- Title: OPERATION DYNAMO - THE EVACUATION FROM DUNKIRK [Allocated Title]
- Film Number: ADM 417
- Other titles: THE ROYAL NAVY IN NORTHERN AND ATLANTIC WATERS [Allocated Series Title]
- Summary: The evacuation from Dunkirk and the processing of the returned soldiers.
- Description: XLS of a German aircraft pursued by flak. A LS pan shows columns of smoke rising from the distant coastline. MS off the port quarter of HMS Winchelsea (D.46) - a ferry (the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessel Tynwald) passes left to right in the background. Tynwald steams out to sea - in the background a pall of smoke hangs over the coast, and in lower frame is a sunken ship, mast and funnel breaking the surface. (This is King Orry, also an Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessel.) The cameraship closes on the beach - boats are being rowed out to meet it and individual figures can be seen standing in the shallows. A rope is thrown down from the ship - presumably to a boat come alongside. MS of men crowding the deck - in the background is a Lewis gun on an AA mounting. MS off the starboard quarter of HMS Winchelsea steaming at speed. LS of an armed trawler. LS to the shore again - perhaps earlier than the previous shot, there is less of a smoke pall and the beach is more crowded. Boats are being rowed out. LS past a 4-inch gun on the cameraship's focsle to lines of soldiers wading out through the shallows. A man is helped over the rail - below the waist he has on only his underpants. Rescued soldiers remove their boots and cut up some food. HMS Icarus steams past at full speed. Sailors load machine gun belts and check ammunition. A soldier picks up a Bren. HMS Icarus again. Cut to troop train waiting in a station - men are holding up trays of food and drink for those inside. CUs of some of the evacuees - French and British - craning out of the carriage windows. Soldiers on the platform enjoy thick sandwiches and cans of tea. CUs as some of the evacuees say their piece into a microphone - one wears a German helmet. LS-MS as HMS Icarus (D.03) enters harbour. HA onto afterbody of a ship crowded with mostly French troops. LS over shipping alongside - three destroyers are berthed stern-to camera in a trot, with HMS Anthony (H.40) inboard, then a V/W Class destroyer, and an I Class minelayer (probably Icarus) outboard. HA onto British troops on the deck of a V/W Class destroyer. French troops come ashore, and friends greet each other in the Gallic manner. Men have a wash and brush up. New clothing and boots are issued. Rescued rifles are stacked in a railway truck. MS of another three destroyers alongside, this time bows on to the camera - the outboard ship is a Wair anti-aircraft escort. More soldiers come ashore while sailors catch some sleep on the open deck. A crowded trawler enters harbour - on the focsle can be seen rescued soldiers, some of them with blankets draped around their shoulders. More men come ashore. Evacuees display their bare feet for the camera. One walks along the quayside dressed in nothing but his long johns. French troops rest on the quayside. More men come ashore, crossing the focsle of a destroyer from a minesweeper outboard - some are limping, many with bare feet. LS from a ship heading out of harbour to a paddle steamer heading in, crowded with men.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1940-05
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: Admiralty (Production sponsor) Pathe (Production company) Martin, Charles R (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Royal Navy, Icarus (regiment/service) Royal Navy, WINCHELSEA (HMS) (regiment/service) Royal Navy, ANTHONY (HMS), destroyer (regiment/service)
- Keywords: ships, British naval - destroyer: Icarus (D.03) (object name) ships, British naval - destroyer: Winchelsea (D.46) (object name) ships, British naval - destroyer: Anthony (H.40) (object name) operations, British naval - evacuation: Dunkirk (object name) society, British military - sustenance (object name) Second World War & Operation Dynamo & 5/1940 (event) Dunkerque, Nord, France (geography) Dover, Kent, England, UK (geography)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W Sound format: Silent Soundtrack language: None Title language: English Subtitle language: None
- Technical Details: Format: 35mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 1 Footage: 403 ft; Running time: 4 mins
- Notes: Summary: another version of Martin's film of the Dunkirk evacuation is held under ADM 1179 Reference: "Newsreeler at Dunkirk" by Charles Martin of Pathe, The Cine-Technician August-September 1940 p 70 &71. "... We arrived off Dunkirk in the very early hours of the morning and in the distance could be seen fires and a great pall of smoke. I tried filming this but unfortunately the light was not strong enough. All during the night the enemy were bombing the towns around this area, and the foreshore where our troops were waiting to be taken off was being constantly shelled. Our poor old ship was shaking from end to end and I wasn't feeling too steady myself either. When dawn came I saw thousands of troops standing at the water's edge waiting for us to take them off. All around us were warships and craft every shape and size waiting to evacuate the troops. Fortunately our ship, being a paddle-steamer, was able to actually run ashore, and as soon as we did so, the men swan out, some without their clothes. A great many tried to reach us with their full equipment on - so I seized a megaphone and shouted to them to throw off everything they'd got. It's the instinct of the soldier to hold on to his equipment to the very last - and even then we hauled a sergeant-major aboard who still had his equipment on, including a great coat. I'd never known before how heavy water-sogged clothing can be. I'd started to take some pictures, but again, unfortunately on development of the negative the light proved not strong enough at this point it was about 5am. All the material was shot on a Newman Sinclair, the same that I had used on the battle fronts in France. (Incidentally it was the only camera I was able to bring back - we lost all our other equipment and film, including several thousand feet of negative stock.) It had a 2in lens with f.1.9 aperture. Stock used was Kodak Super XX. After taking a number of pictures. I had a very busy and hectic two hours helping the crew get the men aboard. We pulled them up over the side of the ship by ropes as fast as we could and threw over lifebelts to those who had to wait their turn. ............I was the only cameraman luck enough to cover the evacuation of Dunkirk at close quarters..... "
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Related IWM Collections Objects:
ADM 1179 (OPERATION DYNAMO - THE EVACUATION FROM DUNKIRK [Allocated Title])