Readers debate the connections between the slaughter of two world wars, the peace that has ensued for the past 72 years, the European Union and Brexit

I agree with Zoe Williams (Dunkirk offers a lesson – but it isn’t what Farage thinks, 31 July) that fellowship is a valuable lesson from Dunkirk, but fellowship is even more powerful when combined with another quality on display in 1940: pragmatism. Winston Churchill deployed a powerful blend of fellowship and pragmatism against Nazi Germany, playing to the nation’s heart with his rhetoric of fighting on the beaches, but not letting his passions run away with his brain. After Dunkirk, he warned the nation that “wars are not won by evacuations”.

Though he despised the ultra-pragmatism of the appeasers, Churchill was not fighting just for some romanticised dream of mighty little England, but for liberty, perhaps the greatest blend of head and heart in politics.

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