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Definition: Dunkirk from

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate(R) Dictionary

(1941) 1 : a retreat to avoid total defeat 2 : a crisis situation that requires a desperate last effort to forestall certain failure 〈a ⁓ for U.S. foreign policy —Time

Summary Article: Dunkirk from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide
City and most northerly seaport of France, in Nord département, at the entrance to the Strait of Dover; population (2005 est) 69,400. Its harbour is one of the foremost in France and it stands at the junction of four canals, giving it communication with the rest of France and with Belgium; there is a ferry service to Ramsgate in England. Industries include oil refining, fishing, and the manufacture of textiles, machinery, and soap. History The building of a church here by St Eloi in the 7th century was said to be the founding of Dunkirk ("Church of the Dunes"). The town was initially developed by fishermen. It was sacked by the English in 1388 and in 1658 was taken by Cromwell, but was sold to Louis XIV by Charles II in 1662 for 5 million francs. Louis fortified the harbour and Dunkirk assumed great strategic importance. During World War I Dunkirk became a base for British aircraft, mainly to deal with German air raids on England...    Continue Reading

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