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Dunkirk Was A Great Deliverence and a Great Disaster

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Introduction

"Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster." 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 In this essay I am going to use sources A to F to see whether there is sufficient evidence to support the interpretation that "Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster." Source A shows the official war artist Charles Cundall's interpretation of Dunkirk. The painting shows Dunkirk in two different ways. One is the fact that boats are carrying people away to safety and the other that people are still left on the beaches and still in danger. They are however very organised and well structured which shows that they are a good, well-organised army. Source A is however biased as it is written by the official war artist Charles Cundall and therefore it may be closely monitored and will have to show this impression of Dunkirk as more of a success than a disaster to keep morale and keep people's hopes alive back in Britain. ...read more.

Middle

Source C shows the troops on the Dunkirk beaches firing on German planes. I am unsure as to why this photograph was taken as it serves no real purpose other than to support the idea that Dunkirk was a great deliverance over a great disaster as it shows that although they were greatly outnumbered they were still brave and never gave up, this is why I feel it was only taken to show people back in Britain that all was not lost and to keep morale up. The photograph is however a snapshot in time and an action shot so it could have been for a different purpose as the photographer is not named. Source D is an extract from a speech by the Minister of War in 1940. It's purpose is to boost morale as it uses language such as "seasoned veterans" and "guarantee of final victory." It is however quite limited as it is going to be government supporting as it was written by the minister of war and at the time there was censorship as to what could be published in the press. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore the source shows the event as a great deliverance. Source F is an extract from "English History" which was published in 1965. It shows a more balanced view of the events and shows it from both views. It says that the men were very brave and well organised, but many aircraft and artillery were lost in the process. This shows that he had written this source based on different primary sources to give a balanced view of the battle. Therefore I would say it shows reasons for the fact that it was a success and a disaster but from a neutral perspective. In conclusion I feel that Dunkirk is known for a number of reasons, firstly the bravery of the men and the brilliant organisation of the troops on the beaches. On the other hand the army returned to Britain exhausted and tired, they had no weaponry. My view on the matter is that Britain's organisation was superb but when Britain limped back to mainland the morale was low and without the weaponry it would in my view be remembered more as a disaster. ...read more.

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