Operation Cycle is the name of the evacuation of Allied troops from Le Havre, in the Pays de Caux of Upper Normandy from 10–13 June 1940, towards the end of the Battle of France, during the Second World War. The operation was preceded by the better known rescue of 338,226 British and French soldiers from Dunkirk in Operation Dynamo (26 May – 4 June). On 20 May, the Germans had captured Abbeville at the mouth of the Somme and cut off the main Allied armies in the north. South of the river, the Allies improvised defences and made local counter-attacks, to dislodge the Germans from bridgeheads on the south bank and re-capture river crossings for an advance northwards to regain contact with the armies in northern France and Flanders.

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  • Operation Cycle is the name of the evacuation of Allied troops from Le Havre, in the Pays de Caux of Upper Normandy from 10–13 June 1940, towards the end of the Battle of France, during the Second World War. The operation was preceded by the better known rescue of 338,226 British and French soldiers from Dunkirk in Operation Dynamo (26 May – 4 June). On 20 May, the Germans had captured Abbeville at the mouth of the Somme and cut off the main Allied armies in the north. South of the river, the Allies improvised defences and made local counter-attacks, to dislodge the Germans from bridgeheads on the south bank and re-capture river crossings for an advance northwards to regain contact with the armies in northern France and Flanders. The 1st Armoured Division arrived in France from 15 May, without artillery and short of units that had been diverted to Calais. The division joined the large number of lines-of-communication troops south of the Somme, many of whom were hurriedly organised into the Beauman Division and other improvised units, despite a lack of training and weapons. French troops were sent into the area, as Général d'armée Maxime Weygand attempted to build up a defence in depth on the south bank of the Somme and make bigger attacks to eliminate the German bridgeheads. From 27 May – 4 June, about half of the German bridgehead south of Abbeville was recaptured by Franco-British troops; the Allies were reinforced by infantry divisions and the 4e Division cuirassée (4e DCr, Colonel Charles De Gaulle) but lost many of their tanks and the Germans much of their infantry, some units running back over the river Somme. When Fall Rot (Case Red), the final German offensive, began on 5 June, the IX Corps of the French Tenth Army (including the 51st (Highland) Infantry Division (Major-General Victor Fortune) of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) after it arrived from the Saar on 28 May), was pushed back to the Bresle River. On 9 June, German tanks entered Rouen on the Seine, cutting off the IX Corps from the X Corps to the east and from the Seine to the south. The French and British commanders in the pocket decided to make for Le Havre and Fortune detached Arkforce, the equivalent of two brigades, to guard the routes back to the port. During the night of 9/10 June, the remainder of the Highland Division and the French divisions of IX Corps, prepared to continue the retreat but found that the 7th Panzer Division (Generalmajor Erwin Rommel) had advanced from Rouen through Yvetot to Cany and Veulettes-sur-Mer on the Durdent river. With an Allied withdrawal to Le Havre cut off, the Highlanders and the French retreated to St Valery-en-Caux, where from 10–11 June, 2,137 British and 1,184 French soldiers were rescued by the Navy. The remainder, including over 6,000 Highlanders, were taken prisoner on 12 June. At Le Havre, from 10 to 13 June, 11,059 British troops from Arkforce, other British units in the port and Allied forces were evacuated; attempts by the Franco-British to prepare a national redoubt in Brittany came to nothing. Operation Cycle was followed by Operation Ariel from 14 to 25 June, in which another 191,870 soldiers were embarked from Cherbourg, St. Malo and other Atlantic and Mediterranean ports, until the Armistice of 22 June 1940. (en)
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  • Operation Cycle is the name of the evacuation of Allied troops from Le Havre, in the Pays de Caux of Upper Normandy from 10–13 June 1940, towards the end of the Battle of France, during the Second World War. The operation was preceded by the better known rescue of 338,226 British and French soldiers from Dunkirk in Operation Dynamo (26 May – 4 June). On 20 May, the Germans had captured Abbeville at the mouth of the Somme and cut off the main Allied armies in the north. South of the river, the Allies improvised defences and made local counter-attacks, to dislodge the Germans from bridgeheads on the south bank and re-capture river crossings for an advance northwards to regain contact with the armies in northern France and Flanders. (en)
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  • Operation Cycle (en)
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