Dunkirk and the battle of Britain Sources Questions
1) How useful is sources A, B and C in understanding what the battle for Dunkirk was like? Explain your answer.
Source A is useful in the effect of giving us a first hand account of the events that occurred. The only problem with this source is that we don’t know if it applied to many people, or if it just applied to Commander Thomas Kerr. We also need to know the date that this source was written to find out how accurate it really is. Source B also gives us a first hand account of what happened on the beach. But also, only gives us one mans views of what he was experiencing and we don’t know how popular this sort of thing was, we would need more evidence to find out how useful this source is. Source C unfolds one mans views of a brave soldier attacking many planes.
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But this source may have only applied to this certain individual. After long hard thort, I have come to the conclusion that source B and C supports each other in the sense that the British army are fighting back. But sources B and C don’t support source A.
2) “Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster.” Is there any sufficient evidence in sources d-j to support this interpretation? Use the sources and your own knowledge to explain your answer.
This interpretation is correct in the sense that Dunkirk was a triumph and a disaster. It was written by A.J.P Taylor. Although at the time of Dunkirk it was only seen by people as a great triumph. Only after time as historians studied sources the thought of disaster was introduced.
Source D shows the beaches with people being rescued from them. It also shows plains bombing. Its factual accuracy unknown. This is because it is on its own and on its own, the source is hard to tell how accurate it actually is. Also the government used to employ artists to paint ‘glorified’ pictures of events. The painting was actually painted by a British man named Charles Cundull. If the government didn’t employ this man his versions of events would have been bias anyway. The government also stopped all paintings during the war unless they were designed specifically for positive propaganda.
Source E shows thousands of troops lining up on the beaches to be picked up. This source is pretty accurate because it is a photograph and photographs don’t lie. But on the other hand we know that not all the troops were this well behaved. But because it is only a photograph we can only see one instant of time. And only gives us a glimpse of the events that unfolded.
Source F shows the allied troops defending them self’s and shooting at German plains. This source is interesting because it backs up source B. this source fits in well with other sources but again, only provides us with one instant of time.
Source G is a speech about the spirit of the British army. It was written by Antony Eden. He was minister of war. It was written in 1940. This speech was almost certainly written and spoke to keep moral high. We can’t exactly rely on this source due to the position that Britain was in at the time this was written.
Source H is a source extracted from a British newspaper, published in 1945. The basic facts it explains are correct. What’s not accurate is the way the people felt. The way they express this is a little bit bias. this source is also for boosting moral but not as much as source G. this source tells a bit more of what the conditions are really like.
Source I is a historians view of the Dunkirk operations. This sources factual accuracy is very good as far as the facts go. This was written by A.J.P Taylor, and was published in 1965.