• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14
  15. 15
    15
  16. 16
    16

The Evacuation of Dunkirk.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

THE DUNKIRK EVACUATION A "MIRACLE OR A DEFEAT" The Dunkirk evacuation can be seen in two forms a 'Miracle' or a 'Defeat'. The British took it as a wonderful miracle; however the Germans believed that Dunkirk was a defeat for the British. The reasons for this and evidence to support it will be discussed below. Reasons why the Dunkirk evacuation can be seen as a miracle To many people, the Dunkirk evacuation was seen as a great miracle. The Dunkirk evacuation ended on the 4th of June, 1940. The British brought back home with them up to 300,000 soldiers who fought the Second World War on behalf of the British and French. This was thought to be an amazing achievement because it meant that most of the British troops could be used to fight again during the war. These troops were very important to Britain, as they were very experienced and it would be difficult for the British to rebuild a whole new army to fight the Germans. Now Britain would still be able to continue in the war as they had not yet lost their army. Below is a photograph that shows British soldiers happy to be home after their rescue from Dunkirk. This source is a contemporary source that has been produced by the British to show how the evacuation was a miracle. Source M9 Another source that supports the evacuation as a miracle is the shown below. The table shows the number of British and Allied troops that landed in England by 4th June. The author of this source and its origin is unknown; it is also unknown as to when this source was produced. However the source helps us to understand why the evacuation can be seen as a miracle due to the vast amount of soldiers that were saved over a period of nine days. Source M2 Some of the great miracles that took place were on the beaches of Dunkirk. ...read more.

Middle

Also when Britain knew that they were being defeated they abandoned the support of the French, to save their own necks. The French waiting at Dunkirk were very badly treated and it could be said that France had been betrayed by its own Allies. Source D7 In conclusion the Germans claimed that the BEF were defeated, they may have escaped but they left many possessions behind which proved their defeat. These made the Germans belief stronger, that the BEF were cowards and were scared of them and ran to Dunkirk for help. The different interpretations of the Dunkirk evacuation Both the German and British views are totally different. They have come up with different interpretations of the Dunkirk evacuation. This will be discussed in this section. The Contemporary British View During the period of the war, the evacuation was an extremely critical factor for the British Government. They had to be very careful, making sure that the people don't find out about the condition at Dunkirk, otherwise it would a cause a lot of panic and chaos. So at that time the Government provided a positive attitude about the evacuation. It was important for them to keep up their morale and make the people feel proud of their country and the armed forces. (SOURCE M3) This source is extracted from an illustrated book of the History of WW2. It was produced by the British and was published after the war. It claims that the Dunkirk evacuation was a miracle. A powerful quote from Churchill's report to Parliament at the time of the evacuation, gives the impression that the BEF were victorious and that it was a miracle for so many men to be saved. The source refers to Dunkirk as a miracle, the source can be said to be quite reliable, as it is from a resource book and isn't a form of propaganda, however the speech made by Churchill cannot be relied upon as he only wanted to keep up the peoples morale and therefore used a lot of propaganda. ...read more.

Conclusion

In other words it is humiliating and degrading the British by portrayed this Cartoon. The reason Italy supported Germany in the war is because Italy had joined the German forces during the German attack against France. So all the way they were for Hitler and if anyone went against Hitler they supported him just like America had supported Britain. The source on the following page is a German poster which was used in France. It was used to create hatred against the British. What the source is showing is that the French soldiers are holding back the Nazis while the British troops escape. It is trying to show the French how the British are unfaithful as they betrayed the French troops and left them to face the Nazis by themselves while they tried to retreat. CONCLUSION After analysing all these sources and looking at different views you can conclude your own view. In my opinion Dunkirk was a big defeat for the British because they fled the German attack, rather than facing them with courage. Also many sources after Dunkirk agree with this definition because now they are able to tell the truth of what really happened due to the fact that it will not affect anybody. However, I do think that the Dunkirk evacuation was in a way a miracle due to the large number of soldiers that had been rescued. My reasons for believing this are not from the sources that were used to create propaganda but by reviewing the sources I have come to a conclusion that the evacuation was a military defeat as the president even clarified that in private, but it was successful in helping many of the soldiers to escape from the hands of the Nazis. If the Frenchmen at the beaches had not been there to help the British, then the evacuation would never have been seen as a miracle. My view is quite balanced on the evacuation and overall I think that to some extent the evacuation was a miracle as well as a defeat. ...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. Defeat, Deliverance or Victory? Which of these best describes Dunkirk?

    As the source says 'there must therefore be added 27,936 making the grand total of those evacuated by this date 366,162' this signifies additional military achievement for the British. We cannot however take all the source remarks at face value.

  2. Dunkirk - Defeat, Deliverance or Victory?

    Even thought the information is reliable it was put into context. Source 21 is an eyewitness account of Sir Harold Franklin a Divisional Commander at Dunkirk. He says that reports of merciless bombing and the Hell of Dunkirk were rubbish; he walked up and down the beach and never saw a single corpse and very little shelling.

  1. Dunkirk: Miracle or Disaster?

    Numerous boats set out for Dunkirk with just a series of courses plotted on the back of an envelope, with no idea what awaited them. Ordinary citizens braved the harsh channel crossing and the deadly harbour, to bring back thousands of Allied troops.

  2. Analysis of different sources of information about Dunkirk.

    Jackson tells us that the French delayed too long in preparing their troops and that the British hadn't fully helped out France. While source K is an extract from an article by J.Burn in the History magazine Hindsight. Burn tells us that the evacuation was catastrophic but that it was portrayed consistently as a huge success.

  1. Was Dunkirk a defeat?

    From my own knowledge I know that on the first day of evacuation, the 27th of May, there were ferocious air attacks from the opposition. It is possible to say that Dunkirk was also a military defeat due to the amount of weapons lost.

  2. How important were Haig's tactics in bringing an end to WW1?

    After that, you had to climb in to their trenches and kill them all. Crossing the battlefield was impossible anyway with the machine gun mowing down anyone in sight. During 1915 the Generals did all they could to break the stalemate on the Western Front.

  1. Was Dunkirk a Triumph?

    everything was done well, such as ships were sent out, ?one of the most magnificent operations in history? this is how it was described, which tells us that it was a triumph. The British army were also said to have been advancing to the Germans even though it was dangerous

  2. The Evacuation from Dunkirk in World War 2 was a great Disaster for Britain. ...

    We assume it was taken by a German photographer to raise the morale of the German people and show that they were in control; therefore this would deflate the morale of the British people, hence this is a piece of propaganda.

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