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Old January 8th, 2013, 02:52 AM   #11

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...Was he a terrible decision maker overall, or did a couple major decisions just scar everyone's view of him in general despite a bunch of smaller good decisions?
I wouldn't say "everyone's view" of him is scarred. Certainly not mine. He made his mistakes and had his flaws, but overall he was a great leader. As bad as things were in the 20th century, they could have been MUCH worse without Sir Winston.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 02:56 AM   #12

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I wouldn't say "everyone's view" of him is scarred. Certainly not mine. He made his mistakes and had his flaws, but overall he was a great leader. As bad as things were in the 20th century, they could have been MUCH worse without Sir Winston.
I think this is a fair comment.

He had his flaws, but he had that "bulldog" spirit that defined the character and psyche of the British people, and in a time of crisis, they needed this type of leadership.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 04:35 AM   #13

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Churchill's time in office spanned a period of 45-50 years. Of course he made mistakes. One of the worst being Gallipoli. The other was as Chancellor of the Exchequer when he insisted on sticking to the gold standard for too long or something. (Churchill was better at the Admiralty or in 10 Downing street).

I can't think of any major mistakes during WW2 that needs mentioning.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 04:53 AM   #14

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From a German perspective, Churchill at first was not there when he was needed (to confront Hitler's regime before WWII); then he was there to order things which we could have done without (fully identifying Nazis with Germans by demanding unconditional surrender; giving Bomber Command free hand to destroy everything of architectural value in Germany); and then he was again being ousted when he would have been needed (to confront Stalin at the Potsdam conference in regard to the amputation of Germany's territory; although it probably wouldn't have changed much).

He was undoubtedly a very strong figure with many bright insights, but also with dated (e.g. racist, imperial) opinions and a certain disregard for human life.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 05:29 AM   #15

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Originally Posted by Rongo View Post
I wouldn't say "everyone's view" of him is scarred. Certainly not mine. He made his mistakes and had his flaws, but overall he was a great leader. As bad as things were in the 20th century, they could have been MUCH worse without Sir Winston.
I think this is a fair comment.

He had his flaws, but he had that "bulldog" spirit that defined the character and psyche of the British people, and in a time of crisis, they needed this type of leadership.
Here's a little secret. Americans love him partially due to the fact that it wasn't every day one half of America got to lead the glorious empire.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 06:09 AM   #16

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Churchill and his mistakes


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Before he was PM he said of Hitler's appeasers...


He may have been wrong about many things ...but was right about standing up to the Nazis...
You are absolutely right there. He had the clarity of thinking and forward vision that Chamberlain sorely lacked. Only Churchill and a few people like Duff Cooper foresaw what was going to happen. But , unfortunately, Churchill was the most unwanted MP in that Parliament, in the sense nobody would touch him with a ten foot pole, possibly because of his frequent party changing. Hence his warnings fell on deaf ears.
But he had his fixations like attacking the
" Underbelly " of the axis in Italy, instead of going straight across the English Channel at the earliest. Italian campaign wasted resources. Allowed the Germans under Kesselring to kick out the Italians and fight a tough rearguard action.
Similar " Fixed " idea was Dardanelles campaign in WW 1. But here , the blame can be apportioned among many such as the on-off enthusiasm of Kitchener, the belief in the Army generals like Munro et al, that this was not a winnable campaign, Hamilton's lacklustre leadership etc.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 11:53 AM   #17

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Here's a little secret. Americans love him partially due to the fact that it wasn't every day one half of America got to lead the glorious empire.
Churchill might have been overweight...but that's going too far


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Old January 8th, 2013, 11:58 AM   #18

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then he was there to order things which we could have done without (fully identifying Nazis with Germans by demanding unconditional surrender;
This wasn't strictly a Churchill decision, all three leaders agreed to it, FDR being the leader most in favour of the idea.
The main public motives for the decision were to remove any chance of the 'stab in the back' myth gaining ground in Germany again, and the elimination of militarism and Nazism within Germany, but the biggest unspoken reason was the fear amongst the Allies that one of them might agree to a separate peace treaty with the Nazi's, leaving the other Allies to fight Germany alone.


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giving Bomber Command free hand to destroy everything of architectural value in Germany);
Once the Luftwaffe began its air campaign against Britain, and after the air war became the only way for Britain to strike directly at Germany after the fall of France, Bomber Command's campaign had a logic and momentum that would have ensured that whoever was in power it would have occurred.


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and then he was again being ousted when he would have been needed (to confront Stalin at the Potsdam conference in regard to the amputation of Germany's territory; although it probably wouldn't have changed much).
While he was concerned about relations between East and West after the war (though he was far less hawkish than many people realise) he had little concern about any future German Eastern border.

Last edited by redcoat; January 8th, 2013 at 12:14 PM.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 12:04 PM   #19

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The other was as Chancellor of the Exchequer when he insisted on sticking to the gold standard for too long or something. .
To be fair he was only following the advice of his experts within the Treasury.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 02:34 PM   #20

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Here's a little secret. Americans love him partially due to the fact that it wasn't every day one half of America got to lead the glorious empire.


Must've felt good to get a taste of power.
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