Tag: Martin Gilbert

Churchill’s Potent Political Nicknames: Adm. Row-Back to Wuthering Height

Churchill’s Potent Political Nicknames: Adm. Row-Back to Wuthering Height

Spo­rad­i­cal­ly, pun­dits com­pare Don­ald Trump with Win­ston Churchill. There’s even a book com­ing out on the sub­ject. I dep­re­cate all this by instinct and will avoid that book like the Coro­n­avirus. Sur­face sim­i­lar­i­ties may exist: both said or say main­ly what they thought or think, unfil­tered by polls (and some­times good advice). But Churchill’s lan­guage and thought were on a high­er plane. Still, when a friend said that Churchill nev­er stooped to deri­sive nick­names like Trump, I had to dis­agree.

Whether invent­ed by the Pres­i­dent or his scriptwrit­ers, some of Trump’s nick­names were very effec­tive.…

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Bombing Auschwitz: “Get everything out of the air force you can.” -WSC

Bombing Auschwitz: “Get everything out of the air force you can.” -WSC

Bomb­ing Auschwitz” is Chap­ter 31 in my book, Win­ston Churchill, Myth and Real­i­ty: What he Actu­al­ly Did and Said. Avail­able in Kin­dle or paper­back from Ama­zon.

The Auschwitz myth

“War is main­ly a cat­a­logue of blun­ders,” Churchill wrote. [1] Once the sig­nal is giv­en, a war leader is “no longer the mas­ter of pol­i­cy.” He is “the slave of unfore­see­able and uncon­trol­lable events. Anti­quat­ed War Offices, weak, incom­pe­tent or arro­gant Com­man­ders, untrust­wor­thy allies, hos­tile neu­trals, malig­nant For­tune, ugly sur­pris­es, awful miscalculations—all take their seat at the Coun­cil Board….” [2]

The fail­ure to act, when action would seem in hind­sight imper­a­tive, is often laid at the feet of states­men.…

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Question for Readers: What did Churchill Mean by “Man is Spirit”?

Question for Readers: What did Churchill Mean by “Man is Spirit”?

“Man is spirit”

Win­ston Churchill retired as Prime Min­is­ter on 5 April 1955. On April 3rd, he met with his non-Cab­i­net min­is­ters. His last words were report­ed by William Sid­ney, Vis­count De L’Isle and Dud­ley, his neigh­bor in West­er­ham, to Mar­tin Gilbert. “Man is spir­it,” he told them. Then he added: “Nev­er be sep­a­rat­ed from the Amer­i­cans.”

The lat­ter is well under­stood. In 1956, when he wasn’t around, there was quite a seri­ous sep­a­ra­tion, over Suez. “Man is spir­it” is hard­er to under­stand. What did Churchill mean?

A pro­fes­sor teach­ing Churchill’s states­man­ship says his class is going back and forth on that.…

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