The Best Defense

Dunkirk 1940: A triumph of the British love of lining up and keeping one's place?

I know of no other culture that so values lining up and waiting one's turn as much as the British do. Why, I don't know. They even have a revered term for it: "queuing."

I thought about this the other day when reading a history of the evacuation of about 365,000 British and French troops from in and around Dunkirk, France, in late May and early June 1940. The British today remember this as a remarkable turning point in the war. Perhaps so. And those who held off the Germans during the evacuation of course deserve a salute. But for most of the soldiers involved, the task was to line up properly and wait one's turn. Would any other nation so glorify such an event? It resonates in British culture like the Alamo does in ours.


The Best Defense

Kitfield: The era of militarism may be over

James Kitfield, one of the best defense reporters in the biz, just moved his stand. Here is his first volley from his new home.