Prior to the invasion of France there had been 7 months of “Phoney war”; However the French had anticipated the attack and established “The Maginot line” which was a line of defence designed to hold the German army back. Despite this the Battle of France began on the 10th May 1940 when German Army group B subdued Holland and advanced rapidly westwards through Belgium.
Just a few days later Army Group A attacked the Ardennes and continued West before turning North towards the English channel and the Ports of Dunkirk and Calais.
These sudden but effective attacks by the Germans left the Allies on the retreat a series of counter attacks including the Battle of Arras couldn’t stop the German advance and left the Allies trapped between the enemy and the English Channel.
The British Government knew that they could not allow these troops to be massacred as it would leave South-East England within the grasp of a German invasion. So on May 27th 1940 Operation Dynamo was put into action to evacuate the troops through Royal and Merchant Navy vessels.
The evacuation of 338,000 troops from Dunkirk was greatly exploited by British Propaganda and gave rise to the “Dunkirk Spirit” and the story of “The little ships” is now a story told all over Britain and represents the solidarity of the British in times of great adversity. Dunkirk is now part of British Culture an...
... middle of paper ...
...so greatly in the rescue is certainly a unique factor to this battle; without the public help the number of troops rescued would be significantly lower.
Dunkirk can also be considered to be a disaster as it was a tactical defeat followed by a rescue that the Royal Navy couldn’t carry out effectively by itself.
The number of evacuees is a momentous factor in people’s decision to view Dunkirk as a miracle. The losses of men, munitions and supplies are a significant part of people’s view that Dunkirk was a disaster. The very fact the troops needed evacuating in the first place also contributes to the negative aspects of the battle.
In conclusion I view Dunkirk as a disaster due to the consistent failures from the Maginot line to the evacuation itself. “The Dunkirk miracle” is just a cleverly fabricated myth and is a tribute to the power of effective propaganda.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Battle of Britain By June 1940, France had surrendered to Germany and Britain had rescued approximately 330,000 men from the beaches of Dunkirk. Britain now stood alone with its empire against Germany. Hitler believed that Britain had to be defeated before he could turn his attention to the USSR and so in the invasion of Britain codenamed Operation Sealion, two German armies (totalling 100,000 men) would be transported across the English Channel. However this crossing could be blocked by the Royal Navy, which was protected by the RAF.... [tags: Papers]
1809 words (5.2 pages)
- Britain's Victory in the Battle of Britain Following the British evacuation from Dunkirk and the French surrender in June 1940, the Germans were uncertain what to do next. Hitler believed the war was over and that the British, defeated on the continent, would come to terms soon. However, he was to be frustrated by British intransigence. Though there was a strand of public and political sentiment that favoured a negotiated peace with Germany, Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister, refused to countenance an armistice with the Nazis.... [tags: Papers]
3886 words (11.1 pages)
- The Battle of Dunkirk Who could have ever imagined 'Dunkirk' a word containing only a few letters, a word which caused immense havoc, annihilation, death and suffering could signify something so powerful, a word of great reverence, a word of saviour, hope and spirit for the British. Was Dunkirk a defeat or victory. There are countless views on Dunkirk, some say its defeat, other say it was a victory or perhaps even both. Either way the price that troops, civilians and even nature had to pay was unforgettable.... [tags: Papers]
2904 words (8.3 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.... [tags: Papers]
909 words (2.6 pages)
- The battle of Cannae, between the Carthaginian general Hannibal and the larger Roman army under the command of consuls Lucius Aemilius Paulus and Gaius Terentius Varro, in 216 B.C., still serves as one of the most influential tactical battles in history. Two enemy forces were to face off using very different tactics. The Roman Empire had succeeded in amassing a staggering 50,000 or greater number of infantry troops and a disputed 6,000 cavalry troops. The Roman army was to use its vast numbers to subdue the smaller numbered forces of the Carthaginian army using sheer force.... [tags: Roman History]
1238 words (3.5 pages)
- The Battle of Cannae, between the Carthaginian General Hannibal and the larger Roman army under the command of Lucius Aemilius Paulus and Gaius Terentius Varro in 216 B.C. serves as one of the most influential tactical battles in history. Two enemy forces faced off using very different tactics. The Roman Empire had succeeded in amassing over 50,000 infantry troops and an estimated 6,000 cavalry troops. The Roman army planned to use its vast numbers to subdue the smaller numbered forces of the Carthaginian army using sheer force.... [tags: Ancient Rome]
1334 words (3.8 pages)
- Battle of Dunkirk 1. Sources A, B and C give 3 different individual accounts on what the battle for Dunkirk was like, and together they help to paint an overall picture of the situation of the British. The evacuation of troops from Dunkirk became necessary after the total defeat of the British and French forces in May 1940 by the new Blitzkrieg tactics of the German army. Its rapid breakthrough had cut off the main allied forces from their bases leaving them with no avenue of escape.... [tags: Papers]
1650 words (4.7 pages)
- ... Grant, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, and Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade, the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia never recognized that Civil War armies were virtually indestructible.” Lee did not recognize that a victory of annihilation was an impossible goal. Early in the war when his army was large and Union generals were second rate, his excessive aggressiveness mattered little. Lee’s offensive strategies worked perfectly against the poorly led Union army. In fact Lee was known as the innovative tactician who could undoubtedly achieve the impossible.... [tags: overconfidence, strategy, coordination ]
1922 words (5.5 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.... [tags: Papers]
2000 words (5.7 pages)
- Dunkirk and The Battle of Britain The importance of factors such as determination, fighting spirit, and even organisation cannot be underestimated as important factors in Britain's victory. If there is one thing that the British have been distinguished for, it has to be organisation. On the eve of the Battle of Britain as well as throughout it, they faced two major problems though: a lack of qualified pilots and a lack of planes. A lot of the RAF's strength had been used up in France.... [tags: Papers]
2360 words (6.7 pages)