“Churchill and the Avoidable War”

“Churchill and the Avoidable War”

AvoidableWar“If the Allies had resist­ed Hitler strong­ly in his ear­ly stages…he would have been forced to recoil, and a chance would have been giv­en to the sane ele­ments in Ger­man life.” — Win­ston S. Churchill, 1948:

World War II was the defin­ing event of our age—the cli­mac­tic clash between lib­er­ty and tyran­ny. It led to rev­o­lu­tions, the demise of empires, a pro­tract­ed Cold War, and reli­gious strife still not end­ed. Yet Churchill main­tained that it was all avoidable.

This new book is pub­lished and avail­able as a Kin­dle Sin­gle or an illus­trat­ed paper­back via Ama­zon USA and Ama­zon UK. I would be most grate­ful if any­one who reads it would con­sid­er post­ing a short review on the Ama­zon pages above. Just go to the Ama­zon page and scroll down to “read­er reviews.”

This book exam­ines Churchill’s argu­ment: his pre­scrip­tions to pre­vent war, not in ret­ro­spect but at the timehis for­mu­las, his actions, the degree to which he pur­sued them. It shows that he was both right and wrong: right that Hitler could have been stopped; wrong that he did all he could to stop him. It is based on what real­ly happened—evidence that has been “hid­ing in pub­lic” for many years, thor­ough­ly ref­er­enced in over 200 foot­notes to Churchill’s words and those of his contemporaries.

We must bear in mind that Churchill was out of office, that he had no ple­nary author­i­ty. But he did have stature, and the chal­lenges were great: the rise of Hitler; the rearm­ing of Ger­many; vio­la­tions of the Ver­sailles Treaty; the push for Ger­man hege­mo­ny, the remil­i­ta­riza­tion of the Rhineland, the Anschluss with Aus­tria, the Munich Agree­ment and the  seizure of Czecho­slo­va­kia; missed oppor­tu­ni­ties for use­ful rela­tion­ships with Rus­sia and Amer­i­ca. Of course these chal­lenges were not to Britain alone—particularly in the cas­es of the Rhineland and Czechoslovakia.

It is prop­er to con­sid­er the lessons of the past as a guide to sim­i­lar chal­lenges now and in the future. But as Churchill wrote, “Let no one look down on those hon­ourable, well-mean­ing men whose actions are chron­i­cled in these pages, with­out search­ing his own heart, review­ing his own dis­charge of pub­lic duty, and apply­ing the lessons of the past to his future con­duct.” We must avoid apply­ing the fatal deci­sions of that time to today’s problems—yet that is what the Churchillian cri­tique of the 1930s has been used for, from the 1948 Berlin block­ade through the Cold War, the Kore­an and Viet­nam wars, the Suez and Cuban crises, Sad­dam Hussein’s Iraq, North Korea and Iran.


Con­tents (more details in sub­se­quent posts)

Chap­ter 1. Ger­many Arm­ing: Encoun­ter­ing Hitler, 1930-34

Chap­ter 2. Ger­many Armed: “Hitler and His Choice,” 1935-36

Chap­ter 3. Churchill and the Rhineland: “They had only to act to win,” 1936

Chap­ter 4. Derelict State: The Aus­tri­an Anschluss, 1938

Chap­ter 5: Churchill and Munich: Lost Oppor­tu­ni­ties and Mor­tal Fol­lies, Octo­ber 1938

Chap­ter 6. “Favourable Ref­er­ence to the Dev­il”: The Russ­ian Enig­ma, 1938-39

Chap­ter 7. Lost Best Hope: The Amer­i­ca Fac­tor, 1918-41

Chap­ter 8. Was World War II Pre­ventable? “Embalm, cre­mate and bury—take no risks!”

Sum­ma­ry: What Churchill Teach­es Us Today


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