48 hours in Bo ulogne: Part II


With incessant German attacks, it fell to the destroyers to keep the enemy at bay as they closed on Boulogne’s quays. Lt-Cmdr Frank Donald RN (ret) and Capt John Rodgaard USN (ret) continue to detail the evacuation of Boulogne in the closing part of this special feature.

Thursday 23 May 1940 had been a hard day, and not without loss, as outlined in part one (see last month’s issue). It had seen vicious fighting in the French port city of Boulogne as a group of V and W-class destroyers repeatedly shot their way in and out of the historic and strategically significant harbour. First, they landed a garrison – 20th Guards Brigade. Just hours later they would run the same gauntlet to rescue it.

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