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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" (AJP Taylor). Is there sufficient evidence in Sources A to G to support this interpretation? I believe that there is insufficient evidence in sources A to G to support this interpretation of Dunkirk. Although it appears that Dunkirk was a deliverance many of the Sources may be biased towards this view as they were published contemporaneously and would have had to be censored to keep morale high and it was actually a disaster well disguised. Source A shows Dunkirk to be deliverance as although the Luftwaffe were dropping bombs on the troops, unhindered by the RAF due to Churchill's decision to hold them back as "the war for France is over", they were still ordered and standing in queues awaiting rescue. ...read more.

Middle

And the ship in the background shows deliverance for the troops. Yet there was no heavy weaponry or AA guns as they had been destroyed. Source D states that "Our men have gained immeasurably in experience" which shows Dunkirk as a deliverance as the men who returned were now battle hardened. The source also says though "We have had great losses in equipment" which shows the disaster of Dunkirk as an army cannot fight without weaponry. Source D is likely to be biased to positive aspects of Dunkirk as it is a speech given by the Minister of War in June 1940 and may be propaganda to keep morale high. Source E mostly shows Dunkirk as deliverance by saying "Tired, Dirty, Hungry they came back-unbeatable" this implies that despite retreating from Dunkirk the British were the victors not the Germans. ...read more.

Conclusion

There was also the sinking of the Queen of the Channel with the loss of 1000 men, but this showed that the eastern mole could be used to allow men to be evacuated at a much higher rate. Acts of heroism were also shown such as Casel where British troops held out for three days against the Germans. In conclusion although the majority of the sources show Dunkirk to be a deliverance many of them were only snapshots of the beaches and do not give the full picture. Many were pieces of censored propaganda designed to keep up British morale during the War and they overlook the huge loss of equipment. It is because of this that I believe that Dunkirk was more of a disaster than a deliverance as despite rescuing 338,226 men, Britain had lost all of their weaponry and they were now ill equipped and not suited to fighting. 726 ...read more.

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