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Dunkirk.

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Introduction

Dunkirk Hitler was a determined, harsh, and powerful leader. Who was full of corrupted ideas, ideas of dominating other countries. He had already invaded Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and was planning to conquer Poland. When he did, this has caused a spark for a war. In April 1940, both Norway and Denmark had fallen and on the 10th of May the German army invaded Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. France was his next target. By the 27th of May the German Army had successfully advanced towards the beaches of Dunkirk and with help from their Luftwaffe, he had been able to trap the BEF there. On the 27th of May the British Government launched "Operation Dynamo", it was an evacuation plan to rescue soldiers trapped on the beach. The evacuation continued for a whole week. Nearly 340,000 men were saved including 140,000 French troops, but they were very demoralised. You could say Dunkirk was a defeat because Britain had lost a lot of ground, machinery, lives and morale in the forces, and the British public was severely damaged. The evacuation was also panicked, and disorderly. In many ways Dunkirk was a military defeat, because of the loss of craft and weapons e.g., motor ships, planes vehicles, tanks, ammunition, and guns. Dunkirk was also a defeat in morale, because of the visible decrease of confidence in the armed forces and in the public. But the most important aspect of defeat was the nature of the evacuation, it seems that the retreat of the evacuation was disorderly, and panicked. From my studies I know that men scrambled desperately to escape from Dunkirk, troops were left to fend for themselves, and regiments were split up. ...read more.

Middle

Dunkirk was a victory for morale due to the high sprits of the British public. These sources backup this view An extracted from Churchill's memoirs "The Second World War." He comments. "How in the midst of our victory, glory came to the island people". This speech gives a great boost to the British morale, and it also lifts the Dunkirk spirit. Due to the high spirit of the public this allowed Britain to continue with the war. I would think this source is quite reliable because the Prime Minster has all the facts available to him therefore it is extremely well informed. J.B Priestley comments on how Britain snatched glory out of defeat and also the bravery of the public who made an excursion to hell on holiday steamers and came back victorious. This had lifted the Dunkirk Spirit because J.B. Priestley is a very highly respected radio presenter. He was also being compared with Churchill as it states "and as important to propaganda as Churchill", therefore he must be a very good speaker. Winston Churchill recalls in his memoirs talking to his Minister at the beginning of the Dunkirk period. He states that whatever happens in Dunkirk victory or defeat Britain will fight on, this shows Churchill's determination as a leader, He also comments on, "There was a white glow, overpowering, sublime, which ran through our Island from end to end", this suggests that the soldiers were victorious, as he describes them as "sublime". This speech has kept the spirits high for the politicians and the British public. This source has been extracted from Churchill's memoirs published in 1959 but written during the war; therefore this source is primary evidence. ...read more.

Conclusion

In terms of the nature of the evacuation it was also a victory, this is due to the large amount of men saved during operation Dynamo. Operation Dynamo exceeded expectation, the government initially thought that they would save about 40,000 men, but actual total saved was 340,000. Operation Dynamo was extremely successful because they had couple of days to put the plan together. The government used all the ships they could find; even the pleasure boats were used to help with the evacuation. The halt of the German tanks gave Ramsay more time to put the operation together and also gave the Soldiers more time to put up defences and hold Dunkirk for nine days. We are still not sure why the tanks halted but nevertheless the delay had increased the number of soldiers saved. Another factor that helped the evacuation was the cloud of smoke, 47,310 men was saved because the smoke delayed the nazi attacks on evacuating the boats. The sources that have helped me come to this conclusion that Dunkirk was natural victory are source 5 part (I), and source 10 these sources informed me of the number of allied troops saved and the effectiveness of Operation Dynamo. Operation Dynamo lasted nine days and saved 340,000 soldiers and this is the reason why I think Dunkirk was a natural victory. Dunkirk may have been a military defeat, and lost tones of machinery, but at the end of day lives were saved, and in comparison to that the machines are worthless, because they can always be replaced, but lives cannot The huge of amount of lives saved is mainly due to the nature of the evacuation, and the high morale of the people. ...read more.

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