Tag: Francois Darlan

“Casablanca”: Rick’s Letters of Transit. Signed by…Darlan?

“Casablanca”: Rick’s Letters of Transit. Signed by…Darlan?

Darlan, Vichy, the French Fleet, and a Question

A PBS doc­u­men­tary on Churchill’s destruc­tion of the French Fleet at Oran aired a decade ago.** But I still get the same ques­tion about one of its more infa­mous char­ac­ters, Admi­ral François Dar­lan, Prime Min­is­ter of Vichy France dur­ing the Oran attack. He was also PM in ear­ly Decem­ber 1941: the time frame for Casablan­ca, one of the great movies of all time.

Dar­lan was by rep­u­ta­tion wily, untrust­wor­thy and scur­rilous. Eisen­how­er made him High Com­mis­sion­er in exchange for Vichy forces stand­ing down dur­ing the Novem­ber 1942 inva­sion of North Africa.…

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Garfield, “The Paladin” (or: Christoper Creighton’s Excellent Adventure)

Garfield, “The Paladin” (or: Christoper Creighton’s Excellent Adventure)

The Pal­adin, by Bri­an Garfield. New York: Simon & Schus­ter, 1979; Lon­don, Macmil­lan 1980; Book Club Asso­ciates 1981, sev­er­al tarns­la­tions, 350 pages. (Review updat­ed 2019.)

Garfield’s gripping novel: fictional biography?

The late, pro­lif­ic Bri­an Garfield wrote this book four decades ago, yet I am still asked about it—and whether it could be true.

The sto­ry Mr. Garfield tells seems impossible—fantastic. An eleven-year-old boy named Christo­pher Creighton leaps a gar­den wall in Kent one day. He finds him­self face to face with the Right Hon­or­able Win­ston Churchill, Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment. He will lat­er know the great man by the code-name “Tig­ger.”…

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Churchill in Oslo, 1948: Stray Gems from a Distant Past

Churchill in Oslo, 1948: Stray Gems from a Distant Past

On 11-13 May 1948, Win­ston Churchill was in Nor­way to accept an hon­orary degree from Oslo Uni­ver­si­ty. He gave five speeches—University, City Hall, Stort­ing (Nor­we­gian Par­lia­ment) and two din­ners. All five can be found in Churchill’s speech vol­ume Europe Unite, or Win­ston S. Churchill: His Com­plete Speech­es 1897-1963. They offer six gems of Churchillian wis­dom. I plan to add them to the upcom­ing new edi­tion of Churchill by Him­self, my book of quotations.

Oslo Variations

A read­er reminds us of these obscure ora­tions by send­ing one: Churchill’s din­ner speech on May 12th.…

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