On May 28, 1940, King Leopold III surrendered the Belgian army and he became a prisoner. Belgium's surrender left the remaining Allied forces under British General Lord John Gort in a desperate situation. The troops retreated to Dunkerque, the only escape port on the northern French coast. German aromored units were close to the port, but they halted about 20 miles from Dunkerque. As the diminished British Royal Air Force (RAF) formed an aerial umbrella to repel German bomber planes, more than 336,000 British, French, and Belgian troops waded out to British rescue ships that included fishing boats and motorboats.

Radio news broadcast of the event in Real Audio format (1 min, 20 sec).