Fall of France/Dunkirk 1940 Related Statistics

Discussion in '1940' started by Drew5233, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    2 Inch Mortar = 1,350

    3 Inch Mortar = 250

    Boyes AT Rifle = 6,400

    Pistols = 10,000

    .303 Rifles = 180,000

    Bren Guns = 10,700

    Vickers Medium Machine Guns = 6,030

    Philson also states:

    The above figures are the official estimates based on unit establishments. It has not been possible to determine actual losses as there seems to have been no means of accounting in place to do this. In addition to these losses there were considerable stocks in ordnance depots most of which seems to have been evacuated.

    For example Ordnance Depots had taken delivery of 120,405 rifles and prior to the start of operations still held around 102,000 with the balance having been issued or still held at forward depots. Issues made during the period of operations to equip provisional units, AMPC Battalions and replace casualties account for many of these and would return as the personnel were evacuated, in addition 95,848 rifles were returned from ordnance depots during the final evacuation. One source quotes the number of Vickers MGs lost as being 6,030 but even including 100% reserves and including all tank MGs this figure looks rediculously high.


    Up to the end of June 1940 a total of 109,000 tons of ammunition had been shipped to France. Of this total 38,423 tons was presumed expended and 32,303 tons was returned to the UK on final evacuation leaving 38, 274 tons which were either destroyed or captured.
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I thought the Non-Battle Casualty figures were quite interesting

  3. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter 1940 Obsessive

    The figure of five dead prior to May surprises me. Weren't there more killed on the Saar ?

    I realise that there were also RAF on the Lancastria, plus crew etc but if 4000 were lost with her, that suggests that BEF fatalities would otherwise have been perhaps as low as 8000 ? Bearing in mind the other losses at sea, we're not left with many who actually died fighting and yet reports are full of accounts of deaths.

    Only 400 odd officers killed ?

    To my mind, something doesn't quite fit.
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Don't forget the missing are mainly presumed dead too.
  5. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter 1940 Obsessive

    I noted that Andy but it still gives us less than 12000 BEF dead.

    With 4000 odd on the Dunkirk memorial, that doesn't leave the unidentified percentage very different from the WW1 figures that you were looking at. 1940 was perhaps a special case as many would have been identified when first interred and the details subsequently lost but it still seems a high figure (or the deaths are low ?)
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I thought you might like this one Rich

  8. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter 1940 Obsessive

    Thanks Andy, the vehicle losses etc are in Ellis but I've never before seen the figure for impressed vehicles. 4844 out of 25778 motorcycles were civilian types and almost half the cars.

    The figure for 4x2 3-tonners shows that more than half of those were impressed civilian types.

    I'm puzzled again by the RAF fatalities - only 256 lost at sea...presumably mostly out of the southern ports, and yet the contemporary reports seem to indicate much higher levels.
  9. cameronlad

    cameronlad Member

    Like so much to do with the BEF, accurate records are sometimes scarce or poorly recorded, so Drew's stats are a valuable source regarding the hardware. Unfortunately the human toll seems to be even less well documented - or hard to access.
    Does anyone know where, or have access to, detailed listings about the men who came home from Dunkirk/France in 1940, particularly dates, port of arrival, etc.
    In my father's case, the entry in his record book shows his service with the BEF as, "BEF - From 23-9-39 To 21-6-40." Then, "Home - From 22-6-40 To 9-8-40." As you can see, the 21st/22nd June was two weeks after the official end of Operation Dynamo.
    I know his story and movements with B Coy 1st Cameron Highlanders up to the last events at Dunkirk where apparently he was in the last rearguard. I remember him saying in his later years (he wouldn't talk about it for a long time), "We ended up with some of the Guards. We decided we weren't going to make it out of Dunkirk and eventually we got away further along the coast." But it took another two weeks and it couldn't have been easy moving about behind enemy lines in a kilt. He came home in it, plus full kit. I know they finally managed to get away in a small fishing boat, but I never did find out where he and his few remaining mates actually escaped from, how they were picked up, or where they landed in Britain. Any pointers here?
  10. Peccavi

    Peccavi Senior Member

    Andy - you have some impressive statistics concerning evacuations direct to the UK of British and French soldiers eg your first posts, Dynamo, Cycle and Aerial but there is a missing piece of info. How about those like my father who managed to get on a French Warship in the last two days of Dunkirk and were deposited directly in France - in this case, Le Havre.

    Are there any stats for this and did the French ships come under orders from the British Admiralty as part of Operation Dynamo (what route the French ships have taken?)

    Presumably my father would then have been counted in the Cycle Evacuations from Le Havre (mind you, it was a small boat with only 5 or 6 soldiers on board - so might have been missed in the overall stats).

    Bearing in mind the previous post, the final number saved must have been a bit more than the official one which is always quoted.
  11. Bayman

    Bayman Member


    Killed and died of wounds: 11,014.

    Wounded: 14,074.

    Missing/PoWs: 41,338.

    Equipement Losses

    Guns damaged, destroyed or left behind in France: 2472 out of 2794.

    Vehicles damaged, destroyed or left behind in France: 63,879 out of 68,618.

    RAF Aircraft Losses

    Aircraft damaged, destroyed or left behind in France/Belgium during the battles: 931 planes including 477 fighters.

    Royal Navy

    Ships/boats damaged, destroyed or left behind in France: 25 Destroyers and atleast another 170 ships and boats damaged or lost during Operation Dynamo.

    A third of the UK casualties were killed on the sinking of the Lancastria evacuating.
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Half of the UK casualties were killed on the sinking of the Lancastria evacuating.
    Are you saying 6500 men died on the Lancastria ?
  13. Bayman

    Bayman Member

    Are you saying 6500 men died on the Lancastria ?

    About 4,000. No one actually knows the full number.
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Not being able to check (Roy Martin is the man for all things 1940 Maritime in my book) off the top of my head the accepted fig that is bounded around is 4,500 to 6,000. I suspect though that the majority are included in the missing figures.

    I must get some books on the Lancastria.
  15. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    About 4,000. No one actually knows the full number.

    That's as accurate as we are ever going to know especially the last part.

  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    A few RAF related stats taken from Dunkirk, the Great Escape

    During the nine days of Operation Dynamo:

    The RAF fighters flew 2739 sorties over Dunkirk

    RAF bombers flew 631 sorties directed related to the BEF's withdrawal and evacuation.

    RAF reconnaissance aircraft flew 171 sorties.
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

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