Logistics do not make good themes for movies

Earlier this month, the blockbuster film "Dunkirk" was launched.  It tells the story - in typical cinema style - of the great evacuation of the British army from the beaches in 1940.  Reviews have celebrated the high quality of the film, the realism of the scenes, and the graphic reminders of the miracle.  (Actually, as a Christian, I am disappointed that there is little reference to the national call to prayer associated with the event.)

However, some commentators have noted that little mention is made of Vice-Admiral Bertram Ramsay.  He was the mastermind behind the logistics of the evacuation.  The miracle was one of a team working together, with efficiency on a very complex project.  Just like good O.R. - though the official wartime O.R. team doesn't seem to have been involved.  Ramsay and his team organised the clearance of mines and minefields, corralled hundreds of small boats, sabotaged Boulogne and Calais harbours, co-ordinated RAF fighters, dealt with the logistics of getting food and water, fuel and ammunition, transport and equipment. 

But paperwork and frenzied telephone calls do not make good movies.  So it is little wonder that the role of the planners does not feature.  But it is one that we must celebrate.

Enjoy the film!


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