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The Churchill Society
London.

The day may dawn when fair play,
love for one's fellow men
respect for justice and freedom,
will enable tormented generations
to march forth serene and triumphant
from the hideous epoch in which we have to dwell.

Meanwhile, never flinch,
never weary, never despair.

Winston Churchill.

Schools

WHO WAS CHURCHILL?

CHRONOLOGY

THE MAIN INDEX

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An outline of

The Second World War

Part I.

Churchill becomes

PRIME MINISTER.

During early 1938 Churchill began to plead in public for a coalition Government to be formed. He said that re-arming was essential if we were not to be defeated in another war with Germany.

He knew what was happening in Germany but he also knew that there was little or nothing we could do to stop Hitler and his gangsters - for that was an internal German matter over which we had no control. It was a matter for the German people to deal with.

But he knew from his private intelligence sources that a war could be only be prevented and the good people in Germany - and their were many of them - made to feel less frightened of Hitler - if Great Britain was as strong - or stronger than Germany.

HE KNEW THAT IF WE APPEARED WEAK AND UNWILLING TO FIGHT, ANOTHER WORLD WAR WOULD FOLLOW.

The British hated him for talking about the possibility of another war. But alas he was right.

But both the Government and the British people just could not believe that so soon after the last terrible world war - anybody could possibly think of starting another one, and so did not take him seriously.

The Second World War started on September 3rd 1939 and ended 6 years later on 8th May 1945 . No- one knows how many people lost their lives in this war but it was at least 50 million of whom over 5,700,000 persons were what Hitler described as political and racial "undesirables" and were infamously taken from their homes, separated from their families and children, enslaved in terrible conditions and treated in the most cruel manner imaginable before either dying from starvation or being murdered.

Churchill was 65 years of age when the second World War started - an age when men retire from work.

Now you can see why earlier in this story I said that all the experiences - both the successes and failures that Churchill had encountered during his last 40 years in politics were (as he himself said) the preparation for his successful wartime leadership and which enabled him to save England in her darkest hour.

It was England's magical luck in 1939, that Churchill's early life had nurtured in him not only a love and pride in his country and its political and military history, but also its language of which he became over the years a complete master. His wonderful ability with it was to prove more powerful than all the armaments used in the war. It brought hope to millions in their darkest hour - including many good Germans. Indeed even today - over 50 years later - the force and nobility of his speeches thrills young people who have no experience of those years.

In spite of his fidelity in all things - both private and political - his career to this point (1939) was assessed by his contemporaries in Parliament and the Press as a sad failure. He had been out of office for so long and because his warning speeches made him so many enemies, his political career was considered over.

No-one denied that Churchill was an intensely patriot believer in his country's greatness and its historic role in Europe, the empire, and the world; that he was an able historian, a lifelong student of the art of war; a statesman who always expounded a historic and global view of politics. But because he was so able he was disliked, mistrusted and excluded. He knew that role was the common fate of a country's prophet.

Not having any political office during his long political exile; which he described as "as his wilderness years"; he earned his living by writing at Chartwell.

It was during this period that his long political and Great War experiences alerted him to disturbing developments that were taking place in Germany.

As the years passed, his conviction of Germany's intention to wage war again grew stronger. He became alarmed by the apathy in England.

He privately obtained and correctly interpreted much secret information - not only from Germany and Russia - but also the British Civil Service and Armed Forces, and this led him to the unshakable conviction - especially after the Munich debacle - that Hitler intended to start the war again.

The magnanimous Peace Settlement he had fought for (and failed to win) in the German Peace Treaty after the Great War, had brought about exactly what he feared at the time it would - great bitterness in Germany leading to another war.

Vast scorn was poured upon him by his political opponents and the press when he warned them of what was to happen. It was their scorn which encouraged Hitler, but Churchill undaunted, continued to speak out and write about these matters and to try to awaken his countrymen to the danger confronting them. Supported bravely all along by his beloved, but alarmed and anxious wife Clementine, together they ignored all the insults and personal pain and damage to his reputation. All his efforts, however failed. Nor could he awaken the French military commanders and French politicians of their danger during the first stage of the war - a stage known as the

An attempt to help the Norwegians (the Narvik and Trondheim expeditions, was doomed to failure dependent as it was on naval support in very dangerous seas. A larger force could not be prepared in time nor could Churchill risk leaving the UK inadequately defended by the Royal Navy. This failure swiftly brought back memories of the Dardanelles and Gallipoli, so fateful for Churchill's reputation in World War I. This time, however, it was Chamberlain who was blamed, and it was Churchill who endeavoured to defend him.

With inexhaustible energy, and total concentration, he devoted all his skills and experience on the preparation for the war and the salvation of Britain and the values he believed it stood for in the world.

He said of himself, that unknown to him, his entire life to that point, had been a preparation for this supreme moment of danger in England's long history.

Churchill had an iron will, immense energy, and total concentration. He was also blessed - though aged 65 years of age - with robust health. The day England declared war on Germany (because she had invaded Poland) Prime Minister Chamberlain appointed Churchill to his old post of . .

THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY

Winston is Back!

 

and he sent a signal to the Fleet

"Winston is back!

The Royal Navy

Stop now and listen to the double CD with
Vladimir Valek conducting
The Czech National Symphony Orchestra
performing:-

SEASCAPE

Sub-titled

LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY AT THE SPITHEAD REVIEW.

On May 10th 1940 Germany invaded Holland and Belgium and then France It came as a terrible shock to everyone - especially the French who had believed that their Maginot Line (armoured defensive line which stretched from Belgium to Switzerland and which they thought impregnable) "It was NOT impregnable".

Churchill was immensely distressed and flew back and forth to France in what turned out to be vain attempts to help them. France collapsed and was occupied by the German Army.

In Parliament he described what was happening in Europe as: "the lights of Europe going out".

The world was alarmed . . . . . and the British people suddenly woke up!

Prime Minister Chamberlain resigned and Churchill became the prime Minister and formed a coalition government (a government consisting of members of all the different political parties) Government.

The purpose of these pages is to tell the story of Churchill's life - not to give a detailed account of the wars he was involved in, for that is a vast subject.

To obtain an idea of the cause and magnitude of the war, examine the monthly calendar for each year - they include many photographs.

It is important to remember that heavy censorship of news took place throughout them, and therefore knowledge of many of these events was not available until long after they happened - or until after the wars had ended.

1939.

1940.

January

February

March

April

1940.

May

June

July

August

1940.

September

October

November

December

1941.

January

February

March

April

1941.

May

June

July

August

1941.

September

October

November

December

1942.

January

February

March

April

1942.

May

June

July

August

1942.

September

October

November

December

1943.

January

February

March

April

1943.

May

June

July

August

1943.

September

October

November

December

1944.

January

February

March

April

1944.

May

June

July

August

1944.

September

October

November

December

1945.

January

February

March

April

1945.

May

June

July

August

1946.

Post War.

1954.

PM Again.

1965.

State Funeral.

ASSESSMENT OF CHURCHILL'S LIFE AND ACHIEVEMENTS.

 

CHURCHILL'S SPEECHES The Full Texts from 1936 to 1946.

Short biography of President Roosevelt
Short biography of General Eisenhower
Short biography of President Truman
Short biography of Hitler
Short biography of Stalin
Short biography of Mussolini
Short biography of The Japanese War Lords

List of all the Ranks in the British Armed Forces

British Prime Ministers

History of No 10 Downing Street

 

The next pages have a large number of photographs
so please be patient while they download.

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...................Ladybird.

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