Describing Dunkirk

2997 Words Jul 15th, 2018 12 Pages
Describing Dunkirk

From what I have learned about Dunkirk, it is possible to say that it could have been seen as a victory and also a defeat for the British.

When the Second World War first began in September 1939 Germany had started to invade Poland and as a result of this France and Britain joined in an alliance and declared war on Germany. By the 10th May 1940 Germany had begun their invasion of France using the Blitzkrieg Method. On the 20th May Germany had reached the coast and trapped Britain and France at Dunkirk the only port remaining. Fortunately Operation Dynamo was approved by Churchill allowing ships to cross the channel and rescue troops from Dunkirk this was a critical day for
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This source shows panic between troops and the Government. This was quite unusual as this message was given on the most successful day of the evacuation, when 47,081 troops were brought to safety. This source is quite reliable as the message is written at the time of the evacuation. The source also shows Churchill excepting an element of defeat, however it doesn't tell us about the other days of evacuation.

As well as these sources there are also other sources that confirm the theory of Dunkirk being panicked and disorderly. They are written by a British pilot shot down near Dunkirk, a German fighter pilots account of Dunkirk, Charles Lightoller a retired sailor and a painting by Charles Cundall an official war artist. As we can see there are quite a few sources that support this theory.

Another aspect of defeat is the loss of troops and equipment. The BEF had lost and left behind virtually all of its equipment. It had been forced to abandon 2,472 guns, 90,000 rifles, 63,879 vehicle, 20,548 motorcycles and over 500,000 tons of stores and ammunition. More importantly 68,000 troops did not make it safely home being killed, captured or injured. From my research I know that once on a boat, troops were still not safe from air attack, mines or submarines many ships and boats were sunk or badly damaged whilst
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