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Dunkirk, France

Dunkirk (French Dunkerque) is a harbour city in the far north of France, in the département of Nord, 10 km from the Belgian border. It has about 71,000 inhabitants (1990 data). It has a ferry connection with Ramsgate and Dover in England.

Dunkirk is the third largest harbour in France, after Le Havre and Marseille. It is also an industrial city, heavily dependent on the steel, food processing, oil refining, ship building and chemical industries.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Tourist attractions
3 Sport
4 External links


The area was much disputed between Spain, England, the Netherlands and France, until it became definitively French when Charles II of England sold it to France for 40 000 pounds on 17 October 1662. During the reign of Louis XIV, a large number of pirates had their base at Dunkirk; Jean Bart was the most famous, known for attacking Dutch ships.

In World War II, heavy fighting took place around Dunkirk during the German invasion (see Battle of Dunkirk) in 1940, but a lull in the action unexpectedly allowed a large number of French and British soldiers to escape to England. Over 300,000 men were evacuated amidst constant bombing (the miracle of Dunkirk, as Churchill called it).The British evacuation of Dunkirk was codenamed Operation Dynamo. During the war, Dunkirk was largely destroyed by bombing.

On 14 December 2002, the Norwegian auto carrier Tricolor collided with the Bahamian-registered Kariba and sank off Dunkirk harbor, causing a hazard to navigation in the English Channel. The following night, a German vessel, the Nicola, hit the wreck and had to be towed free. On 1 January 2003 the Turkish-registered fuel carrier Vicky struck the same wreck, but was freed by a rising tide.

Tourist attractions


External links