The Radio Times logo

Dunkirk: The New Evidence

  • Season 1

Summary

Dunkirk has long been viewed as the RAF's poorest hour, but this documentary reveals the hidden story of the key role that they played in the evacuation

Advertisement

Episode 1: Dunkirk: The New Evidence

Summary

Documentary examining the famous Second World War evacuation of Allied soldiers - codenamed Operation Dynamo - from the beaches of Dunkirk, France, between May 26 and June 4, 1940. Recently released Ministry of Defence files reveal that, far from being absent as many historians have believed, the RAF was suffering massive losses supporting the evacuation. Operating at high altitude and deep inside France, RAF planes were halting the bulk of Luftwaffe bombers before they could reach the beaches. The files also reveal that the famous Spitfire took flight for the first time during the mission, and the agile fighter was a spectacular success.

Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

The evacuation of nearly 340,000 Allied troops from the beaches of northern France in May to June 1940 was the first major turning point of the Second World War, and from the moment it happened it was bittersweet: rescuing troops who were being attacked from three sides by the Germans and threatened by air bombardment was hailed as a miracle, yet Winston Churchill was quick to note that it was no kind of victory.

Controversy has since centred on the idea that the RAF underperformed, contributing to the exposure of soldiers on the ground. This documentary accesses recently released Ministry of Defence files that contradict that narrative by explaining how much work our Spitfires did in holding the Luftwaffe back, and how effective these untried fighters were when first called upon.

How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show.

Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Crew

rolename
DirectorJohn Hayes Fisher
Executive producerDan Chambers
Executive producerDavid McNab

All episodes

Advertisement

RadioTimes.com is getting better. Fresh new look, redesigned programme hub, richer content…

FIND OUT MORE
Advertisement

Sponsored content