Month: September 2012

Churchill & the Bombing of Coventry

Churchill & the Bombing of Coventry

Churchill tours rav­aged Coven­try, 16 Novem­ber 1941.

The Wei­der His­to­ry Group replied to a query, “Did Churchill allow Coven­try to be burned to pro­tect his secret intel­li­gence?” Their answer was some­what equiv­o­cal:

There cer­tain­ly have been a vari­ety of dif­fer­ent accounts, even sup­pos­ed­ly by eye­wit­ness­es, that con­tra­dict each oth­er as to how much Win­ston Churchill had learned from the Boni­face (lat­er Ultra) decoders as to the main tar­get for the Ger­man “Moon­light Sonata” air raid on the Mid­lands in Novem­ber 1940, and when did he ascer­tain it. Whether he mis­took it for a feint, with Lon­don the actu­al tar­get, of whether he knew of Coven­try and left it to its fate rather than com­pro­mise Britain’s abil­i­ty to crack the Ger­man Enig­ma codes seems to depend on one’s feel­ings toward Churchill.…

Not quite robust enough!…

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9/11/12: Ambassador Murdered, Consulate Burned

9/11/12: Ambassador Murdered, Consulate Burned

Over the last forty-eight hours I have been asked for the same two Churchill quo­ta­tions by sev­er­al per­sons in the news media or in pol­i­tics. The quo­ta­tions are in my book, Churchill By Him­self, new­ly pub­lished as Churchill in His Own Words:

“Lead­er­ship” chap­ter, page 490, “Iner­tia”:

When the sit­u­a­tion was man­age­able it was neglect­ed, and now that it is thor­ough­ly out of hand we apply too late the reme­dies which then might have effect­ed a cure. There is noth­ing new in the sto­ry. It is as old as the  Sibylline books. It falls into that long, dis­mal cat­a­logue of the fruit­less­ness of expe­ri­ence and the con­firmed unteach­a­bil­i­ty of mankind.…

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