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How useful are sources A, B and C in understanding what the battle of Dunkirk was like? Explain your answer.

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Ashley Simon History Coursework 4th February 2003 Dunkirk Coursework Essay 1 How useful are sources A, B and C in understanding what the battle of Dunkirk was like? Explain your answer. On May 26th 1940, the British and French forces found themselves on the beaches of Dunkirk after being pushed back from Brussels by the German soldiers. They had to be evacuated to safety from the shores and many small boats came and picked up the men from the water. Overall, Dunkirk was believed to be successful as many men were saved. I will now discuss how the sources are and are not helpful in telling us what happened at Dunkirk. Source A is an account given by ommander Thomas Kerr, one of the naval officers who were sent to organize the evacuation. Source A is a helpful source but has many limitations. It does not give us the opinion of the public behind the war which means we are not entirely sure as to whether the public backed the war or not. Source A does not give us the government opinion. It is important to know the government view because they are the main people behind the war and the ones who make all the decisions. ...read more.


This source also has a few weaknesses, which make it less helpful. One of these weaknesses is that it does not give us an opinion of how organized the men on the beaches were like Source a does. In addition, this source does not tell us the role, which the Navy played at Dunkirk and how successful they were. This source also does not list the problems, which were faced at Dunkirk, like the fact that many resources had to be destroyed or left behind, as they could not be carried on the boats. This meant that many ammunitions and vehicles were destroyed. Although many factors make the sources weak and in some cases unreliable they can also be quite helpful in giving us an idea of some of the things which took place at Dunkirk. Source A is helpful in many ways because it gives us a personal account of how well the navy performed and gives us a view of how organised the men on the beaches were. We get this view of how organised they were when the Naval officer who is giving his account refers to the soldiers as a rabble. This source also gives us a little view of the losses at Dunkirk because it says that they had: "the odds ...read more.


The fact that the sergeant has driven away eight German bombers makes him look very heroic and brave. This source is similar to Source B again because it gives us a view of the German attacks at Dunkirk. This helps to gives us a better understanding of what the battles were like and who was in control. All of the sources give us a personal account of seaman who was at Dunkirk helping the evacuation. All the sources together give a rough outline as to what the battle of Dunkirk was like, helping our understanding of Dunkirk. However, all of the sources fail to give us the public and government opinion on the war, which means they fail to give us an overall view of whether the majority of the people supported the war. This means that their accounts can be seen as unreliable as they do not have the backing of a majority to support their view. I think that all of the sources are equally as helpful as they all give a personal account of different aspects of Dunkirk, which means they cannot be measured against one another because they give us different information. Although the sources had many weaknesses, they also had strengths. Overall, I think that the sources had more strengths than weaknesses and were useful in giving an account of Dunkirk. 1 ...read more.

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