The battle of Dunkirk.

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The battle of Dunkirk

Question 2

 In my opinion the battle of Dunkirk can be seen as both a deliverance and disaster. It can be seen as a deliverance by the fact that the British and French  survived which is a great feat on it’s own, because seeing what predicament the British and French were in, it was likely they were going to lose. They turned the tables and 338,000 men were saved. On the other hand, it can be seen as a disaster because out of the 338,000 men saved 139,997 were French, so for British morale that wasn’t very good. Also even Churchill said, “Wars are not won by evacuation”. Some would say that Britain still lived to fight another day that is also an important point. I will try to come to a conclusion based on my own knowledge and some sources.

I would like to start  by giving some of the reasons why this battle can be seen as a great deliverance because the British survived to fight another day, and the population back home was led to believe it was a great delivery. They had to spread this sort of propaganda to keep up British morale. We find out from source I that almost all of the B.E.F was saved. We get some more statistics on how many men were saved, from source K. On the first five days of the evacuation, about 106,000 men were saved. So seeing this evidence it does suggest that Dunkirk was a great deliverance. The only problem I would have with this is that the British government failed to mention that 139,997 of the evacuees were FRENCH (source I). Plus you can’t really even trust the figures given because the British government drew them up, so they most likely exaggerated them to show off to the public and keep British morale up. It’s blatant propaganda. Another piece of blatant propaganda was from the Minister of War in source G, who boasts about the success of the British. He says that the soldiers have become “a body of seasoned veterans”.This source really tells us a lot about the use of propaganda spread out. The question is, isn’t a veteran someone who has experienced war. He speaks of how their spirits are strong and that’s their “vital” weapon so they will refuse defeat, and that’s their “guarantee to victory”. You can see he is complementing his side too much, it seems too shallow. This is insufficient on telling us on what the battle was like, because it is a piece of propaganda.

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We get a mixed picture from sources D, E and F. This is because analyzing these sources it seems that the battle was a deliverance and disaster. Source D’s a painting showing the soldiers being rescued, it shows their stairing for survival. The artist who painted this was sent to give the British some hope. However this painting is contemporary, meaning that it is at that time. Now, source E shows the soldiers on the beach waiting to be evacuated. The problem with this source is that it is a still life picture meaning, it’s just one second of ...

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