Churchill’s role in the defense of Antwerp, in October 1914, has been called one of his “characteristically piratical” adventures. An eminent historian described it as “a shocking folly by a minister who abused his powers and betrayed his responsibilities. It is astonishing that [his] cabinet colleagues so readily forgave him for a lapse of judgment that would have destroyed most men’s careers.”1
As the Germans closed in around Antwerp, Hastings writes, Churchill “assembled a hotchpotch of Royal Marines and surplus naval personnel… his own private army.” Then he “abandoned his post at the Admiralty.” Then he “had himself appointed Britain’s plenipotentiary to the beleaguered fortress.”2
The Royal Naval Division
Before the war, Churchill had opposed conscription (“the draft”).…
Per the previous post, I append for reader comment the contents of my next book, Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality: What Churchill Stood For.
I have written on most of these matters in the past; the book recasts it afresh. I also acknowledge and cross-reference the work of experts who know far more than I, particularly in the fields of genealogy and medicine. I would be glad to hear your thoughts; please use the “contact” page.
The historian David Stafford wrote: “Myth only develops and takes hold when the time is right, and the climate has long been ripe for the emergence of myths about a wartime hero who stood firm against a totalitarian foe and smote an evil empire.”
Churchill myth is born both of exaggeration and criticism, created either to glorify the record or to belabor it.…