From Washington, this is VOA news. I’m Jee Abbey Lee reporting.
When, a week ago today, I asked the House to fix this afternoon as the
occasion for a statement, I feared it would be my hard lot to announce
the greatest military disaster in our long history. I thought-and some
good judges agreed with me-that perhaps 20,000 or 30,000 men might be
re-embarked. But it certainly seemed that the whole of the French First
Army and the whole of the British Expeditionary Force north of the
Amiens-Abbeville gap would be broken up in the open field or else would
have to capitulate for lack of food and ammunition. These were the hard
and heavy tidings for which I called upon the House and the nation to
prepare themselves a week ago. The whole root and core and brain of the
British Army, on which and around which we were to build, and are to
build, the great British Armies in the later years of the war, seemed
about to perish upon the field or to be led into an ignominious and
One day after French voters put her in a presidential runoff with
centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, nationalist anti-immigration
candidate Marine Le Pen has announced that she is temporarily stepping
down as a leader of her party so she can run as a candidate for all the
The enemy attacked on all sides with great strength and fierceness, and
their main power, the power of their far more numerous Air Force, was
thrown into the battle or else concentrated upon Dunkirk and the
beaches. Pressing in upon the narrow exit, both from the east and from
the west, the enemy began to fire with cannon upon the beaches by which
alone the shipping could approach or depart. They sowed magnetic mines
in the channels and seas; they sent repeated waves of hostile aircraft,
sometimes more than a hundred strong in one formation, to cast their
bombs upon the single pier that remained, and upon the sand dunes on
which the troops had their eyes for shelter. Their U-boats, one of which
was sunk, and their motor launches took their toll of the vast traffic
which now began. For four or five days an intense struggle reigned. All
their armored divisions-or what Was left of them-together with great
masses of infantry and artillery, hurled themselves in vain upon the
ever-narrowing, ever-contracting appendix within which the British and
French Armies fought.
The new national service will cover all 16-year-olds, girls as well as
boys, and will be divided into two distinct phases.
In a move aimed at broadening her appeal, Le Pen said on French public
television, “Tonight, I am no longer the president of the National
Front. I’m the presidential candidate,” adding that she wants to be
above “partisan considerations.”
Meanwhile, the Royal Navy, with the willing help of countless merchant
seamen, strained every nerve to embark the British and Allied troops;
220 light warships and 650 other vessels were engaged. They had to
operate upon the difficult coast, often in adverse weather, under an
almost ceaseless hail of bombs and an increasing concentration of
artillery fire. Nor were the seas, as I have said, themselves free from
mines and torpedoes. It was in conditions such as these that our men
carried on, with little or no rest, for days and nights on end, making
trip after trip across the dangerous waters, bringing with them always
men whom they had rescued. The numbers they have brought back are the
measure of their devotion and their courage. The hospital ships, which
brought off many thousands of British and French wounded, being so
plainly marked were a special target for Nazi bombs; but the men and
women on board them never faltered in their duty.
In what analysts describe as a political earthquake in France, Le Pen
received 21.5 percent of the French presidential vote while Macron
garnered 23.8 percent of the vote.
Meanwhile, the Royal Air Force, which had already been intervening in
the battle, so far as its range would allow, from home bases, now used
part of its main metropolitan fighter strength, and struck at the German
bombers and at the fighters which in large numbers protected them. This
struggle was protracted and fierce. Suddenly the scene has cleared, the
crash and thunder has for the moment-but only for the moment-died away.
A miracle of deliverance, achieved by valor, by perseverance, by perfect
discipline, by faultless service, by resource, by skill, by
unconquerable fidelity, is manifest to us all. The enemy was hurled back
by the retreating British troops. He was so roughly handled that he did
not hurry their departure seriously. We must be very careful not to
assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won
by evacuations. But there was a victory inside this deliverance, which
should be noted. It was gained by the Air Force. Many of our soldiers
coming back have not seen the Air Force at work; they saw only the
bombers which escaped its protective attack. They underrate its
achievements. I have heard much talk of this; that is why I go out of my
way to say this. I will tell you about it.
A winner needs an absolute majority so a second round will be held in
This was a great trial of strength between the British and German Air
Forces. Can you conceive a greater objective for the Germans in the air
than to make evacuation from these beaches impossible, and to sink all
these ships which were displayed, almost to the extent of thousands?
Could there have been an objective of greater military importance and
significance for the whole purpose of the war than this? They tried
hard, and they were beaten back; they were frustrated in their task. We
got the Army away; and they have paid fourfold for any losses which they
The first phase is a mandatory one-month placement with a focus on civic
culture, which the government says will “enable young people to create
new relationships and develop their role in society”.
It’s the first time in the history of the modern French Republic that
the presidency will be held by a member of a non-traditional party,
highlighting a deep anti-establishment sentiment that ultimately could
determine whether France remains a part of the EU or follows an
independent path like that of post-Brexit Britain and the United States
under Donald Trump.
When we consider how much greater would be our advantage in defending
the air above this Island against an overseas attack, I must say that I
find in these facts a sure basis upon which practical and reassuring
thoughts may rest. I will pay my tribute to these young airmen. The
great French Army was very largely, for the time being, cast back and
disturbed by the onrush of a few thousands of armored vehicles. May it
not also be that the cause of civilization itself will be defended by
the skill and devotion of a few thousand airmen?There never has been, I
suppose, in all the world, in all the history of war, such an
opportunity for youth. The Knights of the Round Table, the Crusaders,
all fall back into the past-not only distant but prosaic; these young
men, going forth every morn to guard their native land and all that we
stand for, holding in their hands these instruments of colossal and
shattering power, of whom it may be said that:
Former U.S. President Barack Obama returned to public life Monday,
urging young people in his adopted hometown of Chicago to be activists
in their communities, much like he was before running for political
Every morn brought forth a noble chance
This includes activities such as charity work, voluntary teaching, or
military preparation with the police, fire service or army.
On a sunny spring morning at the University of Chicago campus, Obama
told an audience that as a community organizer three decades ago in
Chicago, he learned that “ordinary people when working together can do
extraordinary things,” a lesson that stayed with him.
And every chance brought forth a noble knight,
The 44th U.S. president moderated a panel of young people made up of a
high school senior, college students and recent graduates working in
their fields of study.
deserve our gratitude, as do all the brave men who, in so many ways and
on so many occasions, are ready, and continue ready to give life and all
for their native land.
The second phase is a voluntary placement of at least three months and
up to a year, in which young people will be encouraged to serve “in an
area linked to defense and security” – but again, they could opt to
carry out volunteer work linked to heritage, the environment or social
This is VOA news.
Nevertheless, our thankfulness at the escape of our Army and so many
men, whose loved ones have passed through an agonizing week, must not
blind us to the fact that what has happened in France and Belgium is a
colossal military disaster. The French Army has been weakened, the
Belgian Army has been lost, a large part of those fortified lines upon
which so much faith had been reposed is gone, many valuable mining
districts and factories have passed into the enemy’s possession, the
whole of the Channel ports are in his hands, with all the tragic
consequences that follow from that, and we must expect another blow to
be struck almost immediately at us or at France. We are told that Herr
Hitler has a plan for invading the British Isles. This has often been
thought of before. When Napoleon lay at Boulogne for a year with his
flat-bottomed boats and his Grand Army, he was told by someone. “There
are bitter weeds in England.” There are certainly a great many more of
them since the British Expeditionary Force returned.
Top officials in the Trump administration will hold the rare classified
briefing at the White House. The briefing is for the entire U.S. Senate
on the situation in North Korea.
I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is
neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being
made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island
home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of
tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that
is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s
Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the
nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in
their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native
soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their
Officials say Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex
Tillerson, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford will conduct the briefing
We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on
the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing
strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may
be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing
grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight
in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for
a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and
starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the
British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time,
the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue
and the liberation of the old.
It’s not quite the program Mr Macron initially had in mind.
All 100 [seniors] senators have been asked to the White House for the
June 4, 1940
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Afghanistan on a previously
unannounced visit. The trip is to discuss the country’s security
situation with political and military leaders.
When he first floated the idea, during the 2017 race for the presidency,
it was a sort of military service in miniature, with all French citizens
forced to have a “direct experience of military life” for a minimum of
one month between the ages of 18 and 21.
He was asked by a reporter if he was comfortable with the current
stalemate and this what he said: “Frankly, I don’t see any tension
between those two things, those two factors. Right now, we’re engaged in
defining the challenge, the way ahead, with a whole lot of nations. And
it depends — there’s no one nation that’s going to carry all this, so
there’s a lot of collaboration. And that is based on an assessment of
the tactical and operational challenge and where we want to be in what
time.” :Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
U.S. President Donald Trump is facing Democratic opposition as he makes
a new push for construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to
thwart illegal immigration.
That’s now been softened and broadened into what’s being called a
Universal National Service – partly because of concerns that it would
cost too much and overburden the country’s armed forces.
He says he believes estimates of the cost are vastly overblown.