How valid is this popular and heroic view of Dunkirk as "The Miracle on the Beaches"?

Essay by marcecko72 March 2005

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"A brave of soldiers, betrayed by their allies, fought their way to home and safety. They were carried across the last crucial miles of water by a huge armada of small boats crewed by volunteer civilians."

Using the information in all the sources in sections A-D and your own knowledge, how valid is this popular and heroic view of Dunkirk as "The Miracle on the Beaches"?

A myth is a common story or legend. To most it is something not true, a fiction, or falsehood. A truth disguised and distorted. The myth of Dunkirk was created on purpose by the British, to keep morale up. It is described today by some as a manufactured myth. The myth states that the courageous troops of the undefeatable BEF came back to England to a heroic return. Different people have different interpretations of what exactly went on at Dunkirk. That's why it is very important to analyse a wide range of sources, both written now, and then.

Also it is very important to view sources of French as well as German eye witnesses to get a well rounded view of what actually went on. Looking at the figures of men evacuated can also help discover weather it was a "miracle" or not. Most would believe that Dunkirk was a military defeat - but a propaganda victory for the British.

An important point to address, which has been debated ever since in history is the British army's conduct and behaviour at Dunkirk. The myth suggests that it was the cooperation between the British armed forces which ensured success. The news reports of a British Movie tone shown in cinemas at the time of the evacuation reported that the events "will live in history as a glorious example of discipline amongst our troops." Although this...