The success of the movie Darkest Hour has prompted many to look up other film and video presentations of the Churchill saga. One of these is the 2005 series on Walter Thompson, Churchill’s Bodyguard, which a colleague tells me is a useful documentary. It is. All thirteen episodes are on YouTube. I watched several without complaint—rare for me.
Walter Henry Thompson
…was Winston Churchill’s protection officer and detective, on and off between 1921 and 1945. They had many adventures together, and Thompson wrote four books about his experiences. The first, Guard from the Yard (1938, now very rare) involved Churchill and others whom Thompson protected.…
EXCERPT ONLY: For the complete text of “Churchill and the Baltic” with endnotes, please go to this page on the Hillsdale College Churchill Project.
“No doubt where the right lay”: 1940-95
Soviet Ambassador Ivan Maisky was a “Bollinger Bolshevik” who mixed support for Communism with a love of Western luxury. Friendly to Churchill, he knew the Englishman hoped to separate Hitler and Stalin, even after World War II had started.
But Maisky tended to see what he wished to see. In December he recorded: “The British Government announces its readiness to recognize ‘de facto’ the changes in the Baltics so as to settle ‘de jure’ the whole issue later, probably after the war.” There was no such announcement.…
Col. Gault (Military Assistant to General Eisenhower, 29 April 1945): “John Peck, is that you? The General told me to ask you if the war is over.”
Peck: “I beg your pardon?”
Gault: “Seriously, we’ve got a press message here which says quite clearly that it’s all over. If so, nobody has told the General and he thought you would be the most likely to know at your end.”
Peck: “Well, if it has ended, nobody has told the Prime Minister either.”
Gault: “Do you think we had better carry on?”
Peck: “Yes, I think so.” [John then went back to sleep, and the war went on.]