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"Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster." AJP Taylor. Is there sufficient evidence in sources A to G to support this interpretation? Use the sources and knowledge from your studies to explain your answer.

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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? Use the sources and knowledge from your studies to explain your answer. "Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster" AJP Taylor. I will be looking at whether there is sufficient evidence to support this interpretation of Dunkirk. I will study a variety of sources and decide if they agree or disagree with this interpretation. On 27th May 1940 Winston Churchill, who led the British Government, put into action a plan called "Operation Dynamo". It was a plan to evacuate 350,000 British and Allied troops from the Dunkirk and it's surrounding beaches. The Allied forces had retreated to the Channel port on the Northern coast of France because the German army had pushed them back using Blitzkrieg tactics, which focused on the speed. The entire British Expeditionary Force (BEF) were located in France and all had retreated to Dunkirk. The BEF was Britain's Professional army and were the only troops that were being used by Britain. ...read more.

Middle

This is reliable as it is evidence of what happened at that time, but is limited as to what it can show. It shows Dunkirk as a Great Disaster as they resorted to such desperate measures and also because there are British Casualties. Source D is a speech by Anthony Eden, Minister of War, made in June 1940. The speech is called "The Spirit Of The British Army" It is very biased as he probably would try to raise moral or put a certain spin on Dunkirk. "...great losses in equipment." This phrase supports the view of Dunkirk being a great Disaster. But Anthony Eden also describes the BEF as "a body of seasoned veterans." and also says they have a "refusal to accept defeat". Although the Minister of War admits they had great losses in equipment he does not believe it matters as they have grown hugely in morale and have gained a self belief that "is the guarantee of final victory". If this is to be believed then it illustrates a great deliverance. Source E is an extract from The Daily Express in May 31 1940. ...read more.

Conclusion

I also know that almost 27,000 of the troops rescued were done so by Civilian boats and this was a huge morale boost and shows the unity of the Britain. All of this lends weight towards Dunkirk being a great Deliverance. The British left behind 1200 field guns, 1250 anti-aircraft guns, 11,000 machine guns and 75,000 vehicles. This was a great disaster for the British as they would have to quickly make all of this again. Overall, 1,121,000 Dutch, Belgian, French and British Prisoners were taken in just 6 months leading up to and at operation dynamo. This was a great disaster After Dunkirk, the German army turned south and quickly captured Paris and the remaining parts of France, almost the whole of Europe was under Nazi control. The French officially surrendered three weeks later. This effectively meant that Britain was out of the war and was a great disaster. In conclusion I believe that Dunkirk was a great Disaster because their evacuation from Europe meant that they would have to invade Europe by Sea or Air, whilst the entire German army was stationed there. I also think that their huge losses in equipment would have a huge effect as they would have to build all their vehicles and a lot of weaponry again. By David Locke ...read more.

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