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Was Dunkirk a miracle or disaster?

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Introduction

Was Dunkirk a miracle or disaster? 'Dunkirk' was the evacuation of the troops trapped on Dunkirk, which was called a "miracle" by Winston Churchill whilst speaking in front of the British public. As the German army swept through western Europe in the spring of 1940, using Blitzkrieg tactics, both the French and British armies could not stop the fast approaching enemy. For the people in Western Europe, World War Two was about to start for real and the "Phoney War" was soon to be over. The advancing German Army trapped the British and French armies on the beaches around a town called Dunkirk. A representative map is shown as 4. The map has no origin or purpose given, (must have done once) but shows us how the allied forces were trapped by the swarm of axis forces. Although the origin of the source is not given I believe the map to be accurate and truthful as it fits in with my own knowledge of the Dunkirk evacuation. The source shows us how the allied forces were in a very bad position for either attacking or defending. ...read more.

Middle

would have had to be very brave whilst crossing the channel filled with mines and whilst under fire from the German Luftwaffe. I think that the cartoon does help slightly in telling whether Dunkirk was a miracle or disaster because it sums up how brave even civilians had to be when their country was in need of help. I think these days many people would not be brave enough or would find an excuse not to get involved if they might be in danger. In that sense it was a miracle because with such a small amount of technology at the hands of the government so many soldiers were rescued. The beach at Dunkirk was on a shallow slope so no large boat could get near to the actual beacheswhere the men were. Therefore, the smaller boats (as shown in source 6) were needed to take on board men who would then be transferred to a larger boat based further off shore. 800 of these legendary "little ships" were used. It is thought that the smallest boat to make the journey across the Channel was the Tamzine - an 18 feet open topped fishing boat now on display at the Imperial War Museum, London. ...read more.

Conclusion

Instead he remarks how spending time with these men had acted like a 'tonic' on him, instead of the depression he usually felt in Whitehall, because was not sure if the allies would win against Hitler. The same source gives lots of information on what the men thought of it and this therefore shows us that it could well have been a miracle. If the people that had fought amongst the shells, watched their friends starve and waited for hours on an open beach whilst being shot at, thought it was a success it does make me believe that it was. The source does have a few limitations though, because as it was written by a person who was an important figure in the country. It is possible that he would not write that it was a disaster, as those who had helped the operation might not be too happy with him as they had risked life and limb to save others. However, because the source was written after the war, he would not have to lie about much just to keep morale up. What he says in the source looks reliable as it fits in with my own knowledge of how soldiers reacted after being rescued. ...read more.

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