DUNKIRK, France (AP) — Veterans and European officials are marking 75 years since a huge operation to evacuate 338,000 troops trapped by advancing Nazi troops from the shores of Dunkirk in northern France, one of the most dramatic moments in British military history.
Fishing trawlers and passenger ferries were among hundreds of private boats that helped the British Navy carry out Operation Dynamo to rescue Allied soldiers in 1940 and bring them across the English Channel.
A remembrance ceremony Friday will honor more than 4,500 members of the British Expeditionary Force who died around Dunkirk. British officials will greet visitors aboard a paddle steamer that was among the ships involved in the operation, now moored in Dunkirk. The town fell to the Nazis in June 1940.