Assault count: Since I am losing track, I thought it would be convenient to create an index to smears of Winston Churchill following the film Darkest Hour.
Note the similarity of topics. Many writers feed off each other, repeating the same disproven arguments. Never do they check Churchill quotes or The Churchill Documents
—which prove them irretrievably wrong. The order is most recent first.
Update for 2019
Assault of 29 March: The Ezine Scroll-in reported that Churchill’s policies caused the drought that caused the Bengal Famine. (Not enough to be Prime Minister, he must also be a farmer, since he needed to know Irrigation.) This was a huge red herring. It was not drought but a cyclone that destroyed the rice crop plus the road and rail links. Other factors included Japan’s invasion of Burma and the refusal of Indian merchants to release grains while prices were rising. Soil samples prove nothing. Refuted on Facebook.
Assault and battery…
Assault of 10 October: Historian Andrew Roberts was attacked for, besides overlooking old chestnuts, two new ones. Apparently Churchill drove Gertrude Bell to suicide and devalued the pound. Somehow, however, when he ran the treasury, the pound gained in value. Response on this website.
Assault of 5 October: Retired U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted a point about civic decency:
“One of the greatest leaders of modern times, Sir Winston Churchill said, ‘in victory, magnanimity.’” Matthew D’Ancona nicely wrote in the Evening Standard:
“Like a meteor storm bombarding a capsule in orbit, furious trolls attacked him on social media.” Churchill was “as good as Hitler.” He was responsible for the Bengal Famine. He was a bigot, mass-murderer and racist. Kelly folded like a three-dollar suitcase. “Did not mean to offend by quoting Churchill. My apologies. I will go and educate myself further on his atrocities, racist views which I do not support.” This baloney was most importantly refuted by Andrew Roberts in the Daily Telegraph:
“Of course Churchill was a great leader. It was utterly craven of Scott Kelly to apologise for saying so.” (Text available upon request.)
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Assault of 15 March: Adrija Roychowdhury, “An unpopular racist,” Indian Express (Praising Mussolini, preferring Nazis to Communists, Bengal famine, poison gas.) Response by Richard Langworth in the Comments section (limited to 1000 characters and no links).
Assault of 10 March: Shashi Tharoor, “Hollywood rewards a mass murderer,” Washington Post. (Bengal famine, bombing Irish protesters, poison gas, hating Indians.) Response by Soren Geiger, Hillsdale College Churchill Project, in The American Spectator.
Assault of 9 March: Shree Paradkar, “Winston Churchill, the barbaric monster,” Toronto Star. (Bengal famine, Kenya, Greece, “Aryan stock” quote.) Response by Terry Reardon, Hillsdale College Churchill Project.
Assault of 2 March: “…The Castlerosse Affair,” Journal of Contemporary History. (Written version of Churchill’s supposed affair with Doris Castlerosse.) Response by Richard Langworth, American Spectator.
Assault of 25 February: “Churchill’s Secret Affair,” UK Channel 4. (Churchill cheated on his wife in a four-year affair.) Response by Andrew Roberts, The Spectator & Hillsdale Churchill Project.
Assault of 23 February: Tom Blackwell, “Some wonder if he was more war criminal…” National Post. (Bengal famine, though in this one case the author does quote a few defenders.). Response on this website.
Assault of 23 January: Louise Raw, “…Don’t forget his problematic past,” The Independent. (Kenya, Bengal Famine, Welsh strikers, hate for Indians, Islamophobia, etc.) Response on Facebook.
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Nearly forty years ago an equally great Churchill performance, Robert Hardy in The Wilderness Years, was received with equal acclaim by press and public. Most importantly, there was no chorus of hate, no trumped-up charges, no hint that Churchill’s overall record was in anything except positive. Alas times have changed.
2 thoughts on “Assault on Winston Churchill, 2018: A Reader’s Guide”
I’m not sure what you are asking. The famine was exacerbated by three main things: the weather, the Japanese invasion of Burma, and hoarding by local merchants. British policy was to win a world war. The documents are conclusive that the British did all they could, in that context, to relieve the starvation, and eventually did. Of course Churchill (and the War Cabinet) were responsible. So was the Viceroy, Field Marshall Wavell. Without them, the Bengal Famine would have been worse.
Those documents prove what: that the Bengal famine of 1942 was not exacerbated by British policy, or that Churchill was not responsible for the policy, or that British policymakers could not have known that their policies were having this effect?