Rather late in the day, I have been reading The Spectator (UK) Christmas Special dated 15/21/29 December 2018. Page 28 refers to one Ronnie Boyd, who had been a teenage Ordinary Seaman aboard HMS Ajax in December 1944, when Winston Churchill arrived in Athens to try to end the ongoing civil war.
“British forces helped put down, with considerable force of arms, a perceived partisan/communist uprising—the so-called Battle of Athens, or the Dekemvriana in Greece,” the article states. There follows the extraordinary statement “Not Winston Churchill’s Finest Hour, it has to be said.” It is accompanied by a mini-cartoon showing WSC on the bridge of HMS Ajax making this announcement.…
On Christmas eve 1944, Prime Minister Winston Churchill left family celebrations and flew to Athens to mediate the Greek civil war. Communists and royalists were fighting it out, but, armed with one promise Josef Stalin actually kept, Churchill thought he could give Greece a chance at democracy.
(Stalin’s kept promise was the roundly-condemned “percentages agreement” in Moscow a few weeks earlier, which gave Britain a sphere of influence in Greece in exchange for Soviet spheres in pretty much the rest of Eastern Europe.)
Reprinted with revisions from Finest Hour 133, Winter 2006-07
“I confess myself to be a great admirer of tradition. The longer you can look back, the farther you can look forward….The wider the span, the longer the continuity, the greater is the sense of duty in individual men and women, each contributing their brief life’s work to the preservation and progress of the land in which they live, the society of which they are members, and the world of which they are the servants.” —Winston S. Churchill, Royal College of Physicians, 2 March 1944
“The Cardinals’ bus from their hotel in midtown Manhattan was delayed by more than an hour as it made its way to Shea Stadium on Wednesday.…