Surprisingly, this operation is now almost unanimously perceived as a “British Victory”. The deserters have somehow reaped all the rewards.
Are French people angry with their minor role in movie Dunkirk?
Yes, but beyond this movie, we are disappointed with what history retained from our role during these critical period. Indeed, as a French general stated before, the “miracle of Dunkirk” was not a “miracle” but rather the logical consequence of the resilience and the sacrifice of thousands of French soldiers - who have since somehow been erased from our history books.
Indeed, it is well known and documented that the British commanders were reluctant, even afraid to fight to German on the ground (come to think of it, the main strength of the British has always been their Navy). Thus, they rejected many calls from French generals for a last joined counter-attack on the Germans. While the British deserted, the abandoned French army nonetheless insisted on “fighting until their last man”. This attitude allowed them to halt the British in the northern city of “Lille” with a desperate, Spartan style “last stand” against the superior Nazi forces. This halt was instrumental in earning the allies enough time to fortify their defenses around the beaches on Dunkerque. It could even be speculated that this battle contributed to Hitler issuing his infamous “halt” order to his troops; an order which is still controversially interpreted to this day.
事实上，英国指挥官的踌躇不决是众所周知的，他们甚至不敢在地面上和德军打(试想一下，英国的主要力量是海军)。因此他们拒绝了很多法国将军的求援，没有加入最后对德军的联合反击。英国人当了逃兵的同时，那些被抛弃的法国士兵依旧坚持“战斗到最后一个人”的原则。这种态度让法军将11万英军挡在里尔北部修整，绝望地、斯巴达式的对装备优良的德军进行背水一战(详情参见里尔围城战：Siege of Lille (1940))。这同样也为盟军在敦刻尔克周围加强防御争取了时间。我们甚至可以相信，是这场战役让希特勒对其部队下达了停止进攻的命令——那个时至今日依旧饱受争议的命令。
The same attitude of the French army prevailed again during the rescue efforts in Dunkerque when 35,000 frenchmen literally used themselves as human shields in order to allow to safely evacuate.
Now, let’s talk about the evacuation itself. Today, it is largely portrayed as a British combined military and civilian effort. This is also inaccurate. The actual numbers show that the French provided more boats (civilian and military), more war planes, more logistics and more resources overall to the success of Operation Dynamo. I am just replying to your question so I didn't have time to gather my sources, but if you’re interested, I will share with you historical records which kept track in numbers of all the resources involved from each army at that time.
Surprisingly, this operation is now almost unanimously perceived as a “British Victory”. The deserters have somehow reaped all the rewards. To us, French, it is simply a shocking mockery. For instance, there’s a scene towards the beginning of the movie were pamphlets have been dropped by the German Luftwaffe showing the troops on the ground that they were surrounded in an efforts to discourage them. In the movie, those pamphlets are written in ENGLISH suggesting that the majority of the troops there were British. Now, one can just search the original pamphlets on Google and notice that they were actually written in FRENCH FIRST and then translated to English. This alone show that they were intended for FRENCH TROOPS on the ground which again proves that the majority of the manpower on the ground was…French (see images below).
In conclusion, as French, we are disappointed but not surprised. History is always written by the victor. The British deserted somehow were able to exploit our sacrifice to support their propaganda. Our ultimate mistake in this war was to rely solely on our Maginot Line and think that the Ardennes forest was impenetrable by the Germans. Unlike the British, we didn’t have a body of water to protect us from the panzer attacks. Then, we nevertheless put our last efforts to help them escape back onto their island. When you think of it, all they really did from this point was to PROTECT THEIR ISLAND and they did so for the remainder of the war. They never dared coming back on the continent afterwards until 1944 when the American and Canadian troops came to deliver us all. For this (cowardly) attitude, they reap all the rewards. That’s unfortunate, but that’s how history works: we call it “La Loi du Plus Fort” in French…So yes we’re disappointed, but we remember what our elders did. That’s the most important…
总之，我们的法国人的失望并不稀奇。历史总是由胜利者写的。英国人的逃跑，反而让他们能够利用我们的牺牲支撑他们的宣传。我们在这场战争中最大的错误，就是过于依赖马奇诺防线，并且坚信阿登高地的部队无法被德军击败。不像英国人，我们没有海峡保护我们免于坦克洪流。所以我们将最后的希望寄托于，帮助他们撤回本土。当你对他们满怀期待的时候，他们却只顾着保护他们自己的本土，直到战争结束。他们一直没敢返回欧洲大陆，直到1944年美国和加拿大的部队来救我们。凭着这股（懦弱）的态度，他们却赢得了所有的荣耀。这实在是不幸，但现实就是如此，在法国我们管他叫“La Loi Du Plus Fort(弱肉强食)”……所以，是的，我们非常失望，但我们自己绝不会忘记父辈的功勋。这才是最重要的。