Year: 2019

Bengal Famine: The Hottest of Churchill Debates

Bengal Famine: The Hottest of Churchill Debates

Bengal 1943-44

Most pop­u­lar by far: On both the Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project web­site and this one, more read­er com­ment is engen­dered over Churchill’s role in the 1943 Ben­gal Famine than any oth­er sub­ject. A lot of it, pro and con, is by Indi­ans them­selves. This is under­stand­able. The food short­age that rav­aged Ben­gal in 1943-44 was the great­est human­i­tar­i­an cri­sis in India’s his­to­ry. Up to three mil­lion peo­ple died—5% of the province’s pop­u­la­tion. Pro­por­tion­al­ly, think 16 mil­lion Amer­i­cans.

The book that start­ed the con­tro­ver­sy, Churchill’s Secret War, is now eight years old.…

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Athens 1944: Not Churchill’s Finest Hour? Hmm….

Athens 1944: Not Churchill’s Finest Hour? Hmm….

 

Question:

Rather late in the day, I have been read­ing The Spec­ta­tor (UK) Christ­mas Spe­cial dat­ed 15/21/29 Decem­ber 2018. Page 28 refers to one Ron­nie Boyd, who had been a teenage Ordi­nary Sea­man aboard HMS Ajax in Decem­ber 1944, when Win­ston Churchill arrived in Athens to try to end the ongo­ing civ­il war.

“British forces helped put down, with con­sid­er­able force of arms, a per­ceived partisan/communist uprising—the so-called Bat­tle of Athens, or the Dekemvri­ana in Greece,” the arti­cle states. There fol­lows the extra­or­di­nary state­ment “Not Win­ston Churchill’s Finest Hour, it has to be said.” It is accom­pa­nied by a mini-car­toon show­ing WSC on the bridge of HMS Ajax mak­ing this announce­ment.…

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