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

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Introduction

Johnathon Greenfield Assignment 1: Model A2: Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain 1) How useful are the sources A, B and C in understanding what the battle for Dunkirk was like? Explain your answer. Sources A, B and C are useful in understanding what the Battle for Dunkirk was like because they are all taken from people who were there at the time. In source A we are told that it was a terrible night, which contradicts source C, which says that, an RASC sergeant was the bravest man he saw, and describes the heroic stunts that he does. This is just one insight into the events that happened. In source A we are told that the officers were useless, and many were missing. This makes me question the reliability of each source. From my own knowledge, I know that the Battle for Dunkirk wasn't as glorious as it is made out here, and that source A is most likely more reliable than source C. Many thousands of men were lost in this battle, and all of their artillery and machinery was left behind for the Germans. ...read more.

Middle

The painting shows the troops being rescued from the Dunkirk beaches and we can see that there are thousands of men and many boats and ships of different sizes. The source also shows us that there is a Blitzkrieg attack being carried out by the German Luftwaffe. We can also see that the men waiting on the beaches are lined up in queues. What the source doesn't show, however, is any emotion. We cannot see the soldiers' faces so we can't even guess what they are feeling nor can we see exact numbers or facts. The artist of this painting was given an artistic license, which means he didn't have to produce an accurate painting. The fact that he is British means he would have probably produced a painting the aim of which would have been to keep the morale of the British population high. Another reason that Source D cannot be relied upon is that the source is secondary: the artist wasn't there at the time. This source agrees with the quote "Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster" as it shows both men being rescued, the Blitzkrieg attack and boats that have capsized. ...read more.

Conclusion

A.J.P Taylor was the writer of the quote that "Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster" and he provides evidence to support this interpretation within the source. He says, "Almost the entire BEF was saved" but he also says, "It had lost virtually all its guns, tanks and other heavy equipment." The source is a balanced view of Dunkirk. It mentions both the negative and positive aspects. Although the writer was the one who made the quote and provides evidence to support it, there is too much evidence providing different information for it to prove the quote right. Source J is a video documentary made for the education of British people, many years after the war. It shows two movies made at the time of the Battle for Dunkirk, one is British and the other is German. By themselves, these movies are biased towards each country, but put together they show the whole picture. The British movie was mostly staged, and only one sweeping shot is actually at Dunkirk from one of the ships. The German movie shows the capture of British and French troops, and also shows the destruction of Dunkirk. From all of these sources, there is sufficient proof that Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster, just like A.J.P. Taylor said. ...read more.

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