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

Dunkirk was a triumph? How far do you agree with this statement?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Dunkirk was a triumph? How far do you agree with this statement? In May 1940 Hitler turned is attack to the west. His next target was France. Hitler not wanting to directly invade France went around France; he first invaded Holland then Belgium and then finally France. This took less than two months hence the German tactics were called Blitzkrieg (lightning war). The German advance e was so quick that the British Expeditionary Force, along with some of the French army were caught by surprise and pushed back to Dunkirk. The troops were trapped between the German army and the Channel. The only escape route was by sea. There now a real danger that the whole British army would be wiped out. On 27th may the British government, ordered the evacuation of all troops from Dunkirk (it was called Operation Dynamo). Most soloiders were rescued by any means possible. Dunkirk has been sometimes been seen as a complete disaster and triumph. I will now be looking at different sources and information and giving my view into whether I think Dunkirk was a triumph or disaster. A map of the German advance of 1940 truly shows the situation the British army was in. ...read more.


The picture depicts the evacuation or ?Operation Dynamo? taking place. The picture does not look like a typical evacuation with lots of panic but rather it shows the soldiers in a calm and orderly fashion. Despite the somewhat tranquil scene Charles reminds us that there is still the dark smoke rising in the east still giving a warning to those who looked at the painting then that there is the still the danger of the Germans and again reminding them that are not cowards. In several sources there references to the fact that ?Operation Dynamo? was composed. It says in a source from a first-hand gunner officer that, ?the queues stood there fixed and regular, no bunching, no pushing?? This quote again emphasises the fact that there was no terror and that it was not a full scale pusillanimous run away. On the other hand there is evidence to suggest that ?Operation Dynamo? was not as glamorous as before suggested. Again from the account by a gunner officer, it goes on to say, ?Stepping over bodies we marched. A horrible stench of blood and mutilated flesh pervaded the place. There was no escape from it.? This half of the source gives us a completely different insight into what supposedly happened at Dunkirk. ...read more.


His armies had captured from the British 1200 field guns, 1250 anti-aircraft guns, 11,000 machine guns and 75,000 vehicles.? The British probably lost a lot of money due to abandoned or destroyed machinery and also the amount of allied prisoners taken compared to the 10,000 German prisoners captured probably also was a huge blow to the allied forces and especially Britain. To conclude I personally do not fully and entirely agree with the statement ?Dunkirk was a triumph?. I agree with the fact that it was a miracle and an amazing effort that the British were able to evacuate most of its soldiers from Dunkirk. However, despite this minor success I believe that Dunkirk was a disaster. The amount of prisoners and equipment captures certainly contributes to the disaster and the moral and behaviour of the soldiers clearly shows us that they thought it was a disaster as well. Also, whether it is to believed or not, the amount of British personnel killed in Dunkirk is unknown but nonetheless is important for it to be a disaster. The media I believe focused mainly on some of the positive points and lied about the rest, just so that there would be a lift in the British people?s morale. So overall, Dunkirk I think was military defeat but a propaganda victory. ...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. Was Dunkirk a Miracle or a Disaster?

    Immediately this tells me it is a book of learning so will state facts and will had collected different evidence because it is secondary, but where it covers such a large area of war history it will not be in great detail.

  2. The Evacuation of Dunkirk.

    The source is a contemporary source but its origin is unknown. Although the majority of the army were saved, they came back to Britain empty handed. All their unused weapons and equipment had to be abandoned in Dunkirk and France; these were seized by the Germans for later use in the war.

  1. Was Dunkirk a defeat?

    This source is from the book "The Defence of The United Kingdom" therefore this source should be quite reliable because a respected historian, Brian Collier wrote it. He does not seem to be biased towards Britain because the source is very negative.

  2. Dunkirk - Defeat, Deliverance or Victory?

    L.F Ellis described how that Dunkirk spirit welded the whole situation into a family affair. The small vessels brought home very few, and not that many soldiers escaped through the beaches, but more came through the harbour. But this was hardly morale boosting so Churchill smartly decided to launch his

  1. The Treaty of Versailles Pleased No-one How far do you agree with this statement?

    On the great continuum of cruelty, American President Woodrow Wilson took up the pacifism argument and thought that the treaty was much too cruel. According to Wilson, this treaty offered the hopes for a fresh new solution to the old ways of war and he believed that this treaty could end all wars.

  2. Defeat, Deliverance or Victory? Which of these best describes Dunkirk?

    The date of the account is unknown making it less reliable as some days, 27th May, the afternoon of the 29th May and the 1st of June, there was heavy Luftwaffe bombing which could have caused the severe demoralisation. The source goes against my previous knowledge and other sources such as 14(i)

  1. How successful was Dunkirk

    Finally an additional source which supports the military aspect of defeat is an article from the South Wales Echo which gives a general overview on Dunkirk giving facts and figures on the number of people wounded and killed. He also labels Dunkirk as a colossal military disaster which along with

  2. Was Dunkirk a Triumph?

    Despite the intense attack by the German air force, thousands of British soldiers escaped to fight another day. It was a psychological victory for England because it showed they were down but not out. Germany had won the day for sure, but despite the bloody beating England received, she was still standing.

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