“Rats in a Hole”: Churchill’s Apology
Imagine if the President of the United States declared, “We will dig out terrorists ‘like rats in a hole.” Many would applaud and think maybe they had misjudged him. Or would they?
A colleague sends an exchange in the House of Commons on 7 March 1916. “Colonel Churchill,” recently returned from the Front but still a Member of Parliament, was speaking about the naval war with Germany. British naval planners must provide, Churchill was saying,
against what will be a continually increasing element of the unknown. I must also just point out another argument which shows that, great as were the anxieties with which we were faced in the first four months of the War, they have not by any means been removed, or, indeed, sensibly diminished by the course of events.…