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Dunkirk And The Battle Of Britain

3135 words - 13 pages

Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain

Dunkirk began the 24th May 1940, when French and English soldiers were
trapped on the beach of Dunkirk fighting a losing battle against the
Germans. So the British launched a desperate attempt to evacuate them
back to British soil where they would be safe, known as operation
dynamo. Soldiers were rescued from the beaches in France by the
thousands; overall 350,000 were brought back to England with 139,997
French, almost all the BEF were saved.

I am going to read through all the sources and decide whether I agree
with AJP Taylor's interpretation of the result of Dunkirk. To en able
me to answer the question I will use a variety of sources from
paintings, photographs, written extracts and a short video clip. It is
important to look at each source and conclude the successes and
disasters about Dunkirk. All the sources were made by British people
therefore they may come across as biased.

Source A is a contemporary painting created by Charles Cundall, it
shows the troops being rescued from the Dunkirk beaches. It is a
secondary source, because, Charles Cundall wasn't actually at Dunkirk
when it happened, this makes the source less reliable because it is an
artist's impression. This source shows a lot of deliverance that also
fits with my knowledge such as the many soldiers being rescued via
pleasure boats, fishing boats etc to be rescued. There are big boats,
small boats with all different appearances, because the public helped
in this desperate attempt to evacuate the British and the French and
save thousands of lives. In the background you can see the moles,
which also became useful, they allowed bigger ships such as 'Queen of
the channel', which rescues over 1000 people to come closer to the
beaches. The weather was also a great deliverance because it was a
clear day, which made French and English; able to see where they had
to go and could also spot the enemy. This source provides sufficient
evidence to suggest Dunkirk was deliverance. However the source also
contains factors showing disaster. There is evidence of sinking boats,
the high dark, balls of smoke and fire from the oil factories, this
tells us that the Germans were accurate in there attack and created a
lot of damage. Above the boats is evidence of Stuka dive-bombers,
these dropping bombs on tankers or firing machine guns, giving the
Germans an advantage of seeing all of there enemy. The men aren't
organised on the beaches in lines, however on other sources they are.
Missing from the source is the soldiers burying themselves in the sand
as an act of defence. So overall there is not enough evidence to agree
or disagree with AJP's interpretation of Dunkirk. This source is also
biased towards the British and could be used as propaganda in the war
to help boost morale and to convince...

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