The Battle of Dunkirk – Triumph or Failure?
Was the battle of Dunkirk a triumph or a failure? Historians are polarised over the matter of the mass evacuation of English, French, Dutch and Belgian soldiers between 25th May and June 4th 1940. Multi – nationality soldiers were trapped between the German forces, and the English Channel, evacuation was decided upon as the soldiers were just not strong enough, or ready to fight. The port of Calais had been destroyed by the invading German army, leaving the port of Dunkirk as the best evacuation route. Many different sources suggest that Operation Dynamo (the Dunkirk evacuations) was a great success, however some beg to differ. The following points will support both sides of this long-fairing argument, and come to a final decision. Dunkirk was a failure in a number of ways. During this battle, 68,000 members of the British expeditionary force perished, along with about a quarter of the French Military. The fatalities and casualties were described by a gunner as ‘A horrible stench of blood and mutilated flesh pervaded the place. There was no escape from it’. These events could have been avoided, had the allies been a little more prepared, and a little better armed. As the old saying goes, ‘Fail to prepare, and prepare to fail’. The Battle of Dunkirk was most certainly a failure. Throughout the duration of this affair, many vehicles, and thousands of items of equipment were ‘surrendered’ to the German army. To be precise, 2500 guns, 84500 vehicles, 77000 tons of ammunition, 416000 tons of supplies an 165000 tons of petrol. This left them surrounded, unable to defend, and hopelessly outnumbered. Had this equipment not been surrendered or destroyed, it could have been used to fight and defend against the blitzkrieg (bombing and killing) off the German forces, which could have changed the outcome of this battle, and perhaps others down the line. To be blunt, the allies surrendered and destroyed their chances of a triumph....
Please join StudyMode to read the full document