Operation Cycle

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During World War II, Operation Cycle was the evacuation of Allied troops from Le Havre, France at the end of the Battle of France. From 10 to 13 June 1940, 11,059 British and Allied forces were evacuated.

As the line on the Somme was breached, the British 1st Armoured and the 51st (Highland) Infantry Divisions, along with French units tried to fall back to the coast. Part of these groups made it, and despite the loss of the personnel ship HMS Bruges were evacuated by British destroyers and other craft.

As part of Cycle, an attempt to rescue the remaining men along a line from St. Valery-en-Caux to Veules was conducted on 10–11 June. It was only partially successful, since thick fog hampered operations. A total of 2137 British and 1184 French soldiers were removed, but the remainder, including over 6000 men of the Highland Division, were captured.[1]

Cycle was preceded by the better known Operation Dynamo, the rescue of 338,226 British and French soldiers from Dunkirk from 26 May to 4 June, and followed by Operation Ariel, over 215,000 soldiers embarking from Cherbourg, St. Malo, and other ports between June 14 and 25.


  1. ^ "Operation Cycle, the evacuation from Havre, 10-13 June 1940". Historyofwar.org. Retrieved 2011-08-18.