Evaluating the Success of Dunkirk

2372 Words5 Pages

Evaluating the Success of Dunkirk There are many opinions on how successful Dunkirk was; one point of

view can be argued that it was a defeat for the British. There are

many meanings to defeat; these include lose of troops and equipment,

demoralisation of troops and a disorderly nature of evacuation. From

looking at pieces of evidence and from my own knowledge I know that

the following definitions of defeat did occur in Dunkirk.

There are three main aspects of defeat- Nature of the evacuation which

refers to the panic and the disorganisation that takes place, military

equipment and finally loss of morale which concerns the disheartenment

of troops and civilians. I think the most important aspect of defeat

is military due to the fact of heavy bombardment from the Luftwaffe

killing many B.E.F and French troops. This view is supported by a

number of sources such as source 3.

Source 3 is two pictures taken by an unknown person. This first image

shows some scattered litter on the ground which is actually equipment

abandoned by the B.E.F and also shows shipwrecks on the beach. The

second picture shows shipwrecks again abandoned equipment and also

dead British soldiers. This source supports military defeat as the

scattered equipment illustrates the B.E.F loss of equipment. Also the

dead British soldiers on the beach reinforce the military aspect of

defeat. The reliability of this source is good in the way that it was

taken at Dunkirk at the time of th...

... middle of paper ...

... he wasn't actually

there which weakens the source.

Finally the last aspect of victory is the fact Dunkirkallowed the

British to continue the war when it looked like disaster was imminent.

This is supported by American Historian Norman Gelb writing about

Dunkirk and its effects. It shows that the victory of Dunkirk allowed

British troops to take the first steps in the collapse of Hitler's

Nazi empire. This source is written by a historian, so it would be

well researched, balanced making it reliable. Also it's useful as the

book is specifically on Dunkirk so Gelb should be well informed on the

events that took place. However the weaknesses are evident in the

book's title "The Incredible Escape.2 This suggests Gelb had already

made up his mind on Dunkirk and therefore wrote a one sided argument

to back up his view.

Open Document