'Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster'. (AJP Taylor). Is there sufficient evidence in sources D to J to support this interpretation?

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‘Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster’. (AJP Taylor). Is there sufficient evidence in sources D to J to support this interpretation?

The evacuation of Dunkirk could be perceived as either a great deliverance or great disaster, because there were over a third of a million troops saved yet the B.E.F lost nearly all its artillery and aircraft and ships were also destroyed. I slightly agree with A.J.P Taylor yet I would probably lean towards it being more of a success.

Source D shows a painting of the men at Dunkirk being evacuated by the smaller boats and bigger boats. This source gives across the view that it supports the idea that Dunkirk was a great deliverance because the men are queuing up in an orderly fashion, the boats are leaving successfully and there are no bodies wounded or dead on the beaches. The only sign of failure is a small sunken boat near the foreground of the picture. Even the images of the distant bombs don’t seem to give a chaotic factor to the painting. So I would say that this source is near completely one sided towards great deliverance yet the reliability of the source is questionable because the painter was never even at Dunkirk which makes his images not entirely accurate. This could be seen by the destroyer ships being so close to the shore which they almost certainly wouldn’t have been because they would’ve been easy targets for the German bombs then. So because of its unreliability it isn’t right to base any conclusions solely on this source.

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Source E shows British troops queuing in very organised columns, waiting to depart from the Dunkirk beaches. This source does not seem to really support either of A.J.P Taylor’s points, although it could be argued that it is more of a deliverance than not. I say this because there is no indication of failure in the photograph and the controlled way in which the troops were waiting could mean that everything is calm and under control. I would say that source supports Dunkirk as not being a great disaster more than being a great deliverance.

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