Dunkirk – a new film in the making

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    Malcolm Lewis

      Dunkirk evacuation to get the Hollywood treatment – but with British director. (Daily Telegraph 30 December 2015)
      I was interested to read this week that Christopher Nolan will produce a new film about Dunkirk based on a screen play he has written. It is described as an action thriller about the historic rescue of thousands of Allied troops from the beaches around Dunkirk. A previous 1958 film inevitably centred on the “Little Ships” and their part in the evacuation. Without doubt they had a valuable role in ferrying troops, mainly off the shallow beaches, to warships and larger merchant vessels lying offshore. As well as the valiant volunteer crews of these little craft one hopes the film will feature the men of the navy minesweepers and 39 destroyers that bore the brunt of German attacks. At very high risk the destroyers took off as many as 900 soldiers a time from the Mole at Dunkirk. Six British destroyers were sunk as well as three French destroyers and 19 destroyers were so badly damaged they required dry-docking for major repairs. Whilst not a victory the fact that 338,000 men got back to England was a remarkable achievement. Some two thousand RN personnel lost their lives.
      I was serving in the WW2 destroyer HMS Teazer when we played a small part in the 1958 film ‘rescuing’ actor John Mills from a “little ship” and filming off Pevensey beach. Teazer is long gone so it will be a challenge to find suitably ‘contemporary’ ships to take part in the new film. No doubt Mr Nolan will welcome suggestions.
      Malcolm Lewis

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