Myths about Churchill: Your Thoughts?

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,011
Kansas
Churchill had many faults but one of his undoubted positives is that he opposed both Hitler and Stalin (until necessity dictated otherwise-- when the hypocrisy of praising Stalin after he had been so opposed to himwas pointed out he said something like "If Hitler invaded Hell I'd find a kind word to say about the Devil" or something like that.)
Well as I posted in one of the perennial Stalin threads discussing FDRs change of heart. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"
 
Jan 2019
19
Kent, England
If you're interested in the circumstances surrounding the Bengal famine, you need to ignore anything written by Amartya Sen, who clearly has an anti-British agenda. The best source is the American economist Mark B Tauger, who won a prize for his paper on the famine - and in the paper he also takes some swipes at those who try to distort the course of the Potato Famine in the same way that Sen does.
 

Tercios Espanoles

Ad Honorem
Mar 2014
6,679
Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
I was going to write a long post about it, but it proved too challenging. As some long-time members are aware, I've had some harsh things to say about Churchill, particularly with respect to the First World War period. Yet others whom I admire are themselves great admirers of Churchill. One such was Sir Arthur Harris. In his memoir "Bomber Offensive" Harris devotes a substantial amount of ink to Churchill and his character. In ten or twelve pages, I think he perfectly summed up the man as well or better than any biographer could have done. I'd recommend it to anyone.
 
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May 2015
304
villa of Lucullus
I see a lot of memes go around which have several grievously out of context quotes. For example:

This gets thrown around a lot.

But it leaves out the entire context, in which the implied intent (evil, murderous Churchill) is the opposite of the real intent:



Basically, he was talking about tear gas.

There are a lot of others, and this video addresses them at the 13:00 mark.

I get the feeling that there is an agenda behind these out-of-context Churchill quotations. If you want to criticize Churchill, criticize him for his hair-brained military ideas, failed Dardanelles invasion etc... Part of accepting the Churchill legacy is the fact that he had quite a personality, was an ardent British Patriot, and played a key role in saving the entire world.
How did he play a key role in saving the world? The Soviet Union could have probably beaten Germany by itself.

Churchill isn't responsible for Germany invading the Soviet Union or Hitler's idiotic decision to declare war against the U.S. Decisions that doomed Germany regardless of what Britain did.
 
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Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,063
Navan, Ireland
How did he play a key role in saving the world? The Soviet Union could have probably .....................
Don't think the claim is that he won it on his own.

But rather that his role on keeping Britain in the fight in 1940 was pivotal, having to fight on two fronts was a major factor in Nazi Germanys defeat
 
Jul 2018
539
Hong Kong
How did he play a key role in saving the world? The Soviet Union could have probably beaten Germany by itself.

Churchill isn't responsible for Germany invading the Soviet Union or Hitler's idiotic decision to declare war against the U.S. Decisions that doomed Germany regardless of what Britain did.
How did he play a key role !? The answer is obvious. Do you know how large and how powerful the British Empire's military force was ? Yes, it's still the "empire" with a lot of colonial territories and vast amount of oversea bases. The Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force still operated effectively in wide arc of multiple areas. And the tremendous manpower was preserved with the successful withdrawal from France which had fallen to Nazi Germany in AD 1940.

Which country played the most decisive role in defeating Erwin Rommel and his African Corps ? The British Army !
Which country played the most decisive role in crippling the Italian Navy and Army in the Meditterranean and the African Theater ? The British Army!

The British army also played a major role in the AD 1944-45 Liberation of the Western Europe and the Burma Campaign fighting against the Japanese Imperial army alone!

Prime Minister Churchill's contribution to the British success was in many aspects — maintaining and galvanzing the British soldiers and civilians' morale was one of them.

Moreover, Hitler's decision to declare war on US wasn't "stupid" according to my newest study. The US government, directly or indirectly, had been helping the British and the Soviet war effort against Nazi Germany before the war was declared. The US Navy was greatly involved with the escort operation of the merchant ships in the Atlantic. The German submarine commander Donitz urged Hitler to cancel the forbiddance against US for "releasing themselves from such unreasonable hinderance against US naval and merchant ships for weakening Britain".

Indeed, Hitler once berated the Japanese for his declatation of war against USA, but ultimately changed his mind after considerable thought.
 
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May 2015
304
villa of Lucullus
How did he play a key role !? The answer is obvious. Do you know how large and how powerful the British Empire's military force was ? Yes, it's still the "empire" with a lot of colonial territories and vast amount of oversea bases. The Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force still operated effectively in wide arc of multiple areas. And the tremendous manpower was preserved with the successful withdrawal from France which had fallen to Nazi Germany in AD 1940.

Which country played the most decisive role in defeating Erwin Rommel and his African Corps ? The British Army !
Which country played the most decisive role in crippling the Italian Navy and Army in the Meditterranean and the African Theater ? The British Army!

The British army also played a major role in the AD 1944-45 Liberation of the Western Europe and the Burma Campaign fighting against the Japanese Imperial army alone!

Prime Minister Churchill's contribution to the British success was in many aspects — maintaining and galvanzing the British soldiers and civilians' morale was one of them.

Moreover, Hitler's decision to declare war on US wasn't "stupid" according to my newest study. The US government, directly or indirectly, had been helping the British and the Soviet war effort against Nazi Germany before the war was declared. The US Navy was greatly involved with the escort operation of the merchant ships in the Atlantic. The German submarine commander Donitz urged Hitler to cancel the forbiddance against US for "releasing themselves from such unreasonable hinderance against US naval and merchant ships for weakening Britain".

Indeed, Hitler once berated the Japanese for his declatation of war against USA, but ultimately changed his mind after considerable thought.
How powerful the British Empire is doesn't matter one iota if the Soviet Union and United States are capable of beating Germany by themselves without assistance which they were collectively and probably individually.



The Soviet Union produced more tanks and artillery than Germany, Japan, and Italy put together.

During the war the Soviet Union mobilized roughly 34,476,000 men in various branches of its military apparatus. How are the axis supposed to defeat a country with such massive manpower?
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,684
I was going to write a long post about it, but it proved too challenging. As some long-time members are aware, I've had some harsh things to say about Churchill, particularly with respect to the First World War period. Yet others whom I admire are themselves great admirers of Churchill. One such was Sir Arthur Harris. In his memoir "Bomber Offensive" Harris devotes a substantial amount of ink to Churchill and his character. In ten or twelve pages, I think he perfectly summed up the man as well or better than any biographer could have done. I'd recommend it to anyone.
As Churchill heavily favoured Bomber Harris above all reason. I would not be surprised that Harris had a favourable view of Churchill.
 
Feb 2011
1,123
Scotland
How did he play a key role in saving the world? The Soviet Union could have probably beaten Germany by itself.

Churchill isn't responsible for Germany invading the Soviet Union or Hitler's idiotic decision to declare war against the U.S. Decisions that doomed Germany regardless of what Britain did.
The point made isn't whether Britain and its Empire could have won the war by itself. It couldn't and Churchill recognised that.

The manner in which Churchill saved the world was in resisting the 'peace party' in cabinet in May/June 1940. Had Britain negotiated a peace, Germany would have concluded the war at that point, victoriously. Had Germany then invaded Russia, it would have done so unfettered by forces required to use against Britain and without the losses suffered by the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. Russia would not have received the Arctic convoy support.
Whether that conflict were won by Germany or the Soviet Union, Europe and the world would have faced a very grim future indeed.
It is unlikely that the USA would have intervened and impossible to say whether it would have become embroiled in Europe at all.

As it was, Britain's continued existence eventually provided the basis for Germany's eventual defeat by the three power coalition. Its forces were by no means insignificant in the battle.