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Dunkirk Triumph or Disaster?

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 420
  • Category: British

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In May 1940, the French and British troops were pushed back to the beaches of Dunkirk. They were trapped. Winston Churchill set up ‘Operation Dynamo’ to bring back the British, French and Belgian troops to England to be evacuated, between 26th May – 4th June, around 345,000 were evacuated.

The evidence that shows that Dunkirk was a triumph is in the cinemas, Movie Tone News reported it like this. This was reported at the time of Dunkirk:

‘More cheering evidence of the success of this amazing military exploit is the presence in Britain of large numbers of French soldiers…

The story of that epic withdrawal will live in the history as a glorious example of discipline (amongst our troops)…’

This tells you that even cinemas described the evacuation as a triumph. This would calm the people of Britain down telling them that the soldiers are well behaved and are coming home safely.

While on newspapers for example from the headline of the Daily Mirror written at the time of Dunkirk. They had used the words:

‘Bloody Marvellous’

Also in a book published in England in July 1940 written just after Dunkirk:

‘(At Dunkirk) a miracle was born. This land of Britain is rich in heroes. She had brave daring men in her Navy and Air Force as well as in her Army…there was not a man or a boy who knew how to handle a boat who was not prepared to give his own life to save some unknown son…The little ships dodged their way up the waters and hauled over their sides the soldiers who waded waist deep to safety!’

This article romanticises Dunkirk by the thought of small boats floating on the sea, trying to save unknown soldiers of war.

Even on the BBC six o’clock radio news bulletin on 31st May broadcasted at the time of Dunkirk:

‘All night and all day men of the undefeated British Expeditionary Force have been coming home. From interviews with the men it is clear they have come back in glory; that their morale is as high as ever… are anxious to be back again ‘ To have a real crack at Jerry’ (The Germans)’

These sources show that Dunkirk was a triumph. From news bulletins to radio broadcasts show Dunkirk in a positive way. This is because people of Britain thought that that ‘Operation Dynamo’ was a success. As shown in their main headlines in newspapers.

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