Dunkirk spirit

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Rescued British troops gathered in a barge at Dunkirk


The phrase came into use following the evacuation of allied troops across the English Channel by flotillas of pleasure boats, working barges and other civilian craft at the Battle of Dunkirk in 1940.


Dunkirk spirit (uncountable)

  1. (Britain, idiomatic) The spirit of the British public pulling together to overcome times of adversity.

Related terms[edit]