24/07/2017
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Where are the French?

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While the epic story of the evacuation of Dunkirk and the rescue of the BEF has met with general approval there have been some criticism from certain quarters.

The American reviewer’s complaints that the film had no leading ladies or men of colour has been dismissed as idiotic but French film critic Jacques Mandelbaum is on firmer ground. He commented, in French newspaper Le Monde, “Where in the film are the 120,000 French soldiers who were also evacuated from Dunkirk? Where are the 40,000 who sacrificed themselves to defend the city against a superior enemy in weaponry and numbers? No one can deny a director's right to focus his point of view on what he sees fit, as long as it does not deny the reality of which it claims to represent.”

Both British and French forces held the perimeter around Dunkirk open as the evacuation proceeded and in the last couple of days thousands of French soldiers were indeed evacuated with the BEF. It was left to the last of the French forces to surrender to the Germans when they finally broke through. Christopher Nolan’s film concentrates on the British forces though, with only a brief mention of the French fighting outside the town to keep the Germans at bay. The film went on general release on July 19.

The September issue of The Armourer featured Dunkirk and the associated militaria.

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