Thursday, November 24, 2005

Winston Churchill

Conservative backbencherReady to their hands is this new lamentable weapon of the air, against which our Navy is no defense, and before which women and children--the weak and frail--the pacifist and the jingo--the warrior and the civilian--the frontline trenches and the cottage home--all lie in equal and impartial peril. In the years before World War I, Winston Churchill, a military hero and M.P. from Oldham, rose rapidly in the ranks of the British government. In 1911, he was appointed first lord of the admiralty, and he worked to ready the Royal Navy for the war that he foresaw. However, after the disastrous Dardanelles campaign of 1915, for which he was held responsible, Churchill resigned the post. Two years later, his unquestionable military talents won him a new appointment in the government and by 1919 he had risen to secretary of state for war. In 1924, he returned to the Conservative Party, where he played a controversial role in the defeat of the General Strike of 1926. Out of office after 1929, Churchill lost the trust of even his own party, who regarded him a maverick. In the early 1930s, from his lonely seat on a House of Commons backbench, he issued unheeded warnings of the threat of Nazi aggression. In 1935, though still excluded from the government, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin appointed him to the secret committee on air-defense research. Four years later, with the outbreak of World War II, Churchill returned to his post as first lord of the admiralty. Eight months later, with Britain seemingly on the brink of invasion, he was called to lead a new coalition government. A defiant Prime Minister Churchill proclaimed that Britain would ‘never surrender,’ and by 1941 the outnumbered Royal Air Force had won the Battle of Britain. From there Churchill set about recapturing North Africa and the Atlantic, and forging the ‘Grand Alliance’ between Britain, America, and the U.S.S.R., that ultimately crushed the Axis powers.


Post a Comment

<< Home