Was Dunkirk a Triumph of a Disaster?
In May 1940 Hitler decided to start taking countries to the West of Germany, this included France. The French had strong defences around the German border, so Hitler travelled round them and invaded Holland and Belgium and then entered France through the Ardennes, which is covered by dense forest. The Germans took the French and the British Expeditionary Force -who were allied with France- by surprise because of the speed of their advance and managed to corner them into a French port named Dunkirk. At this point there was a threat that the entire British army (over 300,000 troops) could be killed before the War had even started. On May 27th the British Government, lead by Winston Churchill, began a plan named ‘Operation Dynamo’. The plan was to evacuate the troops to Britain by ship. Including ships of the Royal Navy, fishing boats and pleasure steamers were also used. Most of the soldiers were evacuated, but that doesn’t mean Dunkirk was a success; there were also a lot of points that contribute to the fact that Dunkirk could also be seen as a disaster. I think Dunkirk was a disaster in the short term, but a success in the long term. Throughout the essay I will be giving evidence that supports my argument. In the short term Dunkirk was definitely a disaster. Because the French and British troops were all in one place, they became a very easy target for the German forces. “I hated Dunkirk. It was just cold-blooded killing. I went up and down spraying them with bullets”- Written by a German fighter pilot in a letter home in 1940, I think this is a reliable source as letters were usually censored by the Government and this letter makes the Germans look bad, so the letter definitely hasn’t been censored. Also, because it is a letter home written by someone that was actually there, it is most likely to be accurate, showing that the British and French had no defence and there were a lot of casualties, the words “cold- blooded...
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