Irving David - Churchill's War II Triumph in Adversity

Author : Irving David
Title : Churchill's War II Triumph in Adversity
Year : 1997

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Years after the Second World War, one of Winston Churchill’s wisest advisers would ask, ‘Why in 1939 was Churchill almost universally regarded as a gifted, if eccentric politician, lacking in judgement and better out of the government, whereas in 1945 he was regarded as a world statesman and the revered superman of the century?’ The possible answer – he won the war – is defeated by the equally possible observation: he forfeited Britain’s empire. He won the war, as we shall see in the final volume of this trilogy, in spite of himself. He had enraged every one of his military advisers on the way. He did not spare the cruel and crushing remarks about his own chiefs of staff: ‘You may take,’ he rasped, ‘the most gallant sailor, the most intrepid airman, or the most audacious soldier, put them at a table together – what do you get? The sum total of their fears!’ By Victory in Europe Day, in May 1945, the chiefs of staff would be so out of sympathy with their leader that when he sent for them on that day, and again when he said good-bye after losing the General Election in July, and had the whisky and soda brought in, they just sat ruminating. On both occasions the chiefs sat there ‘like dummies’ and did not even drink to his health. After the war the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Field-Marshal Lord Alanbrooke, was angered to find that Churchill had painted himself as a hero in his memoirs; the account which Alanbrooke, the former General Sir Alan Brooke, himself committed to posterity, in a leather-bound and padlocked diary, was less flattering. ...

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