|STEEL PANTHERS RUSSIA||
Предлагаемое собрание речей и выступлений У.Черчилля организовано по датам выступлений и по так называемым темам - "девизам". Эти речи пользовались такой популярностью, что живут своей собственной жизнью, получив свои собственные названия-имена. Девизы не переведены - это не нужно. В то же время не у всех выступлений есть девиз. Тогда смотрите на дату.
Черчилль родился 30 ноября 1874 года, раньше срока, в родовом поместье "Бленхейм", в Оксфордшире, и был окрещен как Уинстон Леонард Спенсер Черчилль. В его жилах течет кровь обоих англоговорящих народов - англичан и американцев, чей союз в войне и мире он непрестанно восхвалял. Вслед за своим отцом, лордом Рэндольфом Черчиллем, ярким политиком-тори, он шел по пути, проложенному Джоном Черчиллем, первым герцогом Мальборо, героем войн против французского короля Людовика XIV в начале 18-го столетия. Его мать Дженни Жером, отменная красавица, была дочерью нью-йоркского финансиста и любителя скачек Леонарда У. Жерома.
Детство Черчилля прошло без радости и в печалях, которые скрасило только влияние миссис Эверест, его сводной сестры. В школе Хэрроу он показал весьма скромные успехи в учебе, что навело его отца на мысль направить оболтуса на военную карьеру. Сынок только с третьей попытки сдал вступительные экзамены в Королевский Военный колледж, ныне военную академию в Сандхёрсте, но, уже поступив, серьезно взялся за дело и был выпущен (после завершения обучения) 20-ым по успехам из 130 выпускников. В 1895 году, в год трагической гибели его отца, он поступил на службу в 4-й гусарский полк. Первоначально единственным объектом приложения сил была Куба, где он провел пару месяцев, отправляя для лондонской газеты "Дейли График" репортажи о кубинской войне за независимость от Испании. В 1896 году его полк отбыл в Индию, где он нес службу одновременно в качестве солдата и журналиста на северо-западном пограничье (1897). Переработанные и изданные под названием "История Малакандского полевого корпуса" (1898), его записки привлекли к нему такое широкое внимание, что побудили его к карьере писателя, которой он не изменял всю свою жизнь. В 1897-98 гг. он на писал роман о вымышленной стране Руритании "Саврола" (1900), и присоединился к экспедиционным силам лорда Китченера в дельте Нила, где исполнял те же двойные функции солдата и корреспондента. Великолепное описание нильской кампании содержится в его книге "Война на реке" (1899).
ПОЛИТИЧЕСКАЯ КАРЬЕРА ДО 1939Через пять лет после окончания военного училища Черчилль определился и укрепился в своих интересах. Он разработал собственную программу образовательного чтения, чтобы скрасить скуку армейской службы в Индии и преодолеть недостатки образования, полученного в Хэрроу и Сандхёрсте, а в 1899 г. ушел в отставку, чтобы заняться политикой и зарабатывать на жизнь своим пером. Он в первый раз баллотировался от консервативной партии в Олдхеме, где и проиграл выборы с небольшой разницей в голосах, но получил широкую популярность своими репортажами с театра англо-бурской войны в Южной Африке для лондонской "Морнинг Пост". Всего через месяц после своего прибытия в Южную Африку он прославился участием в спасении бронепоезда, попавшего в западню, устроенную бурами, хотя и ценой собственного пленения. И его слава удвоилась, когда менее чем через месяц он сбежал из плена. Вернувшись в Англию героем войны, на выборах 1900 года он повел наступление на Олдхэм. На этот раз Черчилль победил на выборах, хотя и со столь же незначительным перевесом, как ранее проиграл. Но теперь он был уже в Парламенте и, опираясь на 10 тысяч ф.ст., заработанных публикациями и поездками с лекциями, смог идти своим собственным путем в политике.
Его самоуверенность, которая основывалась всего лишь на юношеском задоре, могла сделать Черчилля самой заметной фигурой Палаты Общин, но дефект речи, от которого он так никогда полностью и не избавился, в сочетании в определенной психологической замкнутостью, не позволили ему сразу же стать мастером парламентских дебатов. Он отлично составлял речи, которые гораздо лучше писал, чем произносил; по этому поводу лорд Бальфур, лидер консервативной фракции в парламенте сказал, что Черчилль "вооружен тяжелой, но не слишком мобильной артиллерией". Манерой поведения он напоминал своего отца, каким его описывает великолепная биография "Лорд Рэндольф Черчилль" (изданная в 1906 г. и переизданная в 1952 году), и подверг испытанию верность своей партии, когда выступил против нее, поддерживая идею почетного мира с бурами по итогам переговоров, критикуя в то же время некомпетентность и самодурство британского военного руководства.
Министр от либеральной партииВ 1904 г. правящая Консервативная партия с толкнулась с внутриполитическими проблемами, когда Секретарь по делам колоний Джозеф Чемберлен открыто высказался за установление контроля над ценами. Черчилль, убежденный сторонник свободы торговли, принял участие в создании Лиги Свободной Пищи (организация членов Парламента под лозунгом "Больше дешевых продуктов для бедных!"). Он стал терять поддержку своих избирателей и все сильнее стал расходиться с коллегами по партии. В 1904 г. он присоединился к Либеральной партии и приобрел известность своими нападками на Чемберлена и Бальфура. Радикальные элементы в его политическом облике проявились особенно отчетливо под влиянием двух коллег по партии, прежде всего Джона Морли, политического представителя интересов У.Ю.Гладстона, и Дэвида Ллойд-Джорджа, набиравшего популярность оратора и возмутителя спокойствия из Уэльса. На очередных всеобщих выборах 1906 года он одержал убедительную победу в Манчестере и начал свою министерскую карьеру в новом правительстве от Либеральной партии в качестве зам.министра по делам колоний. Он вскоре заработал очки умелым отстаиванием политики умиротворения и самоуправления для Южной Африки. После реформы системы министерств, проведенной в 1908 году премьер-министром Гербертом Г. Асквитом, Черчилль был назначен на пост председателя Совета по Торговле, войдя в качестве министра в Кабинет министров. Потерпев поражение на очередных довыборах в Манчестере, он победил на выборах в Данди. В том же году он женился на прекрасной Клементине Хозир; этот брак оказал сильное влияние на всю его бурную карьеру, став его опорой и тихой гаванью.
В Совете (министерстве) по торговле Черчилль проявил себе лидером движения в сторону либерализации, когда вместо проведения социальных реформ встал на позиции сторонников самоорганизации рынка и невмешательства государства. Он завершил работу, начатую его предшественником Ллойд-Джорджем, и провел закон, устанавливающий для шахтеров продолжительность рабочего дня в 8 часов. Ему лично принадлежит заслуга уничтожения дьявольской потогонной систему организации работы и установления минимума заработной платы, в борьбе с безработицей путем создания системы государственной переподготовки кадров.
Когда эта программа либералов привела к необходимости повышения налогов, что в итоге закончилось революционным решением Палаты Лордов отклонить бюджет 1909 года, Черчилль был ближайшим сотрудником Ллойд-Джорджа в разработке провокационной стратегии, целью имевшей подрезать крылышки верхней палате парламента. Черчилль стал председателем Бюджетной Лиги, и его разглагольствования с высокой трибуны в Палате Лордов были столь же впечатляющи и разрушительны, как выступления самого Ллойд-Джорджа. Тем временем Черчилль был заклеймен всеобщим позором со стороны партии тори (консерваторов)как низкий изменник своего класса. Его участие в всеобщих выборах 1910 и в Палату Общин во время прохождения Закона "О парламенте" 1911 года, когда он призывал ограничить полномочия Палаты Лордов, принесло ему широкую популярность. В кабинете министров в результате он продвинулся до поста министра внутренних дел. Здесь, несмотря на определенные улучшения в состоянии тюрем, он в итоге был поглощен борьбой с волнами забастовок в промышленности и неорганизованными волнениями. Здесь он порой даже вынужден был перейти за рамки того, что можно ожидать от "гаранта общественого порядка". Цена оказалась большой: профсоюзы с тех пор относились к нему с подозрением.
Война не стала неожиданностью для Черчилля. Он уже провел пробную мобилизацию военно-морского флота. Из всех членов кабинета министров он был наиболее последователен в необходимости оказания сопротивления Германии. 2 августа 1914 года он своей собственной властью приказал мобилизовать военно-морской флот, что обеспечило полную боеготовность к моменту объявления войны. Война потребовала применить всю энергию Черчилля. В октябре 1914 года, когда нападению подвергся Антверпен, он всецело отдался обеспечению его защиты. После падения города, когда все другие видели лишь безусловное поражение, именно благодаря его защите в течение пости недели бельгийская армия смогла уйти от поражения и была эвакуирована через порты на Ла-Манше. В адмиралтействе сотрудничество Черчилля с первым морским лордом адмиралом сэром Джоном Фишером было наполнено динамизмом и трениями. В 1915 г., когда Черчилль с энтузиазмом поддержал Дарданелльскую экспедицию как альтернативу дорогостоящему тупику Западного фронта, ему пришлось преодолевать неодобрение Фишера. Целью кампании было объявлено открытие проливов и установление прямой связи с Россией. Когда операция флота провалилась и адмиралом Д.М. де Робеком было принято решение об отступлении, военный совет адмиралтейства и Аксвит поддержали де Робека, а не Черчилля. Черчилль оказался под интенсивной политической критикой, которая усилилась с уходом в отставку Фишера. Полностью занятый делами министерства, Черчилль оказался совершенно не готов к буре, которая разразился над его головой. Он не принял участия в маневрах, которые привели к созданию первого коалиционного правительства и оказался бессилен противостоять консерваторам, которые, за единственным исключением сэра Уильяма Максвелла Эйткена (вскоре - лорд Бивербрук), выдворили его из адмиралтейства в герцогство Ланкастерское. На него была возложена персональная ответственность за операцию в Галлиполи (наступление по суше в районе проливов), проведенной без ясной цели и без прямого командования . Подкрепления были слишком немногочисленны и постоянно опаздывали; кампания закончилась неудачей и сопровождалась тяжелыми потерями; осенью началась эвакуация.
В ноябре 1915 г. Черчилль ушел в отставку из правительства и вернулся на военную службу, приняв активное участие в боевых действиях во Франции в должности подполковника 6-го полка Королевских Шотландских фузилеров. Хотя он отдался военной службе с энтузиазмом, армейская жизнь не позволила в полной мере проявиться его талантам. В июне 1916 г., когда его батальон был включен в другое подразделение, он не стал искать другой командирской должности, а вернулся в Парламент в качестве беспартийного члена. Он принимал участия в интригах, которые закончились формированием коалиционного правительства Ллойд-Джорджа, и только в 1917 году вошел в правительство как делегат от консервативной партии. В марте 1917 года публикация отчета комиссии, расследовавшей Дарданелльскую операцию показала, что его ответственность за провал не превосходит ответственности его коллег.
Черчилль вернулся в министерство. В январе 1919 года он становится военным министром. Тем удивительнее его роль на этом посту в сокращении расходов на вооружения. Главной его заботой в военном министерстве было обеспечение военной интервенции войск союзников в Россию. Черчилль, яростный противник большевизма, защищал вторжение от разделившегося и плохо управляемого кабинета министров в стремлении усилить и продлить миссию британских войск, вопреки желаниям большинства в Парламенте или даже в стране. В итоге в 1920 году, когда последние британские войска были выведены из России, Черчилль занялся поставками оружия Польше, когда она вторглась на Украину.
В 1921 г. Черчилль переведен в министерство по делам колоний, где его основные интересы были посвящены с подмандатными территориями на Ближнем Востоке. Вместо дорогостоящих сухопутных британских войск в этом районе он предложил положиться на авиацию и местную правящую знать, лояльную Британии; для устанвления отношений с арабскими кругами он полностью полагался на содействие T.Э. Лоуренса. В отношении Палестины, где он признавал конфликт интересов евреев и арабов, он в 1922 году составил "Белую книгу", в которой признал Палестину национальным домом евреев, признавая в то же время существенные права арабов. Черчилль в министерстве никогда не принимал решений относительно Ирландии, но его позиция постепенно менялась от сомнения к твердой и даже жесткой поддержке британского правления в Ирландии, вплоть до активного участия в переговорах, которые привели к заключению Англо-Ирландского договора 1921 г. В дальнейшем он оказывал полную поддержку новому ирландскому правительству.
In the autumn of 1922 the insurgent Turks appeared to be moving toward a forcible reoccupation of the Dardanelles neutral zone, which was protected by a small British force at Chanak (now Çanakkale). Churchill was foremost in urging a firm stand against them, but the handling of the issue by the Cabinet gave the public impression that a major war was being risked for an inadequate cause and on insufficient consideration. A political debacle ensued that brought the shaky coalition government down in ruins, with Churchill as one of the worst casualties. Gripped by a sudden attack of appendicitis, he was not able to appear in public until two days before the election, and then only in a wheelchair. He was defeated humiliatingly by more than 10,000 votes. He thus found himself, as he said, all at once "without an office, without a seat, without a party, and even without an appendix."
In and out of office, 1922-29.In convalescence and political impotence Churchill turned to his brush and his pen. His painting never rose above the level of a gifted amateur's, but his writing once again provided him with the financial base his independent brand of politics required. His autobiographical history of the war, The World Crisis, netted him the 20,000 with which he purchased Chartwell, henceforth his country home in Kent. When he returned to politics it was as a crusading anti-Socialist, but in 1923, when Stanley Baldwin was leading the Conservatives on a protectionist program, Churchill stood, at Leicester, as a Liberal free trader. He lost by approximately 4,000 votes. Asquith's decision in 1924 to support a minority Labour government moved Churchill farther to the right. He stood as an "Independent Anti-Socialist" in a by-election in the Abbey division of Westminster. Although opposed by an official Conservative candidate--who defeated him by a hairbreadth of 43 votes--Churchill managed to avoid alienating the Conservative leadership and indeed won conspicuous support from many prominent figures in the party. In the general election in November 1924 he won an easy victory at Epping under the thinly disguised Conservative label of "Constitutionalist." Baldwin, free of his flirtation with protectionism, offered Churchill, the "constitutionalist free trader," the post of chancellor of the Exchequer. Surprised, Churchill accepted; dumbfounded, the country interpreted it as a move to absorb into the party all the right-of-centre elements of the former coalition.
In the five years that followed, Churchill's early liberalism survived only in the form of advocacy of rigid laissez-faire economics; for the rest he appeared, repeatedly, as the leader of the diehards. He had no natural gift for financial administration, and though the noted economist John Maynard Keynes criticized him unsparingly, most of the advice he received was orthodox and harmful. His first move was to restore the gold standard, a disastrous measure, from which flowed deflation, unemployment, and the miners' strike that led to the general strike of 1926. Churchill offered no remedy except the cultivation of strict economy, extending even to the armed services. Churchill viewed the general strike as a quasi-revolutionary measure and was foremost in resisting a negotiated settlement. He leaped at the opportunity of editing the British Gazette, an emergency official newspaper, which he filled with bombastic and frequently inflammatory propaganda. The one relic of his earlier radicalism was his partnership with Neville Chamberlain as minister of health in the cautious expansion of social services, mainly in the provision of widows' pensions.
In 1929, when the government fell, Churchill, who would have liked a Tory-Liberal reunion, deplored Baldwin's decision to accept a minority Labour government. The next year an open rift developed between the two men. On Baldwin's endorsement of a Round Table Conference with Indian leaders, Churchill resigned from the shadow cabinet and threw himself into a passionate, at times almost hysterical, campaign against the Government of India bill (1935) designed to give India dominion status.
Exclusion from office, 1929-39.Thus, when in 1931 the National Government was formed, Churchill, though a supporter, had no hand in its establishment or place in its councils. He had arrived at a point where, for all his abilities, he was distrusted by every party. He was thought to lack judgment and stability and was regarded as a guerrilla fighter impatient of discipline. He was considered a clever man who associated too much with clever men--Birkenhead, Beaverbrook, Lloyd George--and who despised the necessary humdrum associations and compromises of practical politics.
In this situation he found relief, as well as profit, in his pen, writing, in Marlborough: His Life and Times, a massive rehabilitation of his ancestor against the criticisms of the 19th-century historian Thomas Babington Macaulay. But overriding the past and transcending his worries about India was a mounting anxiety about the growing menace of Hitler's Germany. Before a supine government and a doubting opposition, Churchill persistently argued the case for taking the German threat seriously and for the need to prevent the Luftwaffe from securing parity with the Royal Air Force. In this he was supported by a small but devoted personal following, in particular the gifted, curmudgeonly Oxford physics professor Frederick A. Lindemann (later Lord Cherwell), who enabled him to build up at Chartwell a private intelligence centre, the information of which was often superior to that of the government. When Baldwin became prime minister in 1935, he persisted in excluding Churchill from office but gave him the exceptional privilege of membership in the secret committee on air-defense research, thus enabling him to work on some vital national problems. But Churchill had little success in his efforts to impart urgency to Baldwin's administration. The crisis that developed when Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935 found Churchill ill prepared, divided between a desire to build up the League of Nations around the concept of collective security and the fear that collective action would drive Benito Mussolini into the arms of Hitler. The Spanish Civil War (1936-39) found him convinced of the virtues of nonintervention, first as a supporter and later as a critic of Francisco Franco. Such vagaries of judgment in fact reflected the overwhelming priority he accorded to one issue--the containment of German aggressiveness. At home there was one grievous, characteristic, romantic misreading of the political and public mood, when, in Edward VIII's abdication crisis of 1936, he vainly opposed Baldwin by a public championing of the King's cause.
When Neville Chamberlain succeeded Baldwin, the gulf between the Cassandra-like Churchill and the Conservative leaders widened. Repeatedly the accuracy of Churchill's information on Germany's aggressive plans and progress was confirmed by events; repeatedly his warnings were ignored. Yet his handful of followers remained small; politically, Chamberlain felt secure in ignoring them. As German pressure mounted on Czechoslovakia, Churchill without success urged the government to effect a joint declaration of purpose by Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union. When the Munich Agreement with Hitler was made in September 1938, sacrificing Czechoslovakia to the Nazis, Churchill laid bare its implications, insisting that it represented "a total and unmitigated defeat." In March 1939 Churchill and his group pressed for a truly national coalition, and, at last, sentiment in the country, recognizing him as the nation's spokesman, began to agitate for his return to office. As long as peace lasted, Chamberlain ignored all such persuasions.
LEADERSHIP DURING WORLD WAR IIIn a sense, the whole of Churchill's previous career had been a preparation for wartime leadership. An intense patriot; a romantic believer in his country's greatness and its historic role in Europe, the empire, and the world; a devotee of action who thrived on challenge and crisis; a student, historian, and veteran of war; a statesman who was master of the arts of politics, despite or because of long political exile; a man of iron constitution, inexhaustible energy, and total concentration, he seemed to have been nursing all his faculties so that when the moment came he could lavish them on the salvation of Britain and the values he believed Britain stood for in the world.
On Sept. 3, 1939, the day Britain declared war on Germany, Chamberlain appointed Churchill to his old post in charge of the Admiralty. The signal went out to the fleet: "Winston is back." On September 11 Churchill received a congratulatory note from Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt and replied over the signature "Naval Person"; a memorable correspondence had begun. At once Churchill's restless energy began to be felt throughout the administration, as his ministerial colleagues as well as his own department received the first of those pungent minutes that kept the remotest corners of British wartime government aware that their shortcomings were liable to detection and penalty. All his efforts, however, failed to energize the torpid Anglo-French entente during the so-called "phony war," the period of stagnation in the European war before the German seizure of Norway in April 1940. The failure of the Narvik and Trondheim expeditions, dependent as they were on naval support, could not but evoke some memories of the Dardanelles and Gallipoli, so fateful for Churchill's reputation in World War I. This time, however, it was Chamberlain who was blamed, and it was Churchill who endeavoured to defend him.
As prime minister.The German invasion of the Low Countries, on May 10, 1940, came like a hammer blow on top of the Norwegian fiasco. Chamberlain resigned. He wanted Lord Halifax, the foreign secretary, to succeed him, but Halifax wisely declined. It was obvious that Churchill alone could unite and lead the nation, since the Labour Party, for all its old distrust of Churchill's anti-Socialism, recognized the depth of his commitment to the defeat of Hitler. A coalition government was formed that included all elements save the far left and right. It was headed by a war Cabinet of five, which included at first both Chamberlain and Halifax--a wise but also magnanimous recognition of the numerical strength of Chamberlainite conservatism--and two Labour leaders, Clement Attlee and Arthur Greenwood. The appointment of Ernest Bevin, a tough trade-union leader, as minister of labour guaranteed cooperation on this vital front. Offers were made to Lloyd George, but he declined them. Churchill himself took, in addition to the leadership of the House of Commons, the Ministry of Defence. The pattern thus set was maintained throughout the war despite many changes of personnel. The Cabinet became an agency of swift decision, and the government that it controlled remained representative of all groups and parties. The Prime Minister concentrated on the actual conduct of the war. He delegated freely but also probed and interfered continuously, regarding nothing as too large or too small for his attention. The main function of the chiefs of the armed services became that of containing his great dynamism, as a governor regulates a powerful machine; but, though he prodded and pressed them continuously, he never went against their collective judgment. In all this, Parliament played a vital part. If World War II was strikingly free from the domestic political intrigues of World War I, it was in part because Churchill, while he always dominated Parliament, never neglected it or took it for granted. For him, Parliament was an instrument of public persuasion on which he played like a master and from which he drew strength and comfort.
On May 13 Churchill faced the House of Commons for the first time as prime minister. He warned members of the hard road ahead--"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat"--and committed himself and the nation to all-out war until victory was achieved. Behind this simplicity of aim lay an elaborate strategy to which he adhered with remarkable consistency throughout the war. Hitler's Germany was the enemy; nothing should distract the entire British people from the task of effecting its defeat. Anyone who shared this goal, even a communist, was an acceptable ally. The indispensable ally in this endeavour, whether formally at war or not, was the United States. The cultivation and maintenance of its support was a central principle of Churchill's thought. Yet whether the United States became a belligerent partner or not, the war must be won without a repetition for Britain of the catastrophic bloodlettings of World War I; and Europe at the conflict's end must be reestablished as a viable, self-determining entity, while the Commonwealth should remain as a continuing, if changing, expression of Britain's world role. Provided these essentials were preserved, Churchill, for all his sense of history, was surprisingly willing to sacrifice any national shibboleths--of orthodox economics, of social convention, of military etiquette or tradition--on the altar of victory. Thus, within a couple of weeks of this crusading anti-Socialist's assuming power, Parliament passed legislation placing all "persons, their services and their property at the disposal of the Crown"--granting the government in effect the most sweeping emergency powers in modern British history.
The effort was designed to match the gravity of the hour. After the Allied defeat and the evacuation of the battered British forces from Dunkirk, Churchill warned Parliament that invasion was a real risk to be met with total and confident defiance. Faced with the swift collapse of France, Churchill made repeated personal visits to the French government in an attempt to keep France in the war, culminating in the celebrated offer of Anglo-French union on June 16, 1940. When all this failed, the Battle of Britain began. Here Churchill was in his element, in the firing line--at fighter headquarters, inspecting coast defenses or antiaircraft batteries, visiting scenes of bomb damage or victims of the "blitz," smoking his cigar, giving his V sign, or broadcasting frank reports to the nation, laced with touches of grim Churchillian humour and splashed with Churchillian rhetoric. The nation took him to its heart; he and they were one in "their finest hour."
Other painful and more debatable decisions fell to Churchill. The French fleet was attacked to prevent its surrender intact to Hitler. A heavy commitment was made to the concentrated bombing of Germany. At the height of the invasion threat, a decision was made to reinforce British strength in the eastern Mediterranean. Forces were also sent to Greece, a costly sacrifice; the evacuation of Crete looked like another Gallipoli, and Churchill came under heavy fire in Parliament.
In these hard days the exchange of U.S. overage destroyers for British Caribbean bases and the response, by way of lend-lease, to Churchill's boast "Give us the tools and we'll finish the job" were especially heartening to one who believed in a "mixing-up" of the English-speaking democracies. The unspoken alliance was further cemented in August 1941 by the dramatic meeting between Churchill and Roosevelt in Placentia Bay, Nfd., Canada, which produced the Atlantic Charter, a statement of common principles between the United States and Britain.
Formation of the "grand alliance."When Hitler launched his sudden attack on the Soviet Union, Churchill's response was swift and unequivocal. In a broadcast on June 22, 1941, while refusing to "unsay" any of his earlier criticisms of communism, he insisted that "the Russian danger . . . is our danger" and pledged aid to the Russian people. Henceforth, it was his policy to construct a "grand alliance" incorporating the Soviet Union and the United States. But it took until May 1942 to negotiate a 20-year Anglo-Soviet pact of mutual assistance.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (Dec. 7, 1941) altered, in Churchill's eyes, the whole prospect of the war. He went at once to Washington, D.C., and, with Roosevelt, hammered out a set of Anglo-American accords: the pooling of both countries' military and economic resources under combined boards and a combined chiefs of staff; the establishment of unity of command in all theatres of war; and agreement on the basic strategy that the defeat of Germany should have priority over the defeat of Japan. The grand alliance had now come into being. Churchill could claim to be its principal architect. Safeguarding it was the primary concern of his next three and a half years.
In protecting the alliance, the respect and affection between him and Roosevelt were of crucial importance. They alone enabled Churchill, in the face of relentless pressure from Stalin and ardent advocacy by the U.S. chiefs of staff, to secure the rejection of the "second front" in 1942, a project he regarded as premature and costly. In August 1942 Churchill himself flew to Moscow to advise Stalin of the decision and to bear the brunt of his displeasure. At home, too, he came under fire in 1942: first in January after the reverses in Malaya and the Far East and later in June when Tobruk in North Africa fell to the Germans, but on neither occasion did his critics muster serious support in Parliament. The year 1942 saw some reconstruction of the Cabinet in a "leftward" direction, which was reflected in the adoption in 1943 of Lord Beveridge's plan for comprehensive social insurance, endorsed by Churchill as a logical extension of the Liberal reforms of 1911.
Military successes and political problems.The Allied landings in North Africa necessitated a fresh meeting between Churchill and Roosevelt, this time in Casablanca in January 1943. There Churchill argued for an early, full-scale attack on "the under-belly of the Axis" but won only a grudging acquiescence from the Americans. There too was evolved the "unconditional surrender" formula of debatable wisdom. Churchill paid the price for his intensive travel (including Tripoli, Turkey, and Algeria) by an attack of pneumonia, for which, however, he allowed only the briefest of respites. In May he was in Washington, D.C., again, arguing against persistent American aversion to his "under-belly" strategy; in August he was at Quebec, working out the plans for Operation Overlord, the cross-Channel assault. When he learned that the Americans were planning a large-scale invasion of Burma in 1944, his fears that their joint resources would not be adequate for a successful invasion of Normandy were revived. In November 1943 at Cairo he urged on Roosevelt priority for further Mediterranean offensives, but at Tehran in the first "Big Three" meeting, he failed to retain Roosevelt's adherence to a completely united Anglo-American front. Roosevelt, though he consulted in private with Stalin, refused to see Churchill alone; for all their friendship there was also an element of rivalry between the two Western leaders that Stalin skillfully exploited. On the issue of Allied offensive drives into southern Europe, Churchill was outvoted. Throughout the meetings Churchill had been unwell, and on his way home he came down again with pneumonia. Though recovery was rapid, it was mid-January 1944 before convalescence was complete. By May he was proposing to watch the D-Day assaults from a battle cruiser; only the King's personal plea dissuaded him.
Insistence on military success did not, for Churchill, mean indifference to its political implications. After the Quebec conference in September 1944, he flew to Moscow to try to conciliate the Russians and the Poles and to get an agreed division of spheres of influence in the Balkans that would protect as much of them as possible from communism. In Greece he used British forces to thwart a communist takeover and at Christmas flew to Athens to effect a settlement. Much of what passed at the Yalta Conference in February 1945, including the Far East settlement, concerned only Roosevelt and Stalin, and Churchill did not interfere. He fought to save the Poles but saw clearly enough that there was no way to force the Soviets to keep their promises. Realizing this, he urged the United States to allow the Allied forces to thrust as far into eastern Europe as possible before the Russian armies should fill the vacuum left by German power, but he could not win over Roosevelt, Vice Pres. Harry S. Truman, or their generals to his views. He went to Potsdam in July in a worried mood. But in the final decisions of the conference he had no part; halfway through, when news came of his government's defeat in parliamentary elections, he had to return to England and tender his resignation.
Electoral defeat.Already in 1944, with victory in prospect, party politics had revived, and by May 1945 all parties in the wartime coalition wanted an early election. But whereas Churchill wanted the coalition to continue at least until Japan was defeated, Labour wished to resume its independence. Churchill as the popular architect of victory seemed unbeatable, but as an election campaigner he proved to be his own worst enemy, indulging, seemingly at Beaverbrook's urging, in extravagant prophecies of the appalling consequences of a Labour victory and identifying himself wholly with the Conservative cause. His campaign tours were a triumphal progress, but it was the war leader, not the party leader, whom the crowds cheered. Labour's careful but sweeping program of economic and social reform was a better match for the nation's mood than Churchill's flamboyance. Though personally victorious at his Essex constituency of Woodford, Churchill saw his party reduced to 213 seats in a Parliament of 640.
POSTWAR POLITICAL CAREER
As opposition leader and world statesman.The shock of rejection by the nation fell heavily on Churchill. Indeed, though he accepted the role of leader of the parliamentary opposition, he was never wholly at home in it. The economic and social questions that dominated domestic politics were not at the centre of his interests. Nor, with his imperial vision, could he approve of what he called Labour's policy of "scuttle," as evidenced in the granting of independence to India and Burma (though he did not vote against the necessary legislation). But in foreign policy a broad identity of view persisted between the front benches, and this was the area to which Churchill primarily devoted himself. On March 5, 1946, at Fulton, Mo., U.S., he enunciated, in the presence of President Truman, the two central themes of his postwar view of the world: the need for Britain and the United States to unite as guardians of the peace against the menace of Soviet communism, which had brought down an "iron curtain" across the face of Europe; and with equal fervour he emerged as an advocate of European union. At Zürich, on Sept. 19, 1946, he urged the formation of "a council of Europe" and himself attended the first assembly of the council at Strasbourg in 1949. Meanwhile, he busied himself with his great history, The Second World War, six volumes (1948-53).
The general election of February 1950 afforded Churchill an opportunity to seek again a personal mandate. He abstained from the extravagances of 1945 and campaigned with his party rather than above it.
The electoral onslaught shook Labour but left them still in office. It took what Churchill called "one more heave" to defeat them in a second election, in October 1951. Churchill again took a vigorous lead in the campaign. He pressed the government particularly hard on its handling of the crisis caused by Iran's nationalization of British oil companies and in return had to withstand charges of warmongering. The Conservatives were returned with a narrow majority of 26, and Churchill became prime minister for the second time. He formed a government in which the more liberal Conservatives predominated, though the Liberal Party itself declined Churchill's suggestion of office. A prominent figure in the government was R.A. Butler, the progressive-minded chancellor of the Exchequer. Anthony Eden was foreign secretary. Some notable Churchillians were included, among them Lord Cherwell, who, as paymaster general, was principal scientific adviser with special responsibilities for atomic research and development.
As prime minister again.The domestic labours and battles of his administration were far from Churchill's main concerns. Derationing, decontrolling, rehousing, safeguarding the precarious balance of payments--these were relatively noncontroversial policies; only the return of nationalized steel and road transport to private hands aroused excitement. Critics sometimes complained of a lack of prime ministerial direction in these areas and, indeed, of a certain slackness in the reins of government. Undoubtedly Churchill was getting older and reserving more and more of his energies for what he regarded as the supreme issues, peace and war. He was convinced that Labour had allowed the transatlantic relationship to sag, and one of his first acts was to visit Washington, D.C., (and also Ottawa) in January 1952 to repair the damage he felt had been done. The visit helped to check U.S. fears that the British would desert the Korean War, harmonized attitudes toward German rearmament and, distasteful though it was to Churchill, resulted in the acceptance of a U.S. naval commander in chief of the eastern Atlantic. It did not produce that sharing of secrets of atom bomb manufacture that Churchill felt had unfairly lapsed after the war. To the disappointment of many, Churchill's advocacy of European union did not result in active British participation; his government confined itself to endorsement from the sidelines, though in 1954, faced with the collapse of the European Defense Community, Churchill and Eden came forward with a pledge to maintain British troops on the Continent for as long as necessary.
The year 1953 was in many respects a gratifying one for Churchill. It brought the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, which drew out all his love of the historic and symbolic. He personally received two notable distinctions, the Order of the Garter and the Nobel Prize for Literature. However, his hopes for a revitalized "special relationship" with Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower during his tenure in the White House, beginning in 1953, were largely frustrated. A sudden stroke in June, which caused partial paralysis, obliged Churchill to cancel a planned Bermuda meeting at which he hoped to secure Eisenhower's agreement to summit talks with the Russians. By October, Churchill had made a remarkable recovery and the meeting was held in December. But it did not yield results commensurate with Churchill's hopes. The two leaders, for all their amity, were not the men they once were; their subordinates, John Foster Dulles and Anthony Eden, were antipathetic; and, above all, the role and status of each country had changed. In relation to the Far East in particular there was a persistent failure to see eye to eye. Though Churchill and Eden visited Washington, D.C., in June 1954 in hopes of securing U.S. acceptance of the Geneva Accords designed to bring an end to the war in Indochina, their success was limited. Over Egypt, however, Churchill's conversion to an agreement permitting a phased withdrawal of British troops from the Suez base won Eisenhower's endorsement and encouraged hopes, illusory as it subsequently appeared, of good Anglo-American cooperation in this area. In 1955, "arming to parley," Churchill authorized the manufacture of a British hydrogen bomb while still striving for a summit conference. Age, however, robbed him of this last triumph. His powers were too visibly failing. His 80th birthday, on Nov. 30, 1954, had been the occasion of a unique all-party ceremony of tribute and affection in Westminster Hall. But the tribute implied a pervasive assumption that he would soon retire. On April 5, 1955, his resignation took place, only a few weeks before his chosen successor, Sir Anthony Eden, announced plans for a four-power conference at Geneva.
Retirement and death.Although Churchill laid down the burdens of office amid the plaudits of the nation and the world, he remained in the House of Commons (declining a peerage) to become "father of the house" and even, in 1959, to fight and win yet another election. He also published another major work, A History of the English- Speaking Peoples, four volumes (1956-58). But his health declined, and his public appearances became rare. On April 9, 1963, he was accorded the unique distinction of having an honorary U.S. citizenship conferred on him by an act of Congress. His death at his London home on Jan. 24, 1965, was followed by a state funeral at which almost the whole world paid tribute. He was buried in the family grave in Bladon churchyard, Oxfordshire.
Assessment.In any age and time a man of Churchill's force and talents would have left his mark on events and society. A gifted journalist, a biographer and historian of classic proportions, an amateur painter of talent, an orator of rare power, a soldier of courage and distinction, Churchill, by any standards, was a man of rare versatility. But it was as a public figure that he excelled. His experience of office was second only to Gladstone's, and his gifts as a parliamentarian hardly less, but it was as a wartime leader that he left his indelible imprint on the history of Britain and on the world. In this capacity, at the peak of his powers, he united in a harmonious whole his liberal convictions about social reform, his deep conservative devotion to the legacy of his nation's history, his unshakable resistance to tyranny from the right or from the left, and his capacity to look beyond Britain to the larger Atlantic community and the ultimate unity of Europe. A romantic, he was also a realist, with an exceptional sensitivity to tactical considerations at the same time as he unswervingly adhered to his strategical objectives. A fervent patriot, he was also a citizen of the world. An indomitable fighter, he was a generous victor. Even in the transition from war to peace, a phase in which other leaders have often stumbled, he revealed, at an advanced age, a capacity to learn and to adjust that was in many respects superior to that of his younger colleagues.
This article was written by Herbert G. Nicholas, who is Rhodes Professor Emeritus of American History and Institutions at the University of Oxford. He is the author of Britain and the U.S.A. (1963).
History.The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898); The River War (1899); The World Crisis (1923-29); The Unknown War: The Eastern Front (1931); The Second World War (1948-53); A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (1956-58).
Biography and autobiography.Lord Randolph Churchill (1906); My African Journey (1908); My Early Life (1930); Marlborough: His Life and Times (1933-38).
Speeches.Into Battle (1941); The Unrelenting Struggle (1942); The End of the Beginning (1943); Onwards to Victory (1944); The Dawn of Liberation (1945); Victory (1946); Secret Session Speeches (1946); The Sinews of Peace (1948); Europe Unite (1950); In the Balance (1951); Stemming the Tide (1953); The Unwritten Alliance (1961). The speeches have been collected in Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897-1963, 8 vol. (1974).
Other works.Savrola (1900); Thoughts and Adventures (1932); Painting As a Pastime (1948).
BIBLIOGRAPHY.Randolph S. Churchill and Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill, 8 vol. (1966-88), is the official biography, each volume covering a successive span of years and supported by companion volumes of documents. Martin Gilbert, Churchill: A Life (1991), is a one-volume condensation of the previous multivolume work. Churchill's own writings are an indispensable autobiographical source, especially While England Slept: A Survey of World Affairs, 1932-1938 (1938, reprinted 1971; also published as Arms and the Covenant: Speeches, 1938, reissued 1975), with a preface and notes by Randolph Churchill. Violet Bonham Carter, Winston Churchill: An Intimate Portrait (1965, reissued 1994; also published as Winston Churchill As I Knew Him, 1965, reissued 1995), is a vivid memoir. Lord Moran (Charles McMoran Wilson, Baron Moran), Churchill: The Struggle for Survival, 1940-1965 (1966, reissued 1976; also published as Winston Churchill: The Struggle for Survival, 1940-1965, 1966), written by his physician, gives intimate glimpses of his late years. Other biographical works are John Colville, The Fringes of Power: Downing Street Diaries, 1939-1955 (1985), a portrait of Churchill by the civil servant who was his private secretary during most of World War II and again in 1951-55; Henry Pelling, Winston Churchill, 2nd ed. (1989), a comprehensive work; William Manchester, The Last Lion, Winston Spencer Churchill (1983- ); and Norman Rose, Churchill: An Unruly Life (1994; also published as Churchill: The Unruly Giant, 1995). His relationship with other world leaders is explored in Joseph P. Lash, Roosevelt and Churchill, 1939-1941: The Partnership That Saved the West (1976), a study that illustrates the importance of Churchill's strong personality and the force of his ideas; François Kersaudy, Churchill and de Gaulle (1981, reissued 1990); Warren F. Kimball (ed.), Churchill and Roosevelt: The Complete Correspondence, 3 vol. (1984); Robin Edmonds, The Big Three: Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin in Peace & War (1991); and Keith Sainsbury, Churchill and Roosevelt at War: The War They Fought and the Peace They Hoped to Make (1994). R. Crosby Kemper III (ed.), Winston Churchill: Resolution, Defiance, Magnanimity, Good Will (1996), collects essays illustrating various aspects of his life and career
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