command, what with French and British troops

on their heels still falling backward, Heinz Guderian's tanks

in close pursuit.  His lead units in sight of Dunkirk with little

to prevent them from bagging the cat - capturing Britain's army.

Game over.

Battlefields are a confusing place to make snap decisions.

Lots of educated guessing involved.  Dealing with matters

on hunches and intuition.  Stuff that isn't easily taught.

Then, too, it's more muscle memory than Ouija board. 

On this morning Guderian's boss, Gerd Rundstedt, gets a visit

from an anxious Hitler.  The Fuhrer is feeling very insecure

about his vulnerable, widely dispersed armor.  He apparently 

chooses his air arm to block British escape from Dunkirk harbor. 


 1142 hours:

British intelligence intercepts a message intended for

Gen. Guderian.

"Halt in place.  Dunkirk is to be left to the Luftwaffe. 

Make use of the period of rest for recuperation. "

After the war Guderian pointed to this decision by Hitler

as the one costing Germany the war.  Letting the British

get away. 



General Maxime Weygand

Allied Supreme Commander

complains of British Retreat

France lost because of Britain's failure

General Gerd von Rundstedt

Commander, Army Group A

 morning:  visited by Hitler / believed to be anxious


armor important to next phase / conquering France

taking Paris

armor with significant loss of strength


treads need replacing

armor flanks vulnerable to expected French counterattack

foot soldiers haven't caught up with armor to provide

needed protection

forces widely dispersed

reorganize for final blow requires pause

 General Franz Halder

Chief of Army General Staff 

describes Hitler as

"alarmed about armored formations because

they were in considerable danger in a difficult

country, honeycombed with canals, without

being able to attain any vital results."

Brauchitsch to Halder:

"the armored formations to be stopped, the points even taken back." 

Halder:  Dunkirk cleared for the British


British Intelligence - 1142 hours:

attack on the line Dunkirk-Hazebrouck-Merville was to be discontinued

for the present. 

General Heinz Guderian

Commander, XIX Army Corps

Hitler orders halt.  Dunkirk is to be left to the Luftwaffe.

Make use of the period of rest for general recuperation.


Germans break Belgian line around Courtrai - 30 miles from Dunkirk

Belgian King considers surrender 


Winston Churchill

Prime Minister

"The only effect of evacuating Calais would be to

transfer the forces now blocking it to Dunkirk. 

Calais must be held for many reasons,

but specially to hold the enemy on its front."


Saturday, 25 May

Saturday, 25 May

BEF commander / Lord Gort - immediate problems: 

1. The British need to find reserves to extend their flank

beyond Ypres to replace the quickly crumbling

Belgian Army to their north.

2.  The 1st French Army and 4 British Divisions

must withdraw from their defense of Lille or soon

be encircled by two armored pincers. 

3.  A critical battle underway to prevent Guderian from

cutting the main road for escape to Dunkirk, that extends

through Bergues and out beyond Cassel. 





Lord Gort

BEF Commander

Calais still holding out

Belgium defense crumbles

 evacuation through Dunkirk only option


General Blanchard

1st Army Group Commander

2330 hours:

order to withdraw

create bridgehead around Dunkirk 


to CIGS / Chief of Imperial General Staff:

 "I must know why Gort gave up Arras, and what

actually he is doing with the rest of his army. 

Clearly, he must not allow himself to be

encircled without fighting a battle."

Chief of Staff / German 4th Army - report:

"The picture in the channel ports is as follows.  Big ships come up

the quayside, boards are put down and the men crowd on the ships. 

All material is left behind.  But we are not keen on finding these men,

newly equipped, up against us later."

Sunday, 28 May

The Belgian line is broken.  Contact with the British lost.

50,000 French POWs taken at Lille but their holding out

for 3 days enabled many more to escape.  All Allied forces

withdraw into a tight perimeter defending the beaches

of Dunkirk. 





informs Reynaud Britain is evacuating BEF


confidential injunction:

"In these dark days the Prime Minister would be grateful

if all his colleagues in the Government, as well as important

officials, would maintain a high morale in their circles; not

minimizing the gravity of events, but showing confidence in

our ability and inflexible resolve to continue the war till we

have broken the will of the enemy to bring all Europe

under his domination."  


Operation Dynamo

put into effect

gathering vessels of all kinds and sizes

Belgian Army

outflanked by German forces

lose touch with British line


1645 hours:

Calais surrenders 

20,000 POWs - most are French, Belgian and Dutch 

British lock those wanting to surrender in cellars 


orders advance on Dunkirk to resume / afternoon

Monday, 27 May

King Leopold

sues for peace 

Captain Tennant

Senior Naval Officer / Dunkirk

dispatched all available craft to the beaches immediately

Tuesday, 28 May


0400 hours:  "cease fire"

Operation Dynamo

25,000 evacuees land in England


desperate fight to prevent German armor from

cutting off escape to Dunkirk

General Prioux

1st French Army Commander 

refuses to join Gort's forces in retreat from Lille 



Wednesday, 29 May


French 5th Corps:

encircled and captured at Lille

Dunkirk beach:

small private craft begin ferrying men off beaches



begins heavy air attack


3 destroyers

21 other vessels

Thursday, 30 May


remainder within Dunkirk bridgehead

Operation Dynamo

126,000 troops evacuated 


Friday, 31 May

flies to Paris

informs Reynaud and Petain if France falls, Britain

will blockade and bombard German-held French ports 


evacuates to England

Major-General Alexander given command of remaining British troops 

Saturday, 1 June

returns to London


greatest effort over Dunkirk on this date

31 British ships sunk

11 damaged 


Sunday, 2 June

daylight evacuation suspended

Tuesday, 4 June

Operation Dynamo broken off

338,000 evacuated

Worker Lunch Break in Paris


The French Government flees Paris on Monday, 10 June.

Britain now stands alone at war with Hitler's Germany.






©  Tom Taylor