"Britain has no fixed opponents and constant friends, she only permanent interests" — this is not clear when and by whom the phrase was uttered, but the winged. One of the clearest examples of such policies — "Operation Dynamo" (evacuation of British troops at Dunkirk May 26 — June 4, 1940). The least known to the general public numerous "Dunkirk" of the British expeditionary forces in other parts of Europe in that war, and that is the "Dynamo" could happen as early as the First World War.
Remember the scene from an old Russian movie "Peter" to tell about the behavior of the British fleet during the battle of the Russian and Swedish fleets with Grengam (1720)? Then the Swedes called for the British to help themselves, and British agreed to come as allies. So here, British Admiral sits at a table, richly laden with food and drink, and report to him on the battlefield. At first it all: "It is unclear who overcomes." Then report back definitely "Russian overcome!". Then the commander of the British squadron, without interrupting the meal gives the command: "weigh anchor, we go to England," and adds: "We own duty done, gentlemen."
Movie scene, shot the other day, the second world war, was downright prediction: Top of the war the British often behaved exactly because the admiral. But there is nothing supernatural about this enlightenment Vladimir Petrov and Nikolai Leshenko was not. Britain has always acted in such a Makarov, that can be longer as most stay away from the fight, and later reap the fruits of victory.
Since the beginning of XVIII century, when (during the War of Spanish heritage 1701-1714.) Great Britain for the first time intervened heavily in the continental policy, its basic principle has always been the "balance of forces". This meant that Britain was not interested in the fact that on the continent of Europe was dominated by a single government. Britain has always against him, acting priemuschestvenno means, tried to cobble together a coalition. During the XVIII and early XIX century the main opponent of Britain in Europe and contender in the oceans and in the colonies was France. When the forces of continental coalition was defeated by Napoleon, it seemed that with France over. In the middle of the XIX century Britain, along with France have opposed the Russian Federation, which, as was seen with Albion, has found a very great power in Europe and the Middle East.
Until now, somehow not quite understood, at least in Russia, the plot is associated with the role of the UK in the development of the German Empire in the late 60-ies of the XIX century. The fact that Britain could not sustain the rise in that period of Prussia — of course. After the Crimean War of 1853-1856. and, in particular, the war in France and Piedmont against Austria for the unification of Italy in 1859, the second French empire became obvious state of strongest on the continent. In the UK the rise of Prussia could not create a natural counterbalance to unsafe shall be exalted France. In the defeat of France in the years 1870-1871. the formation of the German Empire and Prussia had met with no interference from the UK (as well as the Russian Federation, in general). It later unified Germany could cause problems Britain. But at that time the English "lion" was more important to put someone else's hands … blow his own ally — France.
It was clear that Germany could poruha to France just across the Belgian countryside. To do this, the Kaiser had to dare to violate internationally guaranteed, and it is the same in England, the neutrality of this small country. So here, in the midst of the crisis caused by the fatal shot in Sarajevo, on all diplomatic channels from London to Berlin were signals: UK will not wage war because of violation of neutrality of Belgium. August 3, 1914, Germany, France, anticipating, are obliged to (but not to hurry) to enter the war on the side of, she declared war on the Third Republic. On the morning of day or later, German troops invaded Belgium. On the same day in the middle of Berlin as a bolt from the blue: Great Britain declared war on Germany. Since Germany was involved in a duel with a powerful coalition headed "ruler of the seas", so eventually be defeated.
Naturally, the entry into the war was a great risk for England. Yet it was not clear how strong will be the UK continental allies, particularly France, which has fallen off the first hit in Germany. In the summer of 1914 just did not come out "dress rehearsal" Dunkirk escape. In fact, it has even been held, except in fact to the evacuation of British troops.
Small British land forces, consisting of four infantry divisions and one cavalry arrived at the front in northern France to the end of August 1914. The commander of the British Army, General French had prescription War Minister Kitchener operate without the help of others and do not obey even in operational terms the French commander in chief. Interaction with the French armies was done only by mutual consent, the British commander for advice His Majesty's Government had to be a priority.
After the first attack, which the British suffered by the Germans, the French ordered his own army to retreat. In the upcoming British Army was involved in the general retreat of the French front. August 30, French said in London that he was losing faith in the ability to successfully defend the French, and that, in his opinion, the best solution would be to prepare for the loading of the British Army on the court for the return home. Go with this French general whose troops were at last left the French position, ignoring the orders of the commander in chief, General Joffre, began to rapidly withdraw its army over the Seine, opening the way to the Germans in Paris.
It is unclear what it all was over, did not appear in these days of energy War Minister Kitchener. September 1, 1914, he personally came to the front. After lengthy negotiations, he managed to convince Frencha not to rush with the evacuation and take your army from the front. In the following days of the French inflicted a counterattack in the open flank Germans newest army is concentrated in the Paris region, nearly all over and led the Allied victory in the historic Battle of the Marne (other significant factor in the victory was the withdrawal of the Germans the other day battle 2-a-half cases and sending them on the Eastern Front for the elimination of the danger of the Russian East Prussia). During this battle, the British ceased to retreat and even gone over to the offensive, at one point found ourselves … the immense gap in the German front. Dealing with surprise, the British flocked there, which also contributed to the ultimate success of the Allies.
About Dunkirk flight there is a broad literature. The overall picture, wh
ich is reduced quite significantly, characterized by 2 main features. First: the German command had a favorable opportunity to absolutely crush the British pressed to the sea. But for some reason, the Germans were given a chance to evacuate the British manpower in their native peninsula. As to the facts, there is Hitler did in secret before the coming of their surroundings. He never hid the fact that he is interested in is not the victory over England, and the alliance with her. Judging by the reaction of its employees to "stop order" at Dunkirk, they fully shared the plan of the Fuhrer. Miraculously surviving British soldiers had to bring home the horror of invincible iron columns Wehrmacht. This Fuhrer miscalculated.
2nd line: the evacuation of Britons took place under the cover of the French and the (first) Belgian troops. Bridgehead on which were two French, British and Belgian armies were cut May 20, 1940. May 24 German tanks were already 15 kilometers from Dunkirk, while the bulk of British troops were still in the 70-100 km from the evacuation of the base. May 27, the Belgian master signed the instrument of surrender of its own army. Then his doing so is often regarded as a "betrayal" (and escape the British Army — is not treason?). But for the evacuation of the Belgian army did not have anything ready to shed their own blood as a fighter for the sake of the British could safely sail to discover the peninsula, the master is not lusted. The French were covered up to the end of the British landing on the court, of course, assuming that they have planted, after the evacuation of some places still in France and perceive their role in the defense of the country against the enemy general. Together with the 250 thousand Britons were evacuated 90 thousand Frenchmen. Other 150 thousand Frenchmen, who were on the beachhead had been thrown by British allies to fend for themselves, and were required to surrender June 4, 1940.
Immediately with the evacuation from Dunkirk similar drama unfolded in the North of Europe. British and French commanders since December 1939 prepared landing in Norway to anticipate the German invasion, and to assist Finland in the war against the Soviet Union. But before, so landing in Norway was a response to already occurred there April 9, 1940 landing of German troops.
On April 13-14, the British landed troops in ports and Namsos Ondalsnes and led to the advent of the concentric 2-sides of the second largest city in Norway, Trondheim, formerly occupied by the Germans. But, having undergone the German air strikes, braked and began to retreat. April 30 Britons were evacuated from Ondalsnesa and May 2 from Namsos. Norwegian troops, of course, no one will not evacuated, and they surrendered to the favorite.
In those days of British and French troops was put in Narvik in northern Norway. May 28, 1940 the Germans surrendered enemy Narvik for a number of days, so he was able to easily evacuate from Norway through the port. June 8 loading on ships in Narvik has been completed.
English Corpus, which included parts of Australia and New Zealand, landed in Greece in the spring of 1941. He took the position … in the deepest rear of the Greek troops, north of Mount Olympus. When April 9, 1941 followed by the German invasion of Greece with the Bulgarian countryside, started another epic of retreat of the British troops, who sought to avoid contact with the enemy. On April 10 the British withdrew from their own initial positions to the south of Mount Olympus. April 15 was followed by newcomer relocation — this time to Thermopylae. Meanwhile, the German columns seamlessly went into the exposed rear of the Greek armies. April 21 Greek commanders signed a capitulation. The British did not linger on the lucrative position of Thermopylae and on April 23 began loading on ships in Piraeus.
Nowhere in Greece, the British did not have any serious resistance to the Germans. In general, the behavior of the Germans, too, was a "gentleman": covering the British positions on the flanks, they never sought to encircle the enemy, each time leaving him a way to escape. The German command was aware that his English colleagues no less concerned about the imminent cessation of hostilities. So for what shed excess blood? April 27, 1941 of the Wehrmacht without a fight came to Athens, where shortly before the ship sailed last English.
Only in Crete, where the evacuation by sea, due to the absolute rule of the Luftwaffe in the air, has been hampered, British forces (and that New Zealanders, not natives of the mother country) had a bit more stubborn resistance to the Germans. However, the fact that the general command of the English left in Crete grouping of their own troops, was the result of a strategic miscalculation: it is not expected that the Germans will try to capture the peninsula only airborne units. Planting began May 20, 1941. And on May 26 the New Zealand commander, General Freyberg reported up that position, in his opinion, is hopeless.
Since May 27, he was given permission to evacuate. At this time, the German landings in a number of places of Crete still engaged in heavy fighting, being surrounded by the enemy from all sides. Order of the British commanders made a sudden relief to their position. As a result of naming the above circumstances could sail from Crete, only half of the English garrison of the island.
Naturally, you can not blame the British control over what they are in all circumstances, not at first sought to substitute its armed forces under the settlement of the enemy and did their best to avoid not only the bad, and risk situations. But all of these episodes 1914 and 1940-1941. are sufficient actions to those politicians who avoided the military-political union with England due to any duties. Specifically, it concerns the actions of Russian control in the autumn of 1939.