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Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster. (A.J.P Taylor) Is there sufficient evidence in sources D to I to support this interpretation?

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Introduction

"Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster." (A.J.P Taylor) Is there sufficient evidence in sources D to I to support this interpretation? In order to tell whether there is enough evidence in sources D to I to support the interpretation I need to look at each sources reliability and value. I also need to decide whether Dunkirk was a success and a disaster at the same time. Source D shows a contemporary painting of the time. This could imply that it is reliable because it is of the time. However, the artist was most definitely employed by the government to make Dunkirk look like a great victory. This means that it would be biased in making everything look good. I also do not know where the artist got the information from. It is very unlikely that he was there at the time so no probably got it from other sources. These sources are going to be modified by the government. The painting shows a lot of boats there for the rescue and it also shows a lot of troops there to be rescued. ...read more.

Middle

I know that the government covered up what really happened and this is an example of how. The purpose of this speech was to keep the moral of the British public high. If they told them what had really happened the public would lose all hope of victory. This tells me that Dunkirk was a great disaster because the government are trying to cover it up. If everything went according to plan they wouldn't have to cover anything up. Looking at it from the point of view of the public, Dunkirk was a great deliverance because they refused to accept defeat. Source H is an extract from a British newspaper at the time. Although it is a primary source it is not reliable because the information is from the government. Because it is a contemporary source, government censorship prevented papers from publishing anything that suggests a defeat. Therefore, it is going to be biased in making the army look like heroes. I can see this because it says "TIRED, DIRTY, HUNGRY, TEHY CAME BACK - UNBEATABLE. I know that they were beaten because they had to be evacuated. ...read more.

Conclusion

Sources D, G and H are less reliable because they have been based on government information. This information is most likely to be biased to keep the moral of the public high. Sources E and F both show me what it was like at Dunkirk. They show great deliverance because of the amount of troops that were evacuated was massive and that the troops were still fighting. It also shows a great disaster because the troops are having to evacuate which suggests defeat. Finally, Source I was written in a book after the time by a historian. It is unlikely to be biased and it is not based on government information. It suggests a great deliverance because of the amount of troops rescued and that citizen boats joined in. It also suggests great disaster because the BEF had lost most of its equipment and that six destroyers were destroyed and 474 aeroplanes were lost. If the government had not covered it up the British publics' moral would have gone down and they would have lost all chance of victory. The whole of Operation Dynamo was a success however; the British had been pushed right out of France in great defeat. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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