On the 24th of May, Hitler gave a halt order for German forces about to pounce on the retreating Allied Army allowing for the escape of almost 350,000 troops to Britain. What if this order was never given, and the Allies were destroyed at Dunkirk. The Battle of Dunkirk- May 23rd 1940- May 28th 1940 Hitler on the 23rd of May, 1940, gives Army Group B of the Germany Wehrmacht permission to assault Dunkirk (On this day IOTL, he ordered the German army to halt, allowing for the Allies to retreat). The French 1st Army which sits on the northern bank of the Scarpe River is caught by surprise, her route to the North being under attack. French General Maxime Weygand quickly orders the French 1st Army on a retreat to the North. Lord Gort of the BEF immediately orders his men who are currently on the retreat to Dunkirk to attack the Germany Army Group to the South just across the Lys River at Premesques. On the same day, the 1st Panzer Division moves to capture the town of Gravelines with minimal casualties. The 2nd Panzer Division pushes 10 miles from the front line into Allied territory, capturing the towns of Watten and St. Omer. The 6th Panzer Division along with the 8th Panzer Division quickly dart across the lines and capture the town of Hazebrouck, losing some 4,500 men in the process. The Allies in these towns, most of which are part of the British Expeditionary Force not involved in the Counter Offensive, and not equipped to deal with a large portion of the Germany Army. Later in the day, the BEF attacks Army Group B, which has reached one of the main roads to Dunkirk at the town of Premesques. Quickly, the light Allied tanks, which were designed to defend infantry across the battlefield are quickly sent from the North to strike at the Germans, while the French 1st Army sends Infantry from the South in an attempt to cut off the spearhead of Army Group B. Using Artillery, and heavier, faster tanks, the Germans manage to immobilize the British tanks. German Aircraft are quickly sent into the air, and strafe advancing French troops, quickly forcing the French back into defensive positions. By the 24th of May, the BEF is forced back to the Northern Banks of the Lys, losing a large portion of troops in their failed Counter Attack. Rundstedt quickly orders the troops in the North to strike at the Belgian Army, which is on the brink of collapse. Panzer Divisions as well as infantry quickly move across the lines, bombing Belgian positions Bruges and Roulers. German Planes bomb Belgian positions as well, forcing a large portion of the infantry to move into defensive positions. The Panzers quickly overrun the Belgian forces, forcing them into a retreat West into Dunkirk. Over 2/3 of the Belgians however, are unable to retreat, and are quickly captured by the Germans advancing into Bruges. The Germans continue advancing towards the town of Ostend along the shore, surrounding the remaining Belgians, who quickly surrender to the Germans. By nightfall on the 24th of May, the French 1st Army is completely encircled in the town of Lille, only 2,000 men actually reaching the BEF. Maxime Weygand is not one of 2,000 who escaped, and valiantly decides to stay with his men. Lord Gort orders another attempt to get to the encircled French forces. With 20,000 men, he orders a night attack, which allows his men to gain some land, but German Armor and Air quickly respond, killing a large amount of BEF Troops. By the morning of the 25th, BEF forces are on the retreat. With the capitulation of the Belgian Army the previous day, Lord Gort has no choice but a complete retreat to Dunkirk from the advancing Germans, who already are on the verge of surrounding his army. The BEF men stationed already in Dunkirk are ordered to hold until relieved by Lord Gort when he arrives with most of the BEF, and surviving French forces not encircled in Lille. Rundtedt orders Army Group B to capture Ypres, then push to Cassel to join with the 6th Panzer Division, to surround Lord Gort's BEF troops. The offensive begins, and German troops are quickly met with resistance by well over half of the BEF forces retreating to Dunkirk. German armor is concentrated on one area of the British defenses, and quickly break through. Using the Sickle-Cut maneuver, the Panzers quickly force 15,000 defending British troops into submission along the defenses at Ypres. The 6th Panzer Division quickly moves into the town of Cassel, with the 2nd Panzer Division defending the 6th from the North, swiftly moving to the town of Wormhoudt. The completely eliminates all land routes to Dunkirk, leaving several Bridges crossing the Yser River as the only chance of British retreat. On the 26th, in the early morning hours, the British begin to cross the bridges at the Yser under heavy German Air attack and artillery. Groups of German tanks under Rommel quickly capture one of the bridges, his tanks in position to completely cut off the British forces. Panzer Divisions at Gravelines in the meantime make a large push to the city of Dunkirk, quickly taking out Allied defenses, and capturing some of the vital beaches which would allow for British retreat. Winston Churchill in the meantime orders remaining British troops in the Dunkirk Area to 'Retreat at all costs'. Lord Gort however, sees surrender as the most likely option, since very few bridges still exist crossing the Yser to Dunkirk. He does try one last time to attack Rommel and to cross as many bridges as possible. Some 300,000 men are still south of the Yser, nearly trapped by Rommel and his Panzers, as well as the 1st Panzer Division about to capture Dunkirk itself. The British morale is deeply destroyed, many believing all is lost. Some 100,000 of the 300,000 men surrendered already over the last few days, the French, their only ally are surrounded and slowly being destroyed at Lille, and the Belgians gave up. Only 10,000-15,000 troops are still stationed in Dunkirk ready to leave at Lord Gort's command. Lord Gort on the 27th orders his men to cross the bridges, which are under heavy fire by the Germans. Some 20,000 British troops attack Rommel's men, but are beat back after less than an hour. Luftwaffe sorties manage to take out one of the bridges, as well as Lord Gort's headquarters, killing many of the officers of the BEF. Several hours later, Army Group B begins to move to the North of the Yser River, completely cutting off Lord Gort, who is now under heavy artillery and Armour attack. On the 28th, Army Group B attacks the British troops at Dunkirk, quickly bombing any ships approaching the ports to assist the 10,000 British troops there. Within hours, the garrison, at risk of complete annihilation, surrenders. Only 9,000 total troops in the battle escape to Britain, the rest give up, or encircles by the Wehrmacht. With the BEF and French surrounded, and the Belgians gone, the Battle of Dunkirk ends. The British now lost 300,000 men, who are trapped in France.