Dunkirk Operation Dynamo Evacuation Beaches

Discussion in '1940' started by Drew5233, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. rewdco

    rewdco Senior Member

    You could be right May1940! Could you post these pictures that you have?

    I think that these are also pictures of the pier that was built west of the Malo Terminus Casino:

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    The second picture must have been taken from the second floor of the Malo Terminus Casino, which can also be seen in this picture (below). Have a look at the “supported” telephone pole in the pictures above and below. The cars seem to have been moved in the picture below, which must have been taken “much later”:

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    But do I see another pier on the left hand side in this picture??? If this is the case, there must have been two jetties here, one on each side (west and east) of the Malo Terminus Casino!

    To give you a better idea, this is a pre war view of the area. The peek on the first building of the block of houses on the right can be seen in the second picture, which was taken from the second floor of the casino building in the background:

    [​IMG]

    Jan
     
  2. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    I am trying to find out how to post pictures / attachments. I think that function is not available to me.

    Andrew
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I am trying to find out how to post pictures / attachments. I think that function is not available to me.

    Andrew

    I was going to send you a vistors message but it appears that function is down too. Hold tight Andrew and I'll contact a Mod.
     
  4. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Thanks for your contribution Andrew (Foulkes). It occurred to a couple of us talking off-forum that we'd never found a definitive list of where piers were located so it would be interesting to do that here. I've no doubt that the other Andy will get your photo posting sorted out soon. I believe that there has to be a minimum number of posts first - so get posting !

    This is a photo up the beach from the other direction, pinched from eBay ages ago. I don't know if it adds much. It seems that the Malo jetties weren't as durable and they seem to have settled into the sand quickly.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    It will certainly be interesting to get these piers' locations identified. Jan's pictures were great as I have not seen them before.

    Here is my first effort at attaching pictures. They are of the pier to the west of the casino.


    It is worth noting that here are two Thames barges on the beach here. The one further to the east (in the foreground in Rich's picture) is probably the Aidie, although I have never seen it named as such in a caption. This has no pier near it. The more westerly barge, closer to the casino, is the Ethel Everard, and that has the lorry pier. The pier has lorries nose to tail on the seaward side of the barge and trailers on the landward side. The trailers are shown on the last but one pic. The colour pic is of the Ethel Everard from some German film of the beach.


    If this works I may be able to post some more.


    Andrew
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Great pics and thanks for posting them.

    For the first time I think I can begin to appeciate how much stuff must still be under the sand.

    Hopefully I'll come across some mentions of these piers in diaries at some point.

    I wonder what pier the Royal Ulster Rifles were using?

    [​IMG]
     
  7. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    Drew

    Thanks for getting me up and running.

    According to 'Dunkerque' by Eric Lefevre, the Ulster rifles location is Malo Terminus and he gives a photo of them next to (presumably) the same pier as the Life photo. He also gives a 'then and now' comparison with the seafront in 1981. The two relevant pics are attached.

    Andrew
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers Andrew,

    I have their diary so I'll have a butchers later unless Diane beats me to it.

    Andy
     
  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    2 RUR:


    P1290103.jpg

    P1290104.jpg

    P1290105.jpg
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers Diane. I was just uploading it. Interestingly the diary only mentions Malo once in a general mention of three evacuation locations and most seem to have departed via Dunkirk. They did seem to be hanging around for a bit though before being told to head for Dunkirk which does fit with the pictures.

    I can just hear the growns and complaints from them after they are told to get on the pier and wait for a boat then told to get back off again and head further down the beach to Dunkirk.
     
  11. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The earliest photos posted by Andrew seem to show French vehicles both in the foreground and the pier. Could it be that this one at least was placed by the French, possibly accounting for its different construction and lack of prominence in British accounts ? End to end must have given much less resistance to the sea and even the British piers apparently moved about a lot.

    This is another barge shot, presumably the 'Ethel Everard' as there is nothing between her and the quays of Dunkirk (I think ?).

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    The picture is interesting in that it shows Sentinel Wagon Universal Carrier T7508 and there were not many of them with the BEF. The AoS '4' lacks any indication of Corps marking and I think that I can see the 4 Div formation sign meaning that it was in use by an RA Field Regiment.

    20/12/2012 - My original interpretation of the markings was based on the list given by Michael D. Taylor in 'British Military Markings 1939 - 1945' and would be correct for a standard BEF infantry division. However, it is now clear from the lists found by Andrew ('May 1940') and published by him that 4th Division did not conform and the AoS serial '4' (on red) was allocated to 1st Battalion Royal West Kent Regt.

    Those who frequent the WM20 forum (hello Jan !) will recognise this photo - the trucks look very small in the background.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Can't say I've read of any organised French troops being evacuated from the beaches although odds and sods must have got away from there. So I suspect they would not have organised their own pier.

    The Royal Navy initially refused to let French troops on their ships and it wasn't until around the 30th, I think, that the order was given to evacuate French and the BEF in equal numbers. This was done from the Mole as far as I'm aware.
     
  13. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    Rich

    I think your first pic is of the Barbara Jean (which was of similar large size to the Aidie mentioned before) beached at Malo les Bains some distance away from Ethel Everard and Aidie. See attached.

    Your second pic clearly shows the Ethel Everard pier again. There certainly seems to be a high proportion of French vehicles in the pictures of Malo Terminus but the pier vehicles in my pictures do look like impressed Austins and Bedfords plus RE trailers, so perhaps this indicates British pier builders.

    Like Jan pointed out in the earlier post, your picture also seems to give a hint of another pier out west, beyond the Ethel Everard. I have attached a picture taken from the Batterie Zuydcoote (the next feature west from the casino) looking back east. Do you guys thinks this shows another pier?

    Andrew
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Thanks Andrew. I'm good on motorcycles but pretty poor on barges !
    Rich.
     
  15. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Extracts of WDs, courtesy of Drew

    1GG
    1940 June 1
    0230 hours La Panne Beach
    The enemy were shelling the road near LA PANNE, the village itself, and the beach pretty heavily, so that most Companies broke off to the WEST across country on nearing the Town and reached the 3rd DIVISION Reception Area via the Dunes.
    About half the Battalion embarked, some by boats and others by swimming, in vessels lying off the beach between LA PANNE and MALO LES BAINS. The remainder marched in Artillery Formation along the Coast of DUNKIRK, where they embarked on the Quay.
    0400 hours Beach - La Panne - Dunkirk
    At 0400 hours the enemy commenced to bomb and machine-gun the beach from the air and continued to shell both from the SOUTH and also from the EAST.
    These shells, which took the beach completely in enfilade, were most unpleasant and caused a considerable number of casualties.
    A jetty, built of M.T. vehicles driven into the sea, near MALO LES BAINS proved a most attractive mark for German Artillery and was given a wide berth.


    2GG1940 June 1
    The withdrawal was carried out according to plan, H.Q. Company and spare men moving off at 0003 hours.
    There were no incidents on the line of march until LA PANNE was reached.
    0150 hours However, there were no casualties and the beach was reached at about 0150 hours.
    Parties were detailed for embarkation and given orders to turn left-handed along the beach and continued until a jetty was reached.
    ...
    By 0300 hours the remains of a jetty was reached.
    It was under heavy shell fire and there seemed to be no chance of embarking whatsoever.
    The beach was crowded with soldiers and as dawn approached H.Q.s dug themselves in the sand dunes.
    However, they were almost immediately shelled out of this and continued along the beach to DUNKIRK which was about 10 miles distant.
    0315 hours No.s 1, 3 and 4 Companies arriving on the beach at 0315 hours found no Staff Officers to direct them and no small boats were available in which to ferry men out to the Destroyers.

    Embarkation proceeded slowly throughout the day from various points on the beach and from DUNKIRK itself.
     
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    If nothing else there is some great pictures being posted on here.

    Andrew do you know where the Battery was in relation to the hospital? I only ask as I'm wondering if if the two funnel ship is the Devonia and the other one is the Crested Eagle.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I'll spend the rest of the evening looking at a fe RE diaries I have for clues on piers.
     
  18. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    I know you were asking the other Andrew but the battery is 2km SW along the beach, just before the next built up area - the wrong side for the ships to be Devonia and Crested eagle, I think.
     
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    38 Field Company Royal Engineers. WO 167/919

    31st May 1940 at La Panne:

    1230: Remainder of vehicles driven down to the beach and placed one infront of the other sideways to form a pier. Timber ws removed from houses, near the beaches and lashed to the roofs of the lorries with wire and lashings.

    1500: Construction of the pier was carried out through the afternoon. Spasmodic shell fire and numerous air raids experienced.

    1800: Pier completed and two steel pontoons, three folding boats and one rowing boat were ready for ferrying troops out to vessels lying off shore. The tide was high and the last lorry was submerged to within 2' of the decking. small parties of men came trickling down to the beach and were moved off to the ships.

    The sea was choppy making ferrying difficult. There were no rowlocks and rope one had to be improvised. The evacuation continued quite smoothly, but very few men came down for evacuation. The company was divided into reliefs for manning the boats, under Lieut. Brown and 2/Lt. More, while Maj. Robertson and Captain Wise, regulated the traffic along the pier which wasover 600 yards long. During the afternoon Viscount Gort , C.I.C. was rowed out to a destroyer and evacuated from our pier.

    2000: Organised parties of Infantry from the 3rd and 4th Divs began to arrive and soon there was a long queue at each pier, control became more difficult as the light failed.

    2300: The tide was going out fast, and there was little water at the pier head, return trip to the ships was taking one hour.


    *Note I have emiited some of the entries not relating to the pier.
     
  20. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    How many blasted Andrews have we got on here then ?:)
     

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