At first after the declaration, very little appeared to happen although there were some casualties at sea. This period soon became known as the Phoney War. It lasted until the 10th May, 1940 and then the Germans began to move against the British Expeditionary Forces in France and Flanders. During the retreat, soldiers were often left behind; if they were lucky they were captured by the Germans; prisoners of war. Sometimes they were not so lucky.
By the 26th May, 1940 the British army (or those who had survived ) were corralled on the beaches at Dunkirk with all appearances of sitting ducks waiting
for the attack from the German Army. However, for some reason, it did not occur and Hitler gave the job of attacking the British Army at Dunkirk to the Luftwaffe.
This gave just enough time to avert total disaster. Disaster was turned into a minor miracle by the rescue of 215,000 British and 123,000 French in British
ships, small and large to England. In the weeks following the evacuation, the papers were full of news of soldiers missing and then found to be prisoners of war. The war was over for them.