• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster" (A.J.P Taylor) Is there sufficient evidence in sources A-G to support this interpretation? Use the sources and knowledge form your studies to explain your answer.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Chris Knight "Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster." (A.J.P Taylor) Is there sufficient evidence in sources A-G to support this interpretation? Use the sources and knowledge form your studies to explain your answer The quote made by A.J.P Taylor is a contradiction. The French were expecting to be attacked through the Maginot Line, but instead Germany attacked through Belgium. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) had been sent across to France but found it a struggle to work together with the French and Belgian troops. Because France had been taken by surprise from the attack through Belgium the allies were pushed back towards Dunkirk. Hundreds of British boats and ships of all sizes were sent across the channel to bring the soldiers home. This evacuation was known as Operation Dynamo. There was thousands of men at Dunkirk, 68,000 were killed, yet 348,000 were rescued. The evacuation was very difficult for the British, as there were so many men to be rescued and it was difficult for the larger boats and ships to get far enough into shore. What made the rescue even more difficult was the fact that the Germans were carrying out a Blitzkrieg attack whilst Operation Dynamo was occurring. In this essay I will need to study all evidence given and decide whether or not it is sufficient enough to come to conclusion on whether or not the statement in the quote is true. ...read more.

Middle

It doesn't show the water, so we can't see any boats. The source doesn't show the soldiers' feelings and it doesn't give a big enough picture to provide sufficient enough evidence to either agree or disagree with the quote. However, it does agree with Source A in the way that they both show men lined in queues. It is possible that the artist of Source A used this photograph as evidence to study. Source C is also a photograph; it shows British troops at Dunkirk firing on German planes. It can be relied on because it is a photograph and depicts what actually appeared and would not have been staged. The photograph, however, shows us very little. We can only see a very small number of men firing at German planes and we cannot see any boats or men waiting to be rescued. The evidence this photograph provides is reliable, yet it is nowhere near sufficient enough to come to an agreement with the statement in the quote. Source D comes from a speech made by Anthony Eden, who was the British Minister of War at that time. This speech was made in 1940. The source is secondary in that the speech was made after the events of Dunkirk, although it was not so long afterwards. The fact that the speech was made by a British Minister of War means it will most certainly be biased. ...read more.

Conclusion

A.J.P Taylor was the writer of the quote that "Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster" and he provides evidence to support this interpretation within the source. He says, "Almost the entire BEF was saved" but he also says, "It had lost virtually all its guns, tanks and other heavy equipment." 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. Although we were given many sources of evidence to study, the fact that they disagree in many ways, some are biased and some don't give a big enough picture means we do not have sufficient enough evidence to agree with the interpretation that "Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster". Most of the sources only give one view or opinion and many of the contemporary written sources and Source A, the painting, were produced as a form of propaganda to keep the morale of the British high. So the evidence provided is too unreliable overall for us to either agree or disagree with the interpretation "Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster". ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. Dunkirk - Defeat, Deliverance or Victory?

    time the British public realised that they could actually lose the war. their in tatters the armed forces had lost machinery men and most importantly the soldiers had lost the belief that they could beat the Nazis. Many sources back up this view by various Historians. Source 14 (part II)

  2. Was Dunkirk a Miracle or a Disaster?

    There were many books and interviews published about the tragedies of Dunkirk many years after the event. Brian Horrocks, an evacuee from Dunkirk wrote an autobiography about his memoirs of the event - published in 1960. He's an eyewitness that makes it a primary piece of evidence written on behalf

  1. The Evacuation of Dunkirk.

    The contemporary British sources show the Dunkirk evacuation to be a miracle, the reasons for this are that, at that time the British people's spirits needed boosting and by using propaganda Churchill was successful in doing exactly this. For example, the newspapers that described the evacuation to be a miracle

  2. Analysis of different sources of information about Dunkirk.

    Also we only see one aspect of the evacuation meaning we do not get a full overview. Source D is useful to our enquiry because it tells us that many different boats such as steamers, yachts and rowing boats helped out to bring the gallant Bri and Fre troops.

  1. Was Dunkirk a defeat?

    It also made Churchill's position of Prime Minister stronger because he had saved 340,000 soldiers from an island, which is, covered which bombs; therefore this had boosted his popularity. The source is extracted from the book "The incredible Escape", written by an American, Norman Gelb.

  2. Dunkirk - Defeat, Deliverance or Victory?

    However, it does show the way in which the B.E.F were coming together in Dunkirk spirit, but nevertheless retreating to boats is defeat, whether by foot or vehicles. It does show that they were doing the best they could in a deteriorating situation, but obviously each soldier was returning demoralized with very little feeling of a victory.

  1. Was Dunkirk a Triumph?

    The author, William Joyce, is very important to know because the source is deeply influenced by the author. In this case William Joyce influenced the opposite of the interpretation made of Dunkirk, in which he undermines the confidence of Britain.

  2. The Evacuation from Dunkirk in World War 2 was a great Disaster for Britain. ...

    There are several sources to demonstrate this. Source C, a primary source is a cartoon by David Low, it was published in the London Evening Standard and was published in the 1900s, (assuming around 1915). It shows a soldier (possibly British)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work