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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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Introduction

How useful are sources A, B and C in understanding what the battle of Dunkirk was like? Explain your answer. Sources A, B and C are each accounts on the Battle of Dunkirk. Each of them are firsthand accounts, given by men from the British Navy who experienced the Battle of Dunkirk. They are useful, but due to particular reasons, their usefulness is also limited. Source A is, as are all the sources, a firsthand account. This means that it is automatically a useful source, as it was made by someone who was there at the time, and is therefore contemporary. In Source A, Commander Thomas Kerr, one of the naval officers sent to organise the evacuation, talks about the general state of the army, and the disarray it was in. What he says suggests that the soldiers he had came across had really had a blow to their spirit and morale. ...read more.

Middle

There is little doubt as to the motives behind the source, as it seems it was merely intended to inform someone of what the battle was like. It is also a fairly detailed source, which lots of vivid imagery and description. This gives a good understanding of the Battle of Dunkirk. However, as it is a firsthand source it comes with the limitations all firsthand sources have: only a single snapshot of what one person saw, and this makes it difficult to understand the Battle of Dunkirk as a whole. It is also another testament from someone in the Navy, and therefore it is again uncertain as to whether or not this source may be influenced by rivalry. It also fails to mention a number of aspects of the battle, such as the role of the RAF and of the French, and also lacks any sort of statistics of the battle. ...read more.

Conclusion

This makes it difficult to understand the Battle of Dunkirk in itself. As the three sources are only accounts from one group of people - the Navy - they cannot give the understanding that, for example, accounts from the air force, the army and the navy might give. There is also much content that is missing from the sources, such as background information and statistics. Also, as they are all naval accounts, they can only give understanding of what happened after the start of the evacuation. This makes it difficult to understand the actual Battle of Dunkirk. Overall, it seems the understanding that these sources offer of the Battle of Dunkirk is limited. Each of them lack the comprehensiveness and detailed information required to be able to fully understand the Battle of Dunkirk, such as background information, statistics and accounts from different perspectives. The fact that each account can only described what happened after the start of the evacuation makes it very difficult to understand the actual Battle of Dunkirk before the evacuation. ...read more.

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