Great Britain's eloquent Prime Minister Winston Churchill, last week in a fighting speech to Parliament (for its text see p. 26), admitted British losses of "over 30,000" men killed, wounded & missing, nearly 1,000 guns "and all our transport and all the armored vehicles that were with the Army of the North." But he said that the Royal Navy, "using nearly 1,000 ships of all kinds, carried over 335,000 men, French and British, from the jaws of death."
He concluded: "We shall not flag nor fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France and on the seas and oceans; we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. . . ."
But last week was certainly not the Allies' hour. Though two French divisions and one British fought bravely to the end at Dunkirk, and Vice Admiral Jean Marie Charles Abrial of the French Navy jauntily puffed his pipe and stayed ashore until the last launch, the hour was Adolf Hitler's and he made the most of it.
He had himself photographed in front of the majestic Canadian War Memorial at Vimy Ridge, thus proving that his bombers had not wrecked it. And from his headquarters issued triumphant messages to his soldiers and his people. Excerpts:
"The greatest military achievement of all times was accomplished when Germany, after a surprisingly short time [eleven days], was able to establish main battle fronts along the Rivers Aisne and Somme. . . .
"This unprecedented German achievement constitutes simultaneously the greatest military defeat that any military forces ever suffered. A great many lives may have been saved by 'tie British naval forces, but the booty captured is so enormous that no estimate can yet be given. ..." The German High Command claimed 1,200,000 French, English, Belgian and Dutch casualties and prisoners. It claimed seizing or destroying weapons and materiel for 75 divisions. It claimed destruction of 3,500 enemy a; Dianes, sinking of 24 warships and 66 tiisports, damages to 59 warships, 117 transports.
From May 10 to June 1, German casualties were set by the Germans at the fantastically low figure of 10,255 officers and men killed,-8,643 missing, 42,523 wounded. Germany's admitted airplane losses: 432.
To celebrate his victory, Fuhrer Hitler ordered flags flown throughout Germany for eight days, bells rung for three. As his war machine swung from Flanders into action on the Somme-Aisne line, he declared :
"Inasmuch as the enemy still spurns peace, the fight will be carried on to his total destruction."