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Dunkirk and the battle of Britain.

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Introduction

GCSE History Coursework Summer 2002 Dunkirk and the battle of Britain The sources given are limited use when trying to understand what the battle of Dunkirk was like. The sources are all from the viewpoint of force members who viewed the battle from the sea whereas in order to have a complete picture it would be helpful to see evidence provided which took into account the experience of the foot soldiers, German source material, views from objective bystanders, if there were any, and additional statistical or factual information from a secondary source which would enable the audience to gain a much clearer and more objective understanding from the event s of Dunkirk At dawn on May 10th 1940, the armies of Nazi Germany burst through the borders of their country to begin a march of conquest across Western Europe. Spearheaded by formidable armada of tanks and closely supported by the most powerful fleet of attract aircraft ever assembled, they set out to do what they didn't accomplish in world war one, to crush France and humble Britain. Allied forces quickly crumbled under the onslaught. In less than three weeks, Adolf Hitler achieved the most extraordinary military triumph of modern times. Not only was the French army on the verge of collapse but the British expeditionary force who were sent across the English channel to help stop the Germans, was trapped across the sea at Dunkirk on the north-west coast of France. ...read more.

Middle

In terms of the mood and the atmosphere at Dunkirk. I think a picture source would be useful to go along with the sources. We can then see the mood, atmosphere and the general attitude of the soldiers on the beach. Also a source from the opinions of the British Expeditionary force would be very useful. I could then compare the views of the soldier that commander Thomas Kerr in source A. German sources would have been shown the other view to the battle showing what they were doing to actually overcome and prevent the mass evacuation. Statistical and factual evidence would be useful in providing the reader with background information to the event and allowing them to look at them to make their own minds up as the Battle of Dunkirk was actually like. I think the sources are quite useful overall. Although they, might include traces of government propaganda- they give a clear and honest view of the evacuation process. I believe there is propaganda included as a way of the British Expeditionary Force gaining support in means of more men signing up to fight for their country. The Indications given out from the commanders and the general is that the force was a Shambles. If people back home were to read these statements, they would feel inspired to do their bit and sign up as a soldier Was Dunkirk a great deliverance or a great Disaster? ...read more.

Conclusion

Source I is A.J.P Taylor, a British historians view of the Dunkirk operation published in the book "English History" in 1965. The deliverance according to this article is that the army were overwhelmed and boosted by the help of people back home. The sight of 86- ships of all description aided and encouraged the troops to continue and the knowledge the whole world was watching this great escape gave the BEF the strength to pull through. As we know, the main deliverance is the evacuation process, saving almost the entire force. Also, threat the British people fall felt obliged to fishing trawlers showed the togetherness and unity among the public. The disaster according to the passage is virtually all the guns were lost: tanks and other heavy equipment were either destroyed or left behind by the BEF as there was no method of bringing them hone. Many men abandoned their rifles, which was a disheartening sight to other troops. The air force was reduced considerably, with 474 planes lost very few planes has gained ground on allies advantages. Altogether I think Dunkirk was a distinct deliverance of the British expeditionary force. There was a considerable loss of heavy artillery but to get 338,226 men back to British soil was a heavy psychological achievement that all these men were saved. Also the unity within Britain was a considerable factor, for the soldiers remaining on the beaches of Dunkirk, to see the sight of 850 boats manning an evacuation must have been a timely boost and a huge disaster to the axis powers ...read more.

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