The evacuation from Dunkirk on the French coast was hailed in Britain as an extraordinary achievement and the ‘little ships of Dunkirk’ swiftly entered the mythology of wartime brave deeds.
British soldiers wade out to a waiting destroyer off Dunkirk during the evacuation.
Troops evacuated from Dunkirk on a destroyer about to berth at Dover, 31 May 1940.
Troops evacuated from Dunkirk enjoying tea and other refreshments at Addison Road station in London, 31 May 1940.
Some of the 'little ships' used during the evacuation of Dunkirk being towed back along the River Thames past Tower Bridge, 9 June 1940.
German forces moved into Dunkirk hours after the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force. Here German officers inspect a memorial on the sea front at Dunkirk.
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At the end of the Second World War Korea, which had formerly been occupied by the Japanese, was divided along the 38th Parallel.
The North soon fell under the influence of the Soviet Union whilst the South relied on the support of the Americans. On 25 June 1950, Communist North Korean troops invaded South Korea and rapidly advanced southwards trapping the remaining South Korean and American troops in a small perimeter around the port of Pusan. The United Nations was quick to respond and immediately encouraged its members to support the South. Many countries sent troops, including the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and South Africa.
The United Nations commander General MacArthur ordered an amphibious landing at Inchon, a port halfway up the Korea peninsula, and his forces were able to drive the North Koreans back into the North and up to the Yalu River, the border between China and North Korea.
China immediately entered the war and again pushed United Nations forces back into the South. The front line eventually stabilised along a line not far from the 38th Parallel during the first half of 1951 and armistice negotiations began in July. The negotiations achieved little initial success and the opposing armies would face each other in trenches little more than a mile apart for the next two years.
Finally, on 27 July 1953, an armistice was signed agreeing that Korea would remain a divided country.
British troops leaving Hong Kong to join United Nations forces in South Korea, September 1950. From the deck of HMS Ceylon, Mr Malcolm MacDonald, the High Commissioner for South East Asia, addresses men of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders paraded on the dock below.
Representatives of United Kingdom, Canadian, Australian and Belgian units of the British 29th Brigade stand at Parade Rest, during ceremonies in which the American Presidential Unit Citation was awarded to the Gloucestershire Regiment and the 170th Independent Mortar Battalion, Royal Artillery for a heroic and sacrificial stand against encircling Chinese, 23-25 April 1951.
The KPA was established in February 1948, being raised from Korean communist guerrillas who had previously served with the Chinese People's Liberation Army, but 'advised' by Soviet personnel. By mid-1950 the KPA was composed of ten infantry divisions plus other units totalling some 223,000 men.
uniforms and insignia
Men of the 1st Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles marching through a Korean village, 1951. The Royal Ulster Rifles were to become heavily engaged during the defence along the River Imjin during the Chinese spring offensive in April 1951.