The Battles for Calais and Boulogne

 Boulogne          Calais 

 


These often-forgotten operations to occupy these Channel ports were borne out of a perceived need to secure the supply lines of the BEF against the backcloth of a rapidly deteriorating military situation for the allies. They were completely improvised operations, based on flawed assumptions and intelligence about the German Army's strength and disposition. The British forces who were landed in these ports were of insufficient size to fulfil the objectives to which they were assigned and inadequately equipped to match the German Panzer divisions which they confronted almost immediately upon their arrival.


While these operations were inextricably linked in their planning and their ultimate failure, the two battles were sufficiently different in their execution and crucially, in terms of the ultimate fate of the bulk of British forces engaged, to warrant separate commentary. The events are therefore covered under separate links for Boulogne and Calais respectively.





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