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"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.

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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.


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.


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.

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