Christopher French troops were cut off and surrounded by

Christopher Nolan brings an adrenaline-filled, historically accurate movie to the big screen. Dunkirk follows the story of the 330,000 allied soldiers that escaped the beaches of Dunkirk (located north of France) while almost completely surrounded by the Nazis. The “Dunkirk” operation commenced after large numbers of Belgian, British, and French troops were cut off and surrounded by German troops around the midpoint of the six-week long Battle of France. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called this “a colossal military disaster”, saying “the whole root and core and brain of the British Army” had been stranded at Dunkirk and seemed about to be captured and/or killed. The movie follows the story of three main story lines; sea, land and air. The story is seen through the eyes of a soldier amongst those trapped forces, two RAF fighter pilots, and a group of civilians on their boat (part of the evacuation fleet). In the first story, Tommy, a young british private, is the sole survivor of a German ambush. Gibson, a young French private, who was also a survivor of a German attack, steals a British soldiers uniform in hopes of escape. Tommy finds Gibson burying the body of the deceased soldier and decides to help him escape. In the second story, the Royal Navy requisitions civilian vessels in attempt to evacuate the allies from Dunkirk. Mr. Dawson and his son, Peter decide to take matters into their own hands and head to Dunkirk in their vessel accompanied by Peter’s friend, Georgie. The final story follows three British spitfires headed towards Dunkirk to provide air support for the evacuating troops in hopes they can help the allies escape.    The first story follows Tommy and Gibson and how they escape Dunkirk. After Tommy and Gibson bury the dead ally, a German Stuka dive bomber flies overhead and drops bombs on the soldiers. Many men are struck and are killed or wounded. After the bombing, they see a wounded soldier left for dead. So Gibson and Tommy carry the wounded soldier on a stretcher to a departing British Destroyer. They pretend to be medics to carry the soldier on-board a ship tending to the wounded. Tommy and Gibson pass French medics that are denied entry due to orders. Tommy and Gibson bring the soldier on the boat but are not allowed to stay on the ship but, they manage to hide out by “the mole” (the concrete structure separating the water) until another vessel shows up. The boat they were waiting for gets attacked by more German aircraft and is destroyed. Tommy then spots a soldier seconds away from being crushed by the ship. Tommy manages to maneuver down the mole and saves him. When he pulls him ashore, he introduces himself as Alex.The trio then waits until another Red Cross ship comes. They board the ship and manage to grab some food and water. Alex properly introduces himself but sees that Gibson is missing. Gibson is anxiously standing outside and notices a German torpedo is coming for the ship. The torpedo hits the ship and the room where Alex and Tommy are is fully flooded with water. The soldiers begin to drown until Gibson opens the door and saves their lives. The trio then abandons ship and gets rescued by soldiers that managed to get a rowboat. Back on the beach, the surviving soldiers join up with a group of Scottish soldiers heading towards a boat within the tide. The soldiers hide in there until German soldiers begin to shoot at the ship as target practice. The soldiers panic and begin to patch the holes in the ship. One of the Scottish soldiers notice there’s too much weight on the ship. Alex suggests they throw Gibson out to lighten to boat, going so far as to accuse him of being a German spy since he hasn’t spoken the whole time, possibly to disguise his accent. Gibson then reveals himself as a French soldier that took a dead ally uniform to escape Dunkirk. Not long after, the boat floats out of Dunkirk, but soon starts sinking. The soldiers make it out, except for Gibson, who gets caught on something and drowns.In the second story, the Royal Navy starts to requisition civilian boats in an effort to rescue the soldiers stranded at Dunkirk. A mariner named Mr. Dawson takes his own ship with his teenage son Peter instead allowing the navy taking their boat. The two are also joined by George, who assures Mr. Dawson that he can be useful. On the way to Dunkirk, they pass by a sunken British ship. They also find a shell-shocked soldier in the water and rescue him. They asked for his name but he refused to answer. George tries giving the soldier tea and knocks it out of his hand. When the soldier learns from Mr. Dawson that they are headed to Dunkirk, the soldier desperately tries to take control of the boat from Mr. Dawson. The fight leads to George falling to the bottom of the boat and hitting his head hard. Peter goes to tend to his wounds, while the soldier stops and sits quietly. George gradually starts to lose his eyesight. Peter tells his father, but Mr. Dawson says they have come too far to turn back for help.In the final story, three Spitfire pilots fly over the sea to provide air support for the evacuating soldiers. The squadron leader, plus pilots Farrier and Collins spot ME 109 German fighter planes and go after them. One of the German fighter planes shoots down the squadron leader leaving only Farrier and Collins left. Farriers fuel gage breaks and has no clue how much fuel he has left. So he has to conserve fuel and at the same time, shoot the German plane down. Collins’ plane gets shot down and safely lands in the water. But once he landed, he realized that his cockpit was jammed. He almost drowned but luckily Mr. Dawson spots the plane and Peter breaks him free from the cockpit and then brings Collins on-board. By this point, all groups come together on the waters. More civilian British boats show up on the waters to rescue the soldiers. Farrier manages to shoot down an attacking German Do.17 bomber as he runs out of fuel and heads toward the beach to make a safe landing. Meanwhile, Peter, Collins, and the shell shocked soldier pull as many men onto the boat as they can, including Alex and Tommy. Alex points out to the Dawsons that George is dead. The shell-shocked soldier, unaware that George has died, asks Peter if George will be okay. Peter lies, saying that he will be.After Farrier (with no fuel) takes out one final bomber, Farrier lands his plane slowly by the shore. He sets his plane on fire and is soon captured by German soldiers. Alex and Tommy (along with the other surviving British soldiers are sent home via train. Alex thinks that they will be treated poorly due to the evacuation. He sees a newspaper with a message from Winston Churchill regarding the evacuation and asks Tommy to read it. Not long after, people welcome the soldiers back with applause. Tommy finishes reading Churchill’s statement, which commends the bravery and efforts of the soldiers and the miraculous escape they just participated in. However, the quote goes on to remind the public that evacuations alone do not win wars, but concludes with the vow never to surrender.As a result, Dunkirk was overall a very historically accurate film. Although most of the characters themselves were fictional, most of the main events of the story, were almost perfectly in-line with how it actually happened. “We have fictional characters with fictional names; we’re not trying to tell anyone’s story here,” says Nolan. “But the bigger movements portrayed are accurate.” He adds: “Fiction frees you to be able to convey to the audience the greater truth of something. Which is why you end up wanting to combine characters or invent characters.” That wasn’t the only thing that was slightly incorrect however, Nolan also said the Messerschmitt Bf 109 planes featured in dogfights with British Spitfire planes. In the film, the German planes have yellow noses, the better for telling which are German and which are British during the fast-paced aerial scenes. “In reality, the planes were not painted yellow until about a month after Dunkirk,” says Nolan. “But it’s a very useful color scheme for trying to distinguish two planes in the air.” Another example is the British destroyer seen in the film. Functional destroyers are hard to come by, and the one used on location is French.Although, there were many major plot points that the movie didn’t get quite right. James Holland (a known World War Two historian) pointed out a few big details in the movie that Nolan emphasized a little too much. “Watching Dunkirk you’re under the impression that 300,000 people had been evacuated by little ships when actually it was about 5%. “They massively exaggerated the role of little ships.” Now I did the Math to see if that was accurate and well… it seems to be correct. In total, there were 850 civilian ships that came to Dunkirk. And 5% of 300,000 is around 15,000 men. Taking that into account, if at least an average of 20 people fit onto ONE boat, that would be around 17,000 people on all of the small ships in total. So it seems Holland was correct. James Holland also had something to say about the British Spitfires: “A Spitfire is made out to have 75 seconds worth of ammunition, when actually a spitfire only had 14.7 seconds. Pilots would rarely shoot down more than a single plane in one go, but one pilot shoots down four because he seems to have an inexhaustible supply of ammunition.” He also notes that it’s not possible for a Spitfire to land on a beach using the undercarriage. But other then that, he said everything else seems to check out. Now the comes the question, are these changes in the story for the best? Mostly, yes. Every director is allowed to use their artistic abilities to make the story more compelling and nerve-racking. Although, I wish he exaggerated a little less on the role of the ships to make it a little bit more accurate. Overall, Dunkirk only messed up on one major detail that was altered for the sake of the story (and a few very minor details).For the frameworks, I feel like “The Three C’s” would fit pretty well for this movie. You have the capacity aspect in the sense that the British only had so many ships they could send over to evacuate the soldiers. They were saving the ships for the invenetable Battle of Britain so they’d be ready for Hitler’s attack. Culture wise, this evacuation was seen as a miracle to the British people. Christopher Nolan called it “A turning point in human history”. This also lead to one of the most famous military speeches ever delivered, the “We shall fight on the beaches” speech delivered by Winston Churchill to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom on 4 June 1940. Finally, Calculation you could refer to how many men on the beaches vs the number of men surrounding them with only one line of defense.In summary, Dunkirk is a visceral, nerve-shredding film that focuses on the stories of the men who suffered through this event and the ones that put their lives on the line to save countless lives. Christopher Nolan uses his creativity to create a story that captures how devastating and horrendous it was for these soldiers but at the same showing hope in a situation where there was almost no way out. It also showcases how War and Society really mix. In a war aspect, it went almost terribly wrong. The British, French and Belgium governments had seriously underestimated the strength of the German forces in their equipment, transport and fire power – which was far superior to much of their outdated armoury. Consequently the British Expeditionary Force, as well as the French and Belgian forces, found themselves defending positions against overwhelming odds. But, it seemed like a victory in just getting the troops back – over a third of a million of them – to fight another day. In a Society aspect, the escape captured the minds and hearts of the British people at a time when it looked probable that they would be invaded as well and kept the morale of the British people high.