This picture shows British troops as they are being evacuated from the French port of Dunkirk during the Second World War.
The “Miracle of Dunkirk” was indeed a miracle, but it was shadowed by a much larger colossal military defeat.
The Germans had invaded France on May 10th of 1940 with 3 army groups. Army Group B would invade the Netherlands and Belgium, also acting as bait to lead to allied armies into Belgian territory to meet them. Army Group A was the main element of the German invasion, and would secretly move through the Ardennes and break out, spreading rapidly across France. Army Group C was just meant to carry out static warfare with the Maginot Line to make sure those troops were occupied while Army Group A flanked the French defensive line from the North.
When Army Group B invaded the Netherlands and Belgium, the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and the most elite French Armies moved eastward to meet their enemy before they made it into France. The allies believe the Germans were doing exactly what they had done in 1914. They were wrong.
The German Army Group A rapidly moved through the “impenetrable” Ardennes Forest and, after breaking through at Sedan, spread across France with their panzers and close air support. They moved west and then northward to the Northern French Coast along the English Channel. This completely trapped the main allied armies engaging Army Group B, and they soon were forced into a retreat. The only viable evacuation point left was Dunkirk, and due to Hitlers Halt Order and overconfidence in the German Air Force (Luftwaffe), 338,000 out of 400,000 men escaped to the safety of Britain.
The Germans then turned around, and during Fall Rot, conquered the rest of France.
Dunkirk was a miracle, but as I said, it was a miracle within the fallout of an immense disaster militarily.