The Battle of Dunkirk took place in Dunkirk (Dunkerque), France, during the
Second World War between the Allies and Nazi Germany. As part of the Battle of France
on the Western Front, the Battle of Dunkirk was the defence and evacuation of British
and Allied forces in Europe from 26 May to 4 June 1940.
The evacuation of the British and French forces from
Dunkirk is called a miracle for good reason. The miracle involved an unusual change
in weather that helped to stop the German advance, protect the troops on the beaches
from air attack and that facilitated the embarkation by boats.
his disciples refers to his control of weather: Luke 8:24-25
They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, "Master, Master, we
are perishing!" And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they
stopped, and it became calm. And He said to them, "Where is your faith?"
They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, "Who then is this, that He
commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?"
God in the book
of Job states that he will intervene with weather during a time of war. Job 38:22-30 "Have you entered the storehouses of the
snow, Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, Which I have reserved for the
time of distress, For the day of war and battle"
John Gill’s bible commentary notes on these verses: Job 38:23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble for the punishment or affliction
of men; and is explained as follows, against the day of battle and war? As his
artillery and ammunition to light his enemies with. Of hail we have instances in
Scripture, as employed against the Egyptians and Canaanites, Exodus 9:25 &
Joshua 10:11 ; and of a reserve of it in the purposes of God, and in
prophecy against the day of battle with antichrist, Revelation 16:21
The Influence of Weather
The influence of the weather patterns around
Dunkirk are explained in great detail in a superior work Battling the Elements
written by Harold A. Winters with Gerald E. Galloway Jr., William J. Reynolds, and
David W. Rhyne. For a review of the work see:
According to Winters and his co-authors Dunkirk and the surrounding area
does have both fair and stormy weather. Fast east moving wave cyclones often bring
stormy weather but air masses from the Azores can linger over the area and divert
storms creating conditions of lingering fair weather. The odds of fair weather begin
to decrease in the spring from a high of 40% in April to 30 percent chance in late
May, and is even less common during early June.
On the twenty-third of May, German tanks were only 10 miles from Dunkirk when they
stopped for three days. A halt that has yet to be fully explained although the most
popular theory is this involved a battle between Hitler’s generals and Hitler on
who really was in charge.
The terrain and weather may also have influenced
or decided the question for the Germans. On May 26-27 a large cyclone moved over
the Flanders saturating the areas and rendering the flat and swampy area even more
unfavorable for tanks. Adolf Hitler decided to remove the tanks and finish the allied
forces through air attacks.
When Kleist met Hitler on the airfield at Cambrai a few days later, he had
the courage to remark that a great opportunity had been lost at Dunkirk. Hitler
replied: "That may be so. But I did not want to send the tanks into the Flanders
marshes and the British won't come back in this war."
The rain also hampered
the embarkation in the harbor and to make matters worse a storm was headed for the
English Channel. However by May 28th the Atlantic storm had shifted course and the
lingering effects of the storm created a low ceiling which greatly hampered German
air attacks through May 30.
Although beach evacuation was difficult due
to the lingering effects of the storm the channel began to calm with low surf and
an intermittent breeze carried streams of smoke from the burning port over the beaches
providing further concealment. When the skies did clear at times the German air
force was able to launch devastating attacks on the harbor.
By June 1st
the bulk of the troops had been evacuated and the weather was beginning to change
to the German’s favor -- the last troops were evacuated on June 4th.
and his coauthors summarize the remarkable events that occurred at Dunkirk:
"One can correctly conclude that regardless of atmospheric conditions an evacuation
would have occurred at Dunkirk. But what other types of weather might have existed
in late spring in Flanders and how might they have affected the withdrawal? Two
weather patterns are statistically most likely for this coast during late May. The
first is a progression of wave cyclones, each bringing stormy weather and followed
by strong northwest winds prolonging rough seas, making embarkation from the moles
much more difficult and departure directly from the beach nearly impossible. The
second is a more assertive dominance of air masses from the Azores high, a process
that would bring fair weather at a time of year when days are the longest. This
type of weather, with its clear skies and long daylight hours, would have been ideal
for repeated attacks by the Luftwaffe."
National Day of Prayer
Is it just a coincidence that the weather changed
in favor of the evacuation during the time King George 6th called for a national
day of prayer and millions of people went to pray for mercy and deliverance?
The following morning, as the first elements of the BEF to be evacuated
boarded destroyers in Dunkirk, a great service was held in Westminster Abbey, as
the focal point for the much heralded Day of National Prayer. In the presence of
the king and the prime minister, the Archbishop of Canterbury called on the help
of the Almighty to save the British army, sentiments which were echoed in thousands
of churches throughout Britain.
Winston Churchill would refer to the evacuation
as a miracle of deliverance in an address on June 4th. On June 9th Psalm 124 would
be sung in British churches.
For more resources on evidence for the existence of a merciful
It is our sincerest hope that you will learn more about the battle of Dunkirk and
about the possibility of a miracle occurring there. If God exists and he did intervene
then God can also intervene for you if you will turn to him, and seek him.