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Dunkirk was a Great Deliverance and a Great Disaster

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Introduction

Dunkirk was a Great Deliverance and a Great Disaster Is there sufficient evidence in sources D-I to support this? A.J.P Taylor is a very respected British historian and for him to come up with such a contradictory quote there must have been some sort of evidence and a meaning to it, so to determine whether it was a deliverance or disaster we need to assess the positives and negatives of the evacuation, then decide on the sources reliability and utility to conclude if there is sufficient evidence. Source D was painted by Charles Cundall and he was given an artistic license, which means he didn't have to produce an accurate painting. The fact that he is British means he would have probably produced a painting the aim of which would have been to keep the morale of the British population high and contributed to the Dunkirk myth. This source agrees with the quote "Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster" as it shows men being rescued, the Blitzkrieg attack and boats that have capsized. ...read more.

Middle

The picture in itself however tells us very little apart from the fact we cannot see columns of men waiting to be rescued or any boats close by. Source G was part of a speech by Anthony Eden, the Minister of War. As it was made after the evacuation it is a secondary source albeit not by much and the fact that he was British and a Minister it is obviously biased. (Conversely, he was high up so will have had access to government archives and therefore has an intelligent opinion on the state of the BEF). Apart from "we have had great losses in equipment" there were no negatives and it was based heavily on improving public morale so would try to be picturing it as a deliverance; it did not mention the thousands of men lost or taken prisoner or any other bad points. The evidence in this source isn't sufficient enough to agree or disagree with the interpretation that "Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster." ...read more.

Conclusion

He is also the writer of the quote that the question is based on and supports it with evidence in the source such as "almost the entire BEF was saved" but also put forward the losses such as "Six destroyers had been sunk and nineteen damaged" and "The RAF had lost 474 planes" The source is a balanced view of Dunkirk. It mentions both the negative and positive aspects. Although the writer was the one who made the quote and provides evidence to support it, there is too much evidence providing different information for it to prove the quote right. In conclusion, Sources D and G both show the good and bad sides of the evacuation and corroborate with Source I which involves both in detail. Whereas, Sources E and F are unreliable as could be staged and neither point towards either deliverance or disaster and Source H agree with Source I in facts and opinion. Therefore the majority of evidence shows it was both a great deliverance and a great disaster because of the circumstances and what we know happened and will happen. ?? ?? ?? ?? By Ben Davies ...read more.

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