Operation Dynamo ran from May 27 to June 4, 1940, as German forces advanced towards the English Channel.
A mixed flotilla of British, French, Belgian and Dutch naval and merchant ships took part in the rescue, plus 400 civilian craft – a total of about 860 vessels. Of those, 243 were sunk.
In total 338,226 troops were rescued, including many French soldiers.
That still left 68,000 British soldiers in France, either killed or taken prisoner.
The British Expeditionary Force had also lost all its equipment: 2,470 artillery pieces, 85,000 vehicles, 445 tanks and hundreds of thousands of tons of stores and ammunition.
Many of the British and French troops who remained in France were captured by the advancing Germans and in June 1940 France surrendered.
The D-Day landings in Normandy in June 1944 launched a massive Allied invasion force to begin the campaign to liberate France and the rest of Europe from Nazi control.