history dunkirk coursework

2121 Words Nov 7th, 2013 9 Pages
Some people have the view that the events at Dunkirk in 1940 deserve to be remembered as a triumph for Britain and its people.
How far do the sources support or contradict this view?
May 1940. Germany had attacked France, Belgium and Holland. Within six weeks all three countries had surrendered. Germany’s success lay at the feet of a new and successful war technique: Blitzkrieg. This was the fast and overwhelmingly successful invasion of a country using tanks, air craft, artillery and infantry all working together communicating by7 radio. The BEF (British Expeditionary Force) was sent to help in France in 1939 at the start of the war, but was caught up in disaster, retreating from the German Front back to France and eventually the beaches
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Although it was painted by somebody there at the time the view has been distorted, leaving out the dead bodies and abandoned vehicles which I know were there from my own subject knowledge were there, but have been left out because they didn’t want to harm the ‘Dunkirk spirit’ and ruin the huge piece of morale boost that they’d created from such a disaster. Therefore this source is not reliable.
Source B5 is the front page of the “daily express”. A British newspaper at the time, published May 31st 1940. The source tells me that all three armed forces came together in “one of the most magnificent operations in history”. Most content comes from information give out by the government at the time. This source tells me that Dunkirk was triumph not only because of its clear reference to Germany’s failure: “shattering losses”. But also it’s clear message of how many soldiers were home by then “tens of thousands safely home already”, a triumph to Britain and its people. This source can be useful in in terms of what the British people knew at the time but also what information the government was giving away in order not to crush British morale. It cannot be fully relied upon as it’s extremely biased, propaganda, as well as that there are no eyewitness accounts, no primary evidence only secondary evidence given out by the government.
Source B7 is a part of Winston (PM) Churchill’s speech, given on the tenth day of evacuation. It is
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