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Duration 00:03:37

Film of the Month: Evacuation of Dunkirk

The National Archives education team’s film of the month highlights a Pathé film relating to current events, anniversaries or key topics that you may be covering in the classroom.

This month’s clip is ‘Evacuation of the BEF AKA Dunkirk’ depicting the evacuation of British and French soldiers from France between 26 May and 4 June 1940.

With this film, students could consider:

What was ‘Dunkirk’ and why was it significant?

The evacuation is often called the ‘Miracle of Dunkirk’ – why does it have this name?

What types of ships are shown in the film?

What impression of the beaches does the film provide?

The narrator says: ‘All the might of the German Air force failed to stop them, we beat them back” How accurate is this statement? Were all soldiers evacuated successfully at Dunkirk?

What is your impression of the Soldiers shown once they return to British soil?

Is this film a documentary or propaganda? What makes you think this?


This film clip can be used in studies of the Second World War. It can be used alongside our Second World War resources which can be found here.

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