Did the British ever contemplate going "all-in" at Dunkirk or earlier during the Battle of France and holding on to a foothold in continental Europe?


Going all in would have been the single most stupid thing they could have done.

The British Army was an afterthought.

The British lay with the Navy and to a lesser extent with the Air Force.

Holding Dunkirk would have meant commiting Navy and Air Force to support the Army under the most disadvantegous circumstances imaginable.

The Navy would have been pinned in place to provide fire support and secure supplies.

German bombers and torpedo boats would surely have found a way to make them pay handsomely for that mistake. And that is before even contemplating that Germany artillery would have been as capable of shooting at British ships as British ships would have been of shooting at land.

To reduce the danger even slightly a massive effort of the Royal Air Force would have been necessary with a more or less non-stop fighter screen over Dunkirk.

Over Dieppe the Allies lost 2 planes for every German plane. I do not see why Dunkirk would be different.

So in the end there would still be 300 000 British troops stranded on the continent but this time they would not be evacuated because the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy suffered devastating casualties while trying to turn that trap into a bridge head.

The good news is that those 300 000 British troops will not spend long in German PoW camps: After the Victory Parade in London the Germans will surely allow them to go home.

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