Month: July 2017

“Dunkirk” film: What if Hitler had Launched an Invasion?

“Dunkirk” film: What if Hitler had Launched an Invasion?

Inva­sion in 1940? Tim­o­thy Egan pos­es a thought­ful ques­tion in The New York Times. What if Hitler, not hes­i­tat­ing after Dunkirk, had rapid­ly launched an inva­sion of Britain?In con­vey­ing the movie Dunkirk‘s impor­tance, Egan’s first para­graph is a much bet­ter intro­duc­tion than the film provides:For more than a thou­sand years, the tribes of Europe have stared into the gun-met­al-gray chop of the Eng­lish Chan­nel and thought of con­quest. “We have six cen­turies of insults to avenge,” said Napoleon. I was just there, on the same spring week when the great bedrag­gled scraps of the French and British armies were cor­nered for slaugh­ter by the Nazi war machine 77 years ago.…

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A Love of the (Hot-Water) Bottle: Wartime Anecdotes

A Love of the (Hot-Water) Bottle: Wartime Anecdotes

Living Hot-Water Bottle

Q. “Rab” But­ler, Churchill’s Min­is­ter of Edu­ca­tion (1941-45) and Chan­cel­lor of the Exche­quer (1951-55), recalled that Churchill once told him he was doing less for the war effort than Churchill’s grey cat Nel­son, who saved fuel and pow­er by act­ing as a Prime Min­is­te­r­i­al hot-water bot­tle. True?

A. Yes. But­ler said this in a speech to the Rt. Hon. Sir Win­ston Spencer Churchill Soci­ety of Edmon­ton, Alber­ta. (This was the orig­i­nal Churchill Soci­ety, the only one sanc­tioned by Churchill per­son­al­ly). But­ler spoke at their annu­al din­ner on 6 May 1968.…

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“Rascals, etc….”: Churchill & India

“Rascals, etc….”: Churchill & India

“Rascals, Rogues and Freebooters”

“Pow­er will go to the hands of ras­cals, rogues, free­boot­ers; all Indi­an lead­ers will be of low cal­i­bre & men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and sil­ly hearts. They will fight amongst them­selves for pow­er and India will be lost in polit­i­cal squabbles.”

The state­ment above is attrib­uted to Churchill. I can­not find it, as a speech or in a book. Although it is wide­ly and increas­ing­ly quot­ed in the Indi­an press and, giv­en what is hap­pen­ing, he seems to have been prophet­ic! —K.P., India

I searched for this line, and iso­lat­ed key word com­bi­na­tions (ras­cals, etc.), with­out suc­cess.…

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