Tag: Stalin

Churchill, Arthur Harris and Decisions to Bomb Germany

Churchill, Arthur Harris and Decisions to Bomb Germany

Did Win­ston Churchill influ­ence the deci­sion to bomb Ger­man cities so bad­ly at end of World War II? What role did he have in appoint­ing Sir Arthur “Bomber” Har­ris to lead Bomber Com­mand? Did he give a secret order to “bomb the hell out of them”? Did he exhib­it this atti­tude in his speech­es? (Updat­ed and repost­ed, 31 May 2018.)

“Bomb the hell out of them”

Gen­er­al Har­ris was a mil­i­tary appoint­ment, though sup­port­ed by Churchill.  For many months after Rus­sia was attacked, bomb­ing was the only “sec­ond front” Britain could offer. The Allies were los­ing every­where and Stal­in was clam­or­ing for the Anglo-Amer­i­cans to attack.…

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Last Try to Avoid Hell, 1914

Last Try to Avoid Hell, 1914

“Sav­ing the Nations from Hell”: The “King­ly Con­fer­ence,” 1914 (Excerpt)

(Read more at Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project)

Churchill’s faith in per­son­al diplomacy—solving intractable prob­lems by meet­ings at the high­est level—was famous­ly expressed dur­ing World War II.

Less wide­ly known is Churchill’s 1914 pro­pos­al for a con­fer­ence of heads of state (includ­ing, it seems, French Pres­i­dent Ray­mond Poin­caré) in an effort to head-off World War I. The scheme failed, but not for Churchill’s lack of try­ing.

There is lit­tle on Churchill’s “king­ly con­fer­ence” in the lit­er­a­ture. There is no ref­er­ence in Churchill’s The World Cri­sis, Asquith’s mem­oirs, or biogra­phies by Man­ches­ter, Jenk­ins, Rose, Charm­ley and Birken­head, though Sir Mar­tin Gilbert includes in the offi­cial biog­ra­phy an excerpt from a cab­i­net mem­ber which records Churchill’s words in the cab­i­net of July 27th:

Churchill said we were now in a bet­ter than aver­age con­di­tion, & the fleet was at war strength….Churchill, how­ev­er, added: it was an appalling calami­ty for civilised nations to con­tem­plate & thought pos­si­bly sov­er­eigns could be brought togeth­er for sake of Peace.…

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Praise for “Avoidable War”

Praise for “Avoidable War”

Churchill and the Avoid­able War will cost you the price of a cup of cof­fee. You can read it in a cou­ple of nights.  You may then  decide if Churchill was right (or wrong) that World War II could have been pre­vent­ed. Click on “Buy Now” under the book image at right on this page.

Here is an excel­lent sur­vey of the key “what if” junc­tures where his­to­ry could have tak­en a dif­fer­ent turn. What I like about it espe­cial­ly is that it con­sci­en­tious­ly steers away from any defin­i­tive pro­nounce­ments about one zig or zag mak­ing all the dif­fer­ence in pre­vent­ing World War II.…

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