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The Battle Of Dunkirk Essay

1446 words - 6 pages

The Battle of Dunkirk

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.

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

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