Defending the frontiers

At whatever level we study it--relationships between individuals, new names for sports clubs, the human admixture at cocktail parties, in the police, on the directing boards of national or private banks--decolonization is quite simply the replacing of a certain "species" of men by another "species" of men. Without any period of transition, there is a total, complete, and absolute substitution. It is true that we could equally well stress the rise of a new nation, the setting up of a new state, its diplomatic relations, and its economic and political trends. But we have precisely chosen to speak of that kind of tabula rasa which characterizes at the outset all decolonization.

Defending the frontiers

Government has therefore decided you must continue to fight. Have greatest possible admiration for your splendid stand.

Defending the frontiers

Evacuation will not repeat not take place, and craft required for above purpose are to return to Dover…. Churchill wrote later, One has to eat and drink in war, but I could not help feeling physically sick as we afterwards sat silently at the table.

As he did so, the defenders clung grimly to their positions, fighting until the following evening when their heroic resistance finally petered out.

If one episode might be said to have permitted the miracle of Dunkirk to succeed, then it is probably the defense of Calais. The same day, discussions began between the War Office and the Admiralty under the code name Dynamo about the possible but unlikely evacuation of a very large force in hazardous circumstances.

Following an enforced day of rest, the panzers were on the move again on May Having reached the coast near St.

Defending the frontiers

Resistance was patchy and disorganized, and by the evening they had reached the gates of both Boulogne and Calais. The next day, the 1st Panzer Division was moved from the gates of Calais to attack the British toward the line of the Aa Canal to the east, and the 10th Panzer Division was brought in to mop up the defenders of the famous old port.

The 20th Guards Brigade was holed up in Boulogne, where the medieval ramparts proved more formidable than expected, while in Calais a defense was being hurriedly prepared.

Calais had been used extensively throughout the so-called Phoney War period as a transit camp for men on compassionate leave. On May 20, Colonel R.

Holland was appointed base commandant and ordered to arrange for the evacuation of useless mouths. At the same time, the anti-aircraft defenses were to be greatly improved and the 6th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery, Royal Artillery RAthe nd Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, RA, and the 1st and 2nd Searchlight batteries were moved up from Arras and deployed in a semicircle around the town.

Over the next four days, Holland began the process of evacuation on steamers from the Gare Maritime, while combat troops arrived on incoming vessels.

In the meantime, he located some noncombatants in the town, and a platoon of Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders was detailed to guard a Royal Air Force RAF radar station. There was considerable confusion throughout the next few days, with contradictory orders and a lack of firm control, so that it was not clear to anybody if the Channel ports were even to be defended.

Reginald Keller was taking his wife to dinner on the eve of his expected departure for France when he was called to the telephone. After putting out calls in local cinemas and pubs, only one officer and 25 men were missing when the unit entrained for Dover at midnight.

The tanks, however, were buried in the hold of the ship City of Christchurch in Southampton when the men left aboard Maid of Orleans at 11 the next morning. Arriving at the Gare Maritime at 1: Had either ship been hit in the meantime, the battalion would have been useless.

Amid a mass of confusion and panic as refugees and noncombatants struggled to make good their escapes, Keller managed to locate Holland, who told him to get unloaded as soon as possible.

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At that point, Lt. Fortunately for Keller, he would be unable to comply with that order. The unloading went slowly. Visits from the Luftwaffe were compounded by the discovery that all the weapons were packed in mineral jelly, and that many parts for weapons, vehicles and radios were missing.

A patrol of light tanks was sent out at 6: Omer in the opposite direction from Boulogne. After a mile, they saw an armored column halted under some trees. Major Quentin Carpendale described what happened: I moved my troop across country to investigate and thought they must be French because I had never been led to believe that there was any chance of meeting Germans in force.

We came upon the column which was stationary and resting and they were as surprised to see us as we them—there was only 20 yards between us when I realized they were Germans.

An officer fired a revolver at my head as I was looking out of the turret.This article gives an overview of the battles on the Western Front. Creation of The Western Front; Map: The Battles and their Locations; First Encounters and Battles of the Frontiers.

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