Britain could replace the 3,472 lost guns, the 63,879 abandoned vehicles; but the 224,686 rescued troops were irreplaceable. . . . Later, they would be the nucleus of the great Allied armies that won back the Continent. . . .Walter Lord, The Miracle of Dunkirk (New York: Open Road Integrated Media, 2012), p. 274 (copyright 1982)
But the significance of Dunkirk went far beyond such practical considerations. The rescue electrified the people of Britain, welded them together, gave thema sense of purpose that the war had previously lacked. . . .
Some would later say that it was all clever propaganda that cranked up the country to this emotional peak. But it happened too quickly—too spontaneously—for that. This was a case where the people actually led the propagandists.