Churchill’s role in the defense of Antwerp, in October 1914, has been called one of his “characteristically piratical” adventures. An eminent historian described it as “a shocking folly by a minister who abused his powers and betrayed his responsibilities. It is astonishing that [his] cabinet colleagues so readily forgave him for a lapse of judgment that would have destroyed most men’s careers.”1
As the Germans closed in around Antwerp, Hastings writes, Churchill “assembled a hotchpotch of Royal Marines and surplus naval personnel… his own private army.” Then he “abandoned his post at the Admiralty.” Then he “had himself appointed Britain’s plenipotentiary to the beleaguered fortress.”2
The Royal Naval Division
Before the war, Churchill had opposed conscription (“the draft”).…
Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality: What He Actually Did and Said is now available in paperback and Kindle formats from Amazon. Excerpts from my remarks the Hillsdale College Churchill Conference, 20 February 2017. Videos are online for all presentations.
Myth and Reality
Not a day passes when Winston Churchill, who proved indispensable when liberty hung in the balance, is not accused of something dreadful. Charges range from alcoholism and racism to misogyny and warmongering. Frequently there is no documentation, only partial quotes selected to advance preconceived notions and canards. Winston Churchill: Myth and Reality, confronts this busy industry.…