Was dunkirk a success or failure for britain???

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Stargirl2.0
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I have a test tmrw and need ideas with evidence and reasons. I have ideas but just want to see if there are any better ones so I can get a high grade. I got a British grade 9 for the first time ever and the only one in my year last time and I'm feeling the pressure to live up to it.
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Student-95
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what are you ideas?
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Stargirl2.0
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(Original post by Student-95)
what are you ideas?
Success - The British government raised a high morale and Churchill said Dunkirk was Britain's greatest military victory for many countries
Failure - Hitler saw it as a massive success and fully expected Britain to surrender and they were weak, also the troops had to leave behind all of their equipment and Germany had also taken over all of Britain's allies and 1940 Britain was fighting Germany alone.
HELP PLEASE
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Drewski
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Why does it have to be one or the other?

It was both.

It was a military failure that led to it, but a success in getting people away from it.
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Stargirl2.0
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(Original post by Drewski)
Why does it have to be one or the other?

It was both.

It was a military failure that led to it, but a success in getting people away from it.
Thanks that is very helpful. Do you have any evidence to go with those points?
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NMauger96
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(Original post by Drewski)
Why does it have to be one or the other?

It was both.

It was a military failure that led to it, but a success in getting people away from it.

(from
(Original post by Sian Auyeung)
Success - The British government raised a high morale and Churchill said Dunkirk was Britain's greatest military victory for many countries
Failure - Hitler saw it as a massive success and fully expected Britain to surrender and they were weak, also the troops had to leave behind all of their equipment and Germany had also taken over all of Britain's allies and 1940 Britain was fighting Germany alone.
HELP PLEASE

I don’t know much about it at all but I agree that it can be both. I did History GCSE five years ago now but I was always told it was best to list both sides of the argument and round it off with a conclusion - where exactly do you stand (I was always told to ‘get off at a train station rather than inbetween’). You could say it was mostly a success/failure, it was definitely a success/failure, it was neither... because (sum up a couple of points made previously into a sentence or two)
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sylviexo
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The British government had incredibly low expectations for the Dunkirk rescue mission (Operation Dynamo), they estimated that between 20 and 30 thousand allied soldiers would be evacuated. In reality c. 338,000 were rescued. For this reason it was known as the 'miracle of Dunkirk'. Tactically, of course, the very idea of a rescue mission should be considered a failure (as acknowledged by Churchill: "wars are not won by evacuations") but for the British side it worked well as propaganda. Needless to say, the rescue of so many men was a success for each of their families.

As you can see there are arguments for both sides. Overall I would describe Dunkirk as a success but you are always awarded marks for nuance in history (which you must be well aware of for scoring a 9) so my advice is to expose the process of your thought in your writing by explaining reasons for agreeing with each side.
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Drewski
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(Original post by Sian Auyeung)
Thanks that is very helpful. Do you have any evidence to go with those points?
Military failure:
The BEF had landed on the continent and immediately started using the tactics of WW1 - they dug trenches and hunkered down. They were outgunned and outclassed by the blitzkrieg of the advancing German army and completely unprepared and unwilling to adapt their tactics. They had to retreat to a harbour town - and a harbour town ill-suited to evacuation.

Success:
Of the ~400,000 troops surrounded, nearly 340,000 were rescued, putting the British army in a position from which it was able to assist the deterrence of a German invasion, and prepare for the 1944 invasion of Northern France.
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Stargirl2.0
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(Original post by NMauger96)
(from


I don’t know much about it at all but I agree that it can be both. I did History GCSE five years ago now but I was always told it was best to list both sides of the argument and round it off with a conclusion - where exactly do you stand (I was always told to ‘get off at a train station rather than inbetween’). You could say it was mostly a success/failure, it was definitely a success/failure, it was neither... because (sum up a couple of points made previously into a sentence or two)
Thanks so much that was very helpful
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Stargirl2.0
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(Original post by sylviexo)
The British government had incredibly low expectations for the Dunkirk rescue mission (Operation Dynamo), they estimated that between 20 and 30 thousand allied soldiers would be evacuated. In reality c. 338,000 were rescued. For this reason it was known as the 'miracle of Dunkirk'. Tactically, of course, the very idea of a rescue mission should be considered a failure (as acknowledged by Churchill: "wars are not won by evacuations") but for the British side it worked well as propaganda. Needless to say, the rescue of so many men was a success for each of their families.

As you can see there are arguments for both sides. Overall I would describe Dunkirk as a success but you are always awarded marks for nuance in history (which you must be well aware of for scoring a 9) so my advice is to expose the process of your thought in your writing by explaining reasons for agreeing with each side.
Aww, thanks so much this is very helpful. I'm very grateful that you took the time to answer my question
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Stargirl2.0
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(Original post by Drewski)
Military failure:
The BEF had landed on the continent and immediately started using the tactics of WW1 - they dug trenches and hunkered down. They were outgunned and outclassed by the blitzkrieg of the advancing German army and completely unprepared and unwilling to adapt their tactics. They had to retreat to a harbour town - and a harbour town ill-suited to evacuation.

Success:
Of the ~400,000 troops surrounded, nearly 340,000 were rescued, putting the British army in a position from which it was able to assist the deterrence of a German invasion, and prepare for the 1944 invasion of Northern France.
Thank you so much. I am very grateful that you took time to answer my question
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sylviexo
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(Original post by Sian Auyeung)
Aww, thanks so much this is very helpful. I'm very grateful that you took the time to answer my question
No problem, hope your test went well!
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generallee
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It was the turning point in the whole war and indeed post war Europe only exists in its current form because of it.

If the troops hadn't been evacuated the war would have been lost - it was effectively the entire British army and those troops trained all the new recruits as well as eventually helping to liberate Europe.

Without Dunkirk Britain would have had to seek terms.

What is interesting is that Hitler didn't think Britain would continue to fight anyway and hesitated to strike the final blow for some reason. The Panzer divisions were ordered to halt and Goering was given the task of finishing the BEF off with the Luftwaffe.

So you could argue that it was as much Hitler's personal mistake (his Generals wanted to send the tanks in) as Britain's snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
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