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The Churchill Society
London.
 ...... among the many clamours and stresses
that beset the world
we are beset by a narrow and sterile form
of the vast and sometimes magnificent force of nationalism.

Winston Churchill.

Schools

WHO WAS CHURCHILL?

CHRONOLOGY

THE MAIN IND

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An outline of

The Second World War

Part II. 

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 of its language of which he became, over the years, a master. His wonderful ability with it was to prove more powerful than all the armaments used in the war. 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 . . . and because he had been out of office for so long and made so many enemies . . .was considered to be finished.

No-one denied that Churchill was intensely patriotic 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 and 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 this role was the common fate of a country's prophet.

Not offered 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 past and his convictions of Germany's intention to wage war again grew stronger and 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 from the British Civil Service and Armed Forces. This led him to the unshakable conviction - especially after the Munich debacle - that Hitler intended to start the war again.

 

 

ADOLF HITLER

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 and write about these matters and to try and 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, pain and damage to their reputations. All his efforts, however failed, nor could he awaken the French military commanders and the politicians to their danger.

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 65 years of age - with robust health.

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 in their . Churchill was immensely distressed and flew back and forth to France in what turned out to be vain attempts to help them. To eveyone's shock and amazement 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 realised that Churchill's assessment of the situation had been right.

Prime Minister Chamberlain resigned and Churchill became the prime Minister and formed a coalition Government.

 

Mr Churchill greatly loved King George VI.

British Prime Ministers

The History of 10 Downing Street London.

Churchill immediately formed a small war cabinet of only five ministers.

It included two Labour politicians, Clement Attlee and Arthur Greenwood. Churchill also held the posts of Leader of the House of Commons (a key post in which he himself could plan the business of the House of Commons) and Minister of Defence. In this way war decisions were swift and the domestic government they controlled remained representative of the views of all the political parties.

 

ROYAL AIR FORCE HURRICANES

 

MR CHURCHILL VISITS THE RAF.

Nothing missed his eagle eye and his fertile imagination was forever devising ideas for beating the enemy and so bringing the the war to a swift and victorious end.

 


Mustang (USAF), Spitfire (RAF) and Kittihawk (USAF).

But it was to take 6 long and very terrible years.

And so at last we come to Churchill's - and England's FINEST HOUR.

Rather than describe the events of the early days of the Second World War I think you will understand better if you listen to the speeches Mr Winston Churchill made in the dark days just before and during the war.

 

ST PAUL'S

THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN

. . . . . I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say,

This was their Finest Hour'

Listen also to the orchestral piece on your CD . . . the defiant movement No 17. in THE CHURCHILL MUSIC entitled

IN DEFEAT DEFIANCE !

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

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 Stree

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

 

. .SCHOOL INDEX .

 CHRONOLOGY

THE MAIN INDEX

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

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