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  • 8 months ago
The Dunkirk Spirit

The Dunkirk Spirit

Tom Holland is joined by Dr Dan Todman from Queen Mary University, London and Professor Lucy Robinson at the University of Sussex.

Britain's retreat from Dunkirk in 1940 was a precursor to the fall of France and a summer in which it looked like Britain too would be be overwhelmed by the Nazi war machine. The evacuation of thousands of troops from the beaches of Northern France in an armada of boats of all shapes and sizes has been spun into a defining moment when the plucky Brits snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. But Dunkirk was a disaster. So why don't we remember it as one? As a new film explores this moment of history, we explore the "Dunkirk spirit" and whether it really existed.

Helen Castor is in Norwich which, it was once said, had a pub for every day of the year and a church for every Sunday. In the Middle Ages, it also seemed to be teeming with anchoresses, anchorites and hermits - people who, with the blessing of the church, withdrew from everyday life but were sti