Great British Prime Ministers

#1
I would have to say Pitt the Younger was likely the most gifted man ever to assume office, giving his coming into power at age 24 and guiding Britain through much of the Napoleonic conflicts. Disraeli strengthened Britain and achieved good solutions to colonial problems and would have done more if he had only had more time at Downing.
 
Dec 2008
251
#2
I would have to say Pitt the Younger was likely the most gifted man ever to assume office, giving his coming into power at age 24 and guiding Britain through much of the Napoleonic conflicts. Disraeli strengthened Britain and achieved good solutions to colonial problems and would have done more if he had only had more time at Downing.

would have to put winnie churchill high up on any list. not so much for his political strengths, but for his unwavering stance against the axis forces.
kilvil
 
Nov 2008
639
Melbourne, Australia
#3
Britain was very lucky to have possessed Winston Churchill during the War. If not for him, Britain could very easily have made an individual deal with the Reich. Not to mention his outstanding leadership and courage.
 
Jan 2009
11
#4
I am tempted to thinking that Churchill was rather more lucky to have Britain than the other way around. He was not the only figure capable of leading the country through the war years. He was not absolute in his opposition to a solution to the war short of victory and did waver from time to time and had to fight of the black dog of doubt. If anything Churchill was a hindrance to the British war effort by being determined to control military tactics. His greatest value was in his propaganda ability but even his influence on the British masses is easily questionable. As a domestic prime minister he was one of the worst of the twentieth century.
 

Edgewaters

Ad Honorem
Jul 2007
9,098
Canada
#6
Britain was very lucky to have possessed Winston Churchill during the War. If not for him, Britain could very easily have made an individual deal with the Reich. Not to mention his outstanding leadership and courage.
What was so lucky for Britain about this? They lost their empire, lost their pre-eminence in Europe, lost their status and clout internationally. They went from being the world's top dog to being a decaying pet of the US.

He was great for the world as a whole ... for the state of Britain specifically, the war was a rotten deal.
 
Nov 2008
639
Melbourne, Australia
#7
What was so lucky for Britain about this? They lost their empire, lost their pre-eminence in Europe, lost their status and clout internationally. They went from being the world's top dog to being a decaying pet of the US.

He was great for the world as a whole ... for the state of Britain specifically, the war was a rotten deal.
No one could have prevented this. Churchill did a remarkable job under extremely adverse conditions.
 

Toltec

Ad Honorem
Apr 2008
7,923
Hyperborea
#8
What was so lucky for Britain about this? They lost their empire, lost their pre-eminence in Europe, lost their status and clout internationally. They went from being the world's top dog to being a decaying pet of the US.

He was great for the world as a whole ... for the state of Britain specifically, the war was a rotten deal.

Except Churchill didn't start the war, Chamberlain did.

Whether Chamberlain should have is a whole new post.
 

Edgewaters

Ad Honorem
Jul 2007
9,098
Canada
#9
Technically, yes, but Chamberlain didn't really commit Britain to the prosecution of the war all that much.

As for whether the outcome was avoidable or not ... who can say whether the outcome was inevitable or not?
 
Last edited:

avon

Forum Staff
May 2008
14,253
#10
Britain was very lucky to have possessed Winston Churchill during the War. If not for him, Britain could very easily have made an individual deal with the Reich. Not to mention his outstanding leadership and courage.
Of course, you asume that fighting the war as it happened WAS the best course for Britain. As it happened, it turned out alright in that Britain wasn't defeated, but before June 1941 or December 1941, there was no sign that the USSR or the US were going to get involved. Between his becoming PM in May 1940 and the American entry into the war, Churchill's execution of the British war effort leaves a lot to be desired. Once the Americans had built up troops and materiel for the assault on Northern France, Britain was spared his reckless military interventions. Even then, however, his handling of the political negotiations are also highly questionable.

There were others capable of leading Britain through the war, the problem is that historical orthodoxy has reflected Churchill's own strange ideas of his destined role. Churchill wrote that history according to his huge ego. Only historians question that history as public memory remains entrenched in the Churchill-myth.
 

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