Tag: Dardanelles

Why the Turks Like Churchill

Why the Turks Like Churchill

How great was Atatürk? The ques­tion came up exam­in­ing Turk­ish atti­tudes to Churchill, which one might expect would be hos­tile. In 1914, Churchill’s Admi­ral­ty denied Turkey two bat­tle­ships being built in Britain as World War I erupt­ed. In 1915, Churchill pushed hard (though did not con­ceive of) the attacks on the Dar­d­anelles and Gal­lipoli. (See also “com­ments” on this post from thought­ful Turks.)

Atatürk

One his­to­ri­an spec­u­lat­ed that Churchill mir­rored the courage and resource­ful­ness of  Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk). Anoth­er said there “might be a lin­ger­ing impres­sion that Churchill had helped save Turkey from the red men­ace by his resis­tance to Russ­ian demands on the Dar­d­anelles Straits—of course it was Har­ry Tru­man who did the heavy lift­ing there [through the Tru­man Doc­trine]”

The Turks have abun­dant rea­sons to feel pos­i­tive toward Churchill, aside from his per­son­al courage, and his post-1945 resis­tance to Sovi­et designs on the Dar­d­anelles (when he was out of office and pow­er­less).…

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Critique Down Under: Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel

Critique Down Under: Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel

Par­tic­u­lar­ly on the Fall of Sin­ga­pore (see ear­li­er post), a new cri­tique of Churchill miss­es the for­est for the trees and fails on the facts. Real­ly, Churchill made lots of mis­takes worth con­tem­plat­ing. But these aren’t among them.

The arti­cle appeared in south­west Australia’s Sun Coast Dai­ly on April 26th. Not exact­ly The Times, and if you don’t sub­scribe to Google Alerts you missed it. For the fun of shoot­ing fish in a bar­rel, how­ev­er, it’s worth a few min­utes of your time.

 

Critique 1: Self-Interest

“Churchill had a long and var­ied career in pol­i­tics, man­ag­ing to swap par­ties as his career needs required.”

Churchill swapped par­ties in 1904 over prin­ci­ple (Free Trade), risk­ing rather than enhanc­ing his career.…

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Churchill: Myth and Reality

Churchill: Myth and Reality

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.…

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