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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 evidence in sources A-F to support this interpretation? Sources and own knowledge -This statement is a very vague statement and as a result, it is a statement that can be easily justified using Sources A to F. In this response I will examine what each source is telling us, and whether it agrees, disagrees or is neutral to the statement, "Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster". The Dunkirk evacuation, codenamed Operation Dynamo by the British, was the large evacuation of Allied soldiers from May 26 to June 4, 1940, during the Battle of Dunkirk. The plan was created by British Vice Admiral Bertram Ramsay and was accepted by Winston Churchill. In the 9 days, more than three hundred thousand (338,226) soldiers - 218,226 British and 120,000 French - were rescued from Dunkirk, France and the surrounding beaches by a hastily assembled fleet of about seven hundred boats. ...read more.

Middle

From my own knowledge I know that this photo is more than likely to have been taken before the bombing raids and the attack on the British soldiers started, as there are no boats shown in the photograph, when we know that boats were there when they were being attacked to take the soldiers home and this would explain the lack of disruption. Furthermore, photographs only show a snapshot in time, and as a result this source can prove neither that Dunkirk was a deliverance or disaster for the British. -Source C can support both claims that Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster. It shows this as soldiers are firing at planes with normal rifles, and could be succeeding in destroying them. The soldiers shooting at the sky and what almost looks like an explosion in the background show this. However the dark object in the background could just be a ship that had come to evacuate the soldiers. ...read more.

Conclusion

It tells us many of the facts that led him to create the statement. As Taylor was a British historian he would have considered all evidence before making his point and any other conclusion. As a result, this source shows maximum reliability, as he backs up his point with lots of evidence. -With each source taken into account, we can see that Dunkirk was both a great deliverance and a great disaster. However, we should also take into account the fact that Germany 'allowed' the majority of the British army to escape. This point shows that even if the evacuation is seen as a great deliverance it could have been completely different. In a summary, due to the evacuation of many soldiers and almost the entire of the B.E.F which made up the all of the fully trained British soldiers. I think Dunkirk was more a deliverance and a blessing in disguise. It showed that the whole of Britain was ready to protect their army and was ready for war; this served as a massive morale booster. ...read more.

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