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21 septembre 2011 3 21 /09 /septembre /2011 10:39

German rearmament and conflicts in Europe and Asia

Beginning in 1932, when he opposed those who advocated giving Germany the right to military parity with France, Churchill spoke often of the dangers of Germany's rearmament. He later, particularly in The Gathering Storm, portrayed himself as being for a time, a lone voice calling on Britain to strengthen itself to counter the belligerence of Germany.Sony VAIO VGN-Z11WN/B Battery

However Lord Lloyd was the first to so agitate.Churchill's attitude toward the fascist dictators was ambiguous. In 1931, he warned against the League of Nations opposing the Japanese in Manchuria "I hope we shall try in England to understand the position of Japan, an ancient state.... On the one side they have the dark menace of Soviet Russia.Sony VAIO VGN-Z11XN/B Battery

On the other the chaos of China, four or five provinces of which are being tortured under Communist rule". In contemporary newspaper articles he referred to the Spanish Republican government as a Communist front, and Franco's army as the "Anti-red movement".Sony VAIO VGN-Z15 Battery

He supported the Hoare-Laval Pact and continued up until 1937 to praise Benito Mussolini.

Speaking in the House of Commons in 1937, Churchill said "I will not pretend that, if I had to choose between communism and Nazism, I would choose communism".Sony VAIO VGN-Z15N Battery

In a 1935 essay titled "Hitler and his Choice", which was republished in his 1937 book Great Contemporaries, Churchill expressed a hope that Hitler, if he so chose, and despite his rise to power through dictatorial action, hatred and cruelty, might yet "go down in history as the man who restored honour and peace of mind to the great Germanic nation and brought it back serene, Sony VAIO VGN-Z17 Battery

helpful and strong to the forefront of the European family circle." Churchill's first major speech on defence on 7 February 1934 stressed the need to rebuild the Royal Air Force and to create a Ministry of Defence; his second, on 13 July urged a renewed role for the League of Nations. These three topics remained his themes until early 1936. Sony VAIO VGN-Z17N Battery

In 1935, he was one of the founding members of The Focus, which brought together people of differing political backgrounds and occupations who were united in seeking "the defence of freedom and peace". The Focusled to the formation of the much wider Arms and the Covenant Movement in 1936.Sony VAIO VGN-Z19 Battery

Churchill was holidaying in Spain when the Germans reoccupied the Rhineland in February 1936, and returned to a divided Britain. The Labour opposition was adamant in opposing sanctions and the National Government was divided between advocates of economic sanctions and those who said that even these would lead to a humiliating backdown by Britain as France would not support any intervention.Sony VAIO VGN-Z19N Battery

Churchill's speech on 9 March was measured, and praised by Neville Chamberlain as constructive. But within weeks Churchill was passed over for the post of Minister for Co-ordination of Defence in favour of the Attorney General Sir Thomas Inskip. Alan Taylor called this "an appointment rightly described as the most extraordinary since Caligulamade his horse a consul".Sony VAIO VGN-Z21MN/B Battery

In June 1936, Churchill organised a deputation of senior Conservatives who shared his concern to see Baldwin, Chamberlain and Halifax. He had tried to have delegates from the other two parties and later wrote, "If the leaders of the Labour and Liberal oppositions had come with us there might have been a political situation so intense as to enforce remedial action".Sony VAIO VGN-Z21VN/X Battery

As it was the meeting achieved little, Baldwin arguing that the Government was doing all it could, given the anti-war feeling of the electorate.

On 12 November Churchill returned to the topic. Speaking in the Address in Reply debate, Sony VAIO VGN-Z21WN/B Battery

after giving some specific instances of Germany's war preparedness, he said "The Government simply cannot make up their mind or they cannot get the prime minister to make up his mind. So they go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful for impotency. Sony VAIO VGN-Z21XN Battery

And so we go on preparing more months more years precious perhaps vital for the greatness of Britain for the locusts to eat."

R. R. James called this one of Churchill's most brilliant speeches in this period, Baldwin's reply sounding weak and disturbing the House. The exchange gave new encouragement to the Arms and the Covenant Movement.Sony VAIO VGN-Z21ZN/X Battery

Abdication crisis

In June 1936, Walter Monckton told Churchill that the rumours that King Edward VIII intended to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson were true. Churchill then advised against the marriage and said he regarded Mrs Simpson's existing marriage as a 'safeguard'.Sony VAIO VGN-Z25 Battery

In November, he declined Lord Salisbury's invitation to be part of a delegation of senior Conservative backbenchers who met with Baldwin to discuss the matter. On 25 November he, Attlee and Liberal leader Archibald Sinclair met with Baldwin, were told officially of the King's intention, Sony VAIO VGN-Z25/B Battery

and asked whether they would form an administration if Baldwin and the National Government resigned should the King not take the Ministry's advice. Both Attlee and Sinclair said they would not take office if invited to do so. Churchill's reply was that his attitude was a little different but he would support the government.Sony VAIO VGN-Z25TN/B Battery

The Abdication crisis became public, coming to a head in the first fortnight of December 1936. At this time Churchill publicly gave his support to the King. The first public meeting of the Arms and the Covenant Movement was on 3 December. Sony VAIO VGN-Z27 Battery

Churchill was a major speaker and later wrote that in replying to the Vote of Thanks he made a declaration 'on the spur of the moment' asking for delay before any decision was made by either the King or his Cabinet.Later that night Churchill saw the draft of the King's proposed wireless broadcast and spoke with Beaverbrook and the King's solicitor about it. Sony VAIO VGN-Z27/B Battery

On 4 December, he met with the King and again urged delay in any decision about abdication. On 5 December, he issued a lengthy statement implying that the Ministry was applying unconstitutional pressure on the King to force him to make a hasty decision. On 7 December he tried to address the Commons to plead for delay. Sony VAIO VGN-Z27TN/X Battery

He was shouted down. Seemingly staggered by the unanimous hostility of all Members he left.

Churchill's reputation in Parliament and England as a whole was badly damaged. Some such as Alistair Cooke saw him as trying to build a King's Party.Sony VAIO VGN-Z29N Battery

Others like Harold Macmillan were dismayed by the damage Churchill's support for the King had done to the Arms and the Covenant Movement. Churchill himself later wrote "I was myself smitten in public opinion that it was the almost universal view that my political life was ended."Sony VAIO VGN-Z29N/X Battery

Historians are divided about Churchill's motives in his support for Edward VIII. Some such as A J P Taylor see it as being an attempt to 'overthrow the government of feeble men'. Others such as Rhode James see Churchill's motives as entirely honourable and disinterested, that he felt deeply for the King.Sony VAIO VGN-Z31MN/B Battery

Return from exile

Churchill later sought to portray himself as (to some extent) an isolated voice warning of the need to rearm against Germany. While it is true that he had a small following in the House of Commons during much of the 1930s he was given privileged information by some elements within the Government, particularly by disaffected civil servants in the War Ministry. Sony VAIO VGN-Z31VN/X Battery

The "Churchill group" in the later half of the decade consisted only of himself, Duncan Sandys and Brendan Bracken. It was isolated from the other main factions within the Conservative Party pressing for faster rearmament and a stronger foreign policy. Churchill continued to be consulted on many matters by the Government or seen as an alternative leader.Sony VAIO VGN-Z31WN/B Battery

Even during the time Churchill was campaigning against Indian independence, he received official and otherwise secret information. From 1932, Churchill's neighbour, Major Desmond Morton with Ramsay MacDonald's approval, gave Churchill information on German air power.Sony VAIO VGN-Z31ZN/X Battery

From 1930 onwards Morton headed a department of the Committee of Imperial Defence charged with researching the defence preparedness of other nations. Lord Swinton as Secretary of State for Air, and with Baldwin's approval, in 1934 gave Churchill access to official and otherwise secret information.Sony VAIO VGN-Z35 Battery

Swinton did so, knowing Churchill would remain a critic of the government, but believing that an informed critic was better than one relying on rumour and hearsay.Churchill was a fierce critic of Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Adolf Hitler and in a speech to the House of Commons,Sony VAIO VGN-Z35/B Battery

he bluntly and prophetically stated, "You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour, and you will have war."

"Winston is back"

After the outbreak of the Second World War on 3 September 1939, the day Britain declared war on Germany,Sony VAIO VGN-Z35TN/B Battery

Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty and a member of the War Cabinet, as he had been during the first part of the First World War. When they were informed, the Board of the Admiralty sent a signal to the Fleet: "Winston is back". In this job, he proved to be one of the highest-profile ministers during the so-called "Phoney War", Sony VAIO VGN-Z36GD Battery

when the only noticeable action was at sea. Churchill advocated the pre-emptive occupation of the neutral Norwegian iron-ore port of Narvik and the iron mines in Kiruna, Sweden, early in the war. However, Chamberlain and the rest of the War Cabinet disagreed, and the operation was delayed until the successful German invasion of Norway.Sony VAIO VGN-Z36GD/B Battery

Bitter beginnings of the war

On 10 May 1940, hours before the German invasion of France by a lightning advance through the Low Countries, it became clear that, following failure in Norway, the country had no confidence in Chamberlain's prosecution of the war and so Chamberlain resigned. Sony VAIO VGN-Z36GD/J Battery

The commonly accepted version of events states that Lord Halifax turned down the post of prime minister because he believed he could not govern effectively as a member of the House of Lords instead of the House of Commons. Although the prime minister does not traditionally advise the King on the former's successor, Sony VAIO VGN-Z36TD/B Battery

Chamberlain wanted someone who would command the support of all three major parties in the House of Commons. A meeting between Chamberlain, Halifax, Churchill and David Margesson, the government Chief Whip, led to the recommendation of Churchill, and, as a constitutional monarch, George VI asked Churchill to be prime minister. Sony VAIO VGN-Z36TD/J Battery

Churchill's first act was to write to Chamberlain to thank him for his support.

Churchill had been among the first to recognise the growing threat of Hitler long before the outset of the Second World War, and his warnings had gone largely unheeded. Sony VAIO VGN-Z37D Battery

Although there was an element of British public and political sentiment favouring negotiated peace with a clearly ascendant Germany, among them the Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax, Churchill nonetheless refused to consider an armistice with Hitler's Germany.Sony VAIO VGN-Z37D/B Battery

His use of rhetoric hardened public opinion against a peaceful resolution and prepared the British for a long war.[149]Coining the general term for the upcoming battle, Churchill stated in his "finest hour" speech to the House of Commons on 18 June 1940, "I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin."Sony VAIO VGN-Z37GD Battery

By refusing an armistice with Germany, Churchill kept resistance alive in the British Empire and created the basis for the later Allied counter-attacks of 1942–45, with Britain serving as a platform for the supply of Soviet Union and the liberation of Western Europe.Sony VAIO VGN-Z37GD/X Battery

In response to previous criticisms that there had been no clear single minister in charge of the prosecution of the war, Churchill created and took the additional position of Minister of Defence. He immediately put his friend and confidant, the industrialist and newspaper baron Lord Beaverbrook, in charge of aircraft production.Sony VAIO VGN-Z39D Battery

It was Beaverbrook's business acumen that allowed Britain to quickly gear up aircraft production and engineering that eventually made the difference in the war.

Churchill's speeches were a great inspiration to the embattled British. Sony VAIO VGN-Z39D/X Battery

His first speech as prime minister was the famous "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat". He followed that closely with two other equally famous ones, given just before the Battle of Britain. One included the words:Sony VAIO VGN-Z41MD/B Battery

we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.Sony VAIO VGN-Z41WD/B Battery

The other:

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour'.

At the height of the Battle of Britain, his bracing survey of the situation included the memorable line  Sony VAIO VGN-Z45GD/B Battery

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few", which engendered the enduring nickname The Few for the RAF fighter pilots who won it. He first spoke these famous words upon his exit from No. 11 Group's underground bunker at RAF Uxbridge, now known as the Battle of Britain Bunker on 16 August 1940. Sony VAIO VGN-Z45TD/B Battery

One of his most memorable war speeches came on 10 November 1942 at the Lord Mayor's Luncheon at Mansion House in London, in response to the Allied victory at the Second Battle of El Alamein. Churchill stated:

This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.Sony VAIO VGN-Z46GD/B Battery

Without having much in the way of sustenance or good news to offer the British people, he took a risk in deliberately choosing to emphasise the dangers instead.

"Rhetorical power", wrote Churchill, "is neither wholly bestowed, nor wholly acquired, but cultivated."Sony VAIO VGN-Z46GD/U Battery

Not all were impressed by his oratory. Robert Menzies, prime minister of Australia and himself a gifted phrase-maker, said of Churchill during the Second World War: "His real tyrant is the glittering phrase so attractive to his mind that awkward facts have to give way."Sony VAIO VGN-Z46MD/B Battery

Another associate wrote: "He is... the slave of the words which his mind forms about ideas.... And he can convince himself of almost every truth if it is once allowed thus to start on its wild career through his rhetorical machinery."

Relations with the United States

Churchill's good relationship with Franklin D. Roosevelt secured vital food, oil and munitions via the North Atlantic shipping routes.Sony VAIO VGN-Z46SD/B Battery

It was for this reason that Churchill was relieved when Roosevelt was re-elected in 1940. Upon re-election, Roosevelt immediately set about implementing a new method of providing military hardware and shipping to Britain without the need for monetary payment.Sony VAIO VGN-Z46TD/B Battery

Put simply, Roosevelt persuaded Congress that repayment for this immensely costly service would take the form of defending the US; and so Lend-lease was born. Churchill had 12 strategic conferences with Roosevelt which covered the Atlantic Charter, Europe first strategy, the Declaration by the United Nations and other war policies. Sony VAIO VGN-Z46TD/R Battery

After Pearl Harbor was attacked, Churchill's first thought in anticipation of US help was, "We have won the war!"[159] On 26 December 1941, Churchill addressed a joint meeting of the US Congress, asking of Germany and Japan, "What kind of people do they think we are?"Sony VAIO VGN-Z47GD/X Battery

Churchill initiated theSpecial Operations Executive (SOE) under Hugh Dalton's Ministry of Economic Warfare, which established, conducted and fostered covert, subversive and partisan operations in occupied territories with notable success; and also the Commandos which established the pattern for most of the world's current Special Forces.Sony VAIO VGN-Z48GD/X Battery

The Russians referred to him as the "British Bulldog".

Churchill's health was fragile, as shown by a mild heart attack he suffered in December 1941 at the White House and also in December 1943 when he contracted pneumonia. Sony VAIO VGN-Z48TD/X Battery

Despite this, he travelled over 100,000 miles (160,000 km) throughout the war to meet other national leaders. For security, he usually travelled using the alias Colonel Warden.

Churchill was party to treaties that would redraw post-Second World War European and Asian boundaries. Sony VAIO VGN-Z51WG/B Battery

These were discussed as early as 1943. At theSecond Quebec Conference in 1944 he drafted and, together with US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, signed a toned-down version of the original Morgenthau Plan, in which they pledged to convert Germany after its unconditional surrender "into a country primarily agricultural and pastoral in its character."Sony VAIO VGN-Z51XG/B Battery

Proposals for European boundaries and settlements were officially agreed to by Harry S. Truman, Churchill, and Joseph Stalin at Potsdam. Churchill's strong relationship with Harry Truman was also of great significance to both countries. While he clearly regretted the loss of his close friend and counterpart Roosevelt,Sony VAIO VGN-Z530N/B Battery

Churchill was enormously supportive of Truman in his first days in office, calling him, "the type of leader the world needs when it needs him most."

Relations with the Soviet Union

When Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, Winston Churchill, a vehement anti-Communist, famously stated "If Hitler invaded Hell,Sony VAIO VGN-Z540EBB Battery

I would at least make a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons," regarding his policy toward Stalin. Soon, British supplies and tanks were flowing to help the Soviet Union.

The settlement concerning the borders of Poland, that is, the boundary between Poland and the Soviet Union and between Germany and Poland,Sony VAIO VGN-Z540NLB Battery

was viewed as a betrayal in Poland during the post-war years, as it was established against the views of the Polish government in exile. It was Winston Churchill, who tried to motivate Miko?ajczyk, who was prime minister of the Polish government in exile, to accept Stalin's wishes, but Miko?ajczyk refused.Sony VAIO VGN-Z540NMB Battery

Churchill was convinced that the only way to alleviate tensions between the two populations was the transfer of people, to match the national borders.

As he expounded in the House of Commons on 15 December 1944, "Expulsion is the method which, insofar as we have been able to see, will be the most satisfactory and lasting.Sony VAIO VGN-Z550N/B Battery

There will be no mixture of populations to cause endless trouble... A clean sweep will be made. I am not alarmed by these transferences, which are more possible in modern conditions." However the resulting expulsions of Germans were carried out in a way which resulted in much hardship and,Sony VAIO VGN-Z55F Battery

according to a 1966 report by the West German Ministry of Refugees and Displaced Persons, the death of over 2.1 million. Churchill opposed the effective annexation of Poland by the Soviet Union and wrote bitterly about it in his books, but he was unable to prevent it at the conferences.Sony VAIO VGN-Z55TG/B Battery

During October 1944, he and Eden were in Moscow to meet with the Russian leadership. At this point, Russian forces were beginning to advance into various eastern European countries. Churchill held the view that until everything was formally and properly worked out at the Yalta conference, there had to be a temporary, Sony VAIO VGN-Z56GG/B Battery

war-time, working agreement with regard to who would run what.The most significant of these meetings were held on 9 October 1944 in theKremlin between Churchill and Stalin. During the meeting, Poland and the Balkan problems were discussed. Churchill recounted his speech to Stalin on the day:Sony VAIO VGN-Z56GG/E Battery

Let us settle about our affairs in the Balkans. Your armies are in Rumania and Bulgaria. We have interests, missions, and agents there. Don't let us get at cross-purposes in small ways. So far as Britain and Russia are concerned, how would it do for you to have ninety per cent predominance in Rumania,Sony VAIO VGN-Z56GGX Battery

for us to have ninety per cent of the say in Greece, and go fifty-fifty about Yugoslavia?

Stalin agreed to this Percentages Agreement, ticking a piece of paper as he heard the translation. In 1958, five years after the account of this meeting was published (in The Second World War), authorities of the Soviet Union denied that Stalin accepted the "imperialist proposal". Sony VAIO VGN-Z56TG/B Battery

One of the conclusions of the Yalta Conference was that the Allies would return all Soviet citizens that found themselves in the Allied zone to the Soviet Union. This immediately affected the Soviet prisoners of war liberated by the Allies, but was also extended to all Eastern European refugees.Sony VAIO VGN-Z56TG/E Battery

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn called the Operation Keelhaul "the last secret of World War II." The operation decided the fate of up to two million post-war refugees fleeing eastern Europe.

Dresden bombings controversy

Between 13–15 February 1945, British and US bombers attacked the German city of Dresden, which was crowded with German wounded and refugees.Sony VAIO VGN-Z56TG/R Battery

Because of the cultural importance of the city, and of the number of civilian casualties close to the end of the war, this remains one of the most controversial Western Allied actions of the war. Following the bombing Churchill stated in a top secret telegram:Sony VAIO VGN-Z570N/B Battery

It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed... I feel the need for more precise concentration upon military objectives such as oil and communications behind the immediate battle-zone, Sony VAIO VGN-Z57G Battery

rather than on mere acts of terror and wanton destruction, however impressive.

On reflection, under pressure from the Chiefs of Staff and in response to the views expressed by Sir Charles Portal (Chief of the Air Staff,) and Sir Arthur Harris (AOC-in-C of RAF Bomber Command), among others, Churchill withdrew his memo and issued a new one.Sony VAIO VGN-Z57GG/X Battery

This final version of the memo completed on 1 April 1945, stated:

It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of the so called 'area-bombing' of German cities should be reviewed from the point of view of our own interests. Sony VAIO VGN-Z57GGX Battery

If we come into control of an entirely ruined land, there will be a great shortage of accommodation for ourselves and our allies... We must see to it that our attacks do no more harm to ourselves in the long run than they do to the enemy's war effort.Sony VAIO VGN-Z57TG/X Battery

Ultimately, responsibility for the British part of the attack lay with Churchill, which is why he has been criticised for allowing the bombings to happen. The German historian Jörg Friedrich, claims that "Winston Churchill's decision to  bomb a shattered Germany between January and May 1945 was a war crime" and writing in 2006 the philosopher A. C. Sony VAIO VGN-Z58GG/X Battery

Grayling questioned the whole strategic bombing campaign by the RAF presenting the argument that although it was not a war crime it was a moral crime and undermines the Allies contention that they fought a just war. On the other hand, it has also been asserted that Churchill's involvement in the bombing of Dresden was based on the strategic and tactical aspects of winning the war.Sony VAIO VGN-Z58GGX Battery

The destruction of Dresden, while immense, was designed to expedite the defeat of Germany. As the historian and journalist Max Hastings said in an article subtitled, "the Allied Bombing of Dresden": "I believe it is wrong to describe strategic bombing as a war crime, for this might be held to suggest some moral equivalence with the deeds of the Nazis. Sony VAIO VGN-Z590NJB Battery

Bombing represented a sincere, albeit mistaken, attempt to bring about Germany's military defeat." British historian, Frederick Taylor asserts that "All sides bombed each other's cities during the war. Half a million Soviet citizens, for example, died from German bombing during the invasion and occupation of Russia.Sony VAIO VGN-Z591U/B Battery

That's roughly equivalent to the number of German citizens who died from Allied raids. But the Allied bombing campaign was attached to military operations and ceased as soon as military operations ceased."

The Second World War ends

In June 1944, the Allied Forces invaded Normandy and pushed the Nazi forces back into Germany on a broad front over the coming year.Sony VAIO VGN-Z59G Battery

After being attacked on three fronts by the Allies, and in spite of Allied failures, such as Operation Market Garden, and German counter-attacks, including the Battle of the Bulge, Germany was eventually defeated. On 7 May 1945 at the SHAEF headquarters in Rheims the Allies accepted Germany's surrender. Sony VAIO VGN-Z620D Battery

On the same day in a BBC news flash John Snagge announced that 8 May would be Victory in Europe Day.On Victory in Europe Day, Churchill broadcast to the nation that Germany had surrendered and that a final cease fire on all fronts in Europe would come into effect at one minute past midnight that night.Sony VAIO VGN-Z620N/B Battery

Afterwards, Churchill told a huge crowd in Whitehall: "This is your victory." The people shouted: "No, it is yours", and Churchill then conducted them in the singing of Land of Hope and Glory. In the evening he made another broadcast to the nation asserting the defeat of Japan in the coming months. The Japanese later surrendered on 15 August 1945.Sony VAIO VGN-Z650N/B Battery

As Europe celebrated peace at the end of six years of war, Churchill was concerned with the possibility that the celebrations would soon be brutally interrupted. He concluded that the UK and the US must prepare for the Red Army ignoring previously agreed frontiers and agreements in Europe, and prepare to "impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire."Sony VAIO VGN-Z670N/B Battery

According to the Operation Unthinkable plan ordered by Churchill and developed by the British Armed Forces, the Third World War could have started on 1 July 1945 with a sudden attack against the allied Soviet troops. The plan was rejected by the British Chiefs of Staff Committee as militarily unfeasible.Sony VAIO VGN-Z690CTO Battery

Leader of the opposition

Although Churchill's role in the Second World War had generated much support for him amongst the British population, he was defeated in the 1945 election. Sony VAIO VGN-Z690NAX Battery

Many reasons for this have been given, key among them being that a desire for post-war reform was widespread amongst the population and that the man who had led Britain in war was not seen as the man to lead the nation in peace. It was anticipated that Churchill would step down and hand over the leadership to Anthony Eden, Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PAB Battery

who became his deputy after the election defeat, but Churchill (despite now being in his seventies) was determined to fight on as leader and Eden was too loyal to challenge his leadership. It would be another decade before Churchill finally did hand over the reins to Eden.Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PCB Battery

For six years he was to serve as the Leader of the Opposition. During these years Churchill continued to have an impact on world affairs. During his March 1946 trip to the United States, Churchill famously lost a lot of money in a poker game with Harry Truman and his advisors. (He also liked to play Bezique, which he learned while serving in the Boer War.)Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PDB Battery

During this trip he gave his Iron Curtain speech about the USSR and the creation of the Eastern Bloc. Speaking on 5 March 1946 at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, he declared:

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the continent. Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PEB Battery

Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere.Sony VAIO VGN-Z690PFB Battery

Churchill also argued strongly for British independence from the European Coal and Steel Community, which he saw as a Franco-German project. He saw Britain's place as separate from the continent, much more in-line with the countries of the Commonwealth and the Empire, and with the United States, the so-called Anglosphere.Sony VAIO VGN-Z690YAD Battery

Churchill held the office of Deputy Lieutenant (DL) of Kent in 1949.

Return to government and the decline of the British Empire

After the General Election of 1951, Churchill again held the office of Minister of Defence between October 1951 and January 1952.Sony VAIO VGN-Z691Y/B Battery

He also became prime minister in October 1951, and his third government—after the wartime national government and the brief caretaker government of 1945—lasted until his resignation in April 1955. His domestic priorities in his last government were overshadowed by a series of foreign policy crises,Sony VAIO VGN-Z691Y/X Battery

which were partly the result of the continued decline of British military and imperial prestige and power. Being a strong proponent of Britain as aninternational power, Churchill would often meet such moments with direct action. One example was his dispatch of British troops to Kenya to deal with the Mau Mau rebellion.Sony VAIO VGN-Z698Y/X Battery

Trying to retain what he could of the Empire, he once stated that, "I will not preside over a dismemberment."

War in Malaya

This was followed by events which became known as the Malayan Emergency. In Malaya, a rebellion against British rule had been in progress since 1948.Sony VAIO VGN-Z699JAB Battery

Once again, Churchill's government inherited a crisis, and Churchill chose to use direct military action against those in rebellion while attempting to build an alliance with those who were not. While the rebellion was slowly being defeated, it was equally clear that colonial rule from Britain was no longer sustainable.Sony VAIO VGN-Z70B Battery

Relations with the United States

Churchill also devoted much of his time in office to Anglo-American relations and, although Churchill did not always agree with President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Churchill attempted to maintain theSpecial Relationship with the United States. He made four official transatlantic visits to America during his second term as prime minister.Sony VAIO VGN-Z71JB Battery

The series of strokes

Churchill had suffered a mild stroke while on holiday in the south of France in the summer of 1949. In June 1953, when he was 78, Churchill suffered a more severe stroke at 10 Downing Street. News of this was kept from the public and from Parliament, who were told that Churchill was suffering from exhaustion. Sony VAIO VGN-Z73FB Battery

He went to his country home, Chartwell, to recuperate from the effects of the stroke which had affected his speech and ability to walk. He returned to public life in October to make a speech at a Conservative Party conference at Margate. However, aware that he was slowing down both physically and mentally, Churchill retired as prime minister in 1955 and was succeeded by Anthony Eden.Sony VAIO VGN-Z790DKX Battery

He suffered another mild stroke in December 1956.

Retirement and death

Elizabeth II offered to create Churchill Duke of London, but this was declined due to the objections of his son Randolph, who would have inherited the title on his father's death.Sony VAIO VGN-Z790DMR Battery

After leaving the premiership, Churchill spent less time in parliament until he stood down at the 1964 General Election. As a mere "back-bencher," Churchill spent most of his retirement at Chartwell and at his home in Hyde Park Gate, in London.Sony VAIO VGN-Z790DND Battery

In the 1959 General Election Churchill's majority fell by more than a thousand, since many young voters in his constituency did not support an 85-year-old who coul

d only enter the House of Commons in a wheelchair. As his mental and physical faculties decayed, he began to lose the battle he had fought for so long against the "black dog" ofdepression.Sony VAIO VGN-Z820DB Battery

There was speculation that Churchill may have had Alzheimer's disease in his last years, although others maintain that his reduced mental capacity was merely the result of a series of strokes. In 1963, US President John F. Kennedy, acting under authorisation granted by an Act of Congress, proclaimed him an Honorary Citizen of the United States,Sony VAIO VGN-Z820G/B Battery

but he was unable to attend the White House ceremony. Despite poor health, Churchill still tried to remain active in public life, and on St George's Day 1964, sent a message of congratulations to the surviving veterans of the 1918 Zeebrugge Raid who were attending a service of commemoration in Deal, Kent, where two casualties of the raid were buried in the Hamilton Road Cemetery. Sony VAIO VGN-Z890GLX Battery

On 15 January 1965, Churchill suffered a severe stroke that left him gravely ill. He died at his London home nine days later, at age 90, on the morning of Sunday 24 January 1965, 70 years to the day after his father's death.

Funeral

By decree of the Queen, his body lay in state for three days and a state funeral service was held at St Paul's Cathedral on 30 January 1965.Sony VAIO VGN-Z890GMR Battery

Unusually, the Queen attended the funeral.  As his lead-lined coffin passed up the River Thames from Tower Pier to Festival Pier on the MV Havengore, dockers lowered their crane jibs in a salute.The Royal Artillery fired the 19-gun salute due a head of government, and the RAF staged a fly-by of sixteen English Electric Lightning fighters.Sony VAIO VGN-Z898H/X Battery

The coffin was then taken the short distance to Waterloo station where it was loaded onto a specially prepared and painted carriage as part of the funeral train for its rail journey to Handborough,  seven miles north-west of Oxford. The funeral also saw one of the largest assemblages of statesmen in the world.Sony VAIO VGN-Z90FS Battery

The funeral train of Pullman coaches carrying his family mourners was hauled by Battle of Britain class steam locomotive No. 34051 Winston Churchill. In the fields along the route, and at the stations through which the train passed, thousands stood in silence to pay their last respects. Sony VAIO VGN-Z90NS Battery

At Churchill's request, he was buried in the family plot at St Martin's Church, Bladon, near Woodstock, not far from his birthplace atBlenheim Palace. Churchill's funeral van—Southern Railway van S2464S—is now part of a preservation project with the Swanage Railway, having been repatriated to the UK in 2007 from the US, to where it had been exported in 1965.Sony VAIO VGN-Z90PS Battery

Later in 1965 a memorial to Churchill, cut by the engraver Reynolds Stone, was placed in Westminster Abbey.

Churchill as artist, historian, and writer

Winston Churchill was an accomplished artist and took great pleasure in painting, especially after his resignation as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1915.Sony VAIO VGN-Z90S Battery

He found a haven in art to overcome the spells of depression, or as he termed it, the "Black Dog", which he suffered throughout his life. As William Rees-Mogg has stated, "In his own life, he had to suffer the 'black dog' of depression. In his landscapes and still lives there is no sign of depression."Sony VAIO VGN-Z90US Battery

Churchill was persuaded and taught to paint by his artist friend, Paul Maze, whom he met during the First World War. Maze was a great influence on Churchill's painting and became a lifelong painting companion. He is best known for his impressionist scenes of landscape, many of which were painted while on holiday in the South of France, Egypt or Morocco.Sony VAIO VGN-Z91DS Battery

He continued his hobby throughout his life and painted hundreds of paintings, many of which are on show in the studio at Chartwell as well as private collections. Some of his paintings can today be seen in the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection at theDallas Museum of Art. Sony VAIO VGN-Z91JS Battery

Emery Reves and Winston Churchill indeed were close friends  and Churchill would often visit Emery and his wife in their villa in the South of France (villa La Pausa, originally built in 1927 for Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel). The villa was rebuilt within the museum in 1985 with a gallery of paintings and memorabilia from Sir Winston Churchill.Sony VAIO VGN-Z91PS Battery

Most of his paintings are oil-based and feature landscapes, but he also did a number of interior scenes and portraits.

Due to obvious time constraints, Churchill attempted only one painting during the Second World War. He completed the painting from the tower of the Villa Taylor in Marrakesh.Sony VAIO VGN-Z91YS Battery

Despite his lifelong fame and upper-class origins, Churchill always struggled to keep his income at a level that would fund his extravagant lifestyle. MPs before 1946 received only a nominal salary (and in fact did not receive anything at all until the Parliament Act 1911) so many had secondary professions from which to earn a living.Sony VAIO VGN-Z92DS Battery

From his first book in 1898 until his second stint as Prime Minister, Churchill's income was almost entirely made from writing books and opinion pieces for newspapers and magazines. The most famous of his newspaper articles are those that appeared in theEvening Standard from 1936 warning of the rise of Hitler and the danger of the policy of appeasement.Sony VAIO VGN-Z92JS Battery

Churchill was also a prolific writer of books, writing a novel, two biographies, three volumes of memoirs, and several histories in addition to his many newspaper articles. He was awarded the Nobel Prizein Literature in 1953 "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values".Sony VAIO VGN-Z92PS Battery

Two of his most famous works, published after his first premiership brought his international fame to new heights, were his six-volume memoir The Second World War and A History of the English-Speaking Peoples; a four-volume history covering the period from Caesar's invasions of Britain (55 BC) to the beginning of the First World War (1914).Sony VAIO VGN-Z92YS Battery

He was also an amateur bricklayer, building garden walls and even a cottage at Chartwell. As part of this hobby he joined the Amalgamated Union of Building Trade Workers.Sony VAIO VGN-Z93FS Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-Z93GS Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-Z93HS Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-Z93VS Battery

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