Churchill

Taff

Well-Known Member
A great figure head leader in war time, someone people could focus on, a polititian with the ability to change things and be a great peace time leader ?
 

deeangeo

Well-Known Member
Worthy of being called 'a great man', he will never be forgotten.
He made his mistakes. His two greatest mistakes IMO were Gallipoli and not recognising 'Bomber Command' at the end of the 39-45 war. But he had the foresight to see what was coming and was so placed in our nations history to deal with the task at hand.
A very great man, I was at school in 1965 when he died.
ATB
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
Where would we have been without him. Speaking German probably.
Those of us whose whose parents hadn't been killed by the Nazis, no doubt. I remember seeing the funeral live on television as a young boy. And the "souvenir" colour Sunday supplements in the newspaper...the Sunday Times I think....the next day.

The bits I remember are the dockyard cranes and the fly past by the Lightnings. I think it is being shown again the whole thing on the BBC?

I think the "issue" with Bomber Command was that Harris refused to do Churchill's bidding and release aircraft for Coastal Command when desperatley needed and to use the RAF Bomber Command tactically after D-Day save on a very few times.

FWIW the same "class" that would have sold us out to the Nazis in 1940 are still pretty much the same "class" that we see on the Conservative (and Labour) Party benches today in reality. You can almost look along the ranks of them and SEE IT in their character.
 
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private fraser

Well-Known Member
One "enigma" is why they dismantled the codebreaking machinery at Bletchley.
Or maybe it was just moved to somewhere else, the start of gchq maybe?
 

deeangeo

Well-Known Member
One "enigma" is why they dismantled the codebreaking machinery at Bletchley.
Or maybe it was just moved to somewhere else, the start of gchq maybe?
Hmm... that one is curious. The first 'Bombe' built as I understand, was actually designed and built by a GPO postmaster and is recognised as one of the first forms of 'proper' computer ever built. The chap concerned was of course sworn to secrecy, but he designed and built it then disappeared into obscurity.
The subsequent use of it and codebreaking by Alan Turing and those other 'codebreakers' around him was of course astonishing.
 

private fraser

Well-Known Member
Think he was a GPO engineer. They had and still have some clever guys working for them. I used to work in telephone exchanges as a contractor in the GPO days.
The whole project seems to have been against the wind re officialdom.The GPO engineer had to "appropriate" valves to get it built.
Typical of the times I think. If you were an engineer you were a blue collar monkey while if you had a good degree in the Classics from Oxbridge you were Establishment.
Look at what happened to Frank Whittle.

Sorry,diverting my own thread here :)
 
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enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
One "enigma" is why they dismantled the codebreaking machinery at Bletchley.
Or maybe it was just moved to somewhere else, the start of gchq maybe?
I think that they feared it's secrets would be passed on to the Russians who would then use it against Britain. This was the same time of course that British spies working for the Russians were betraying the secrets of the nuclear bomb to the Russians. So smash it up and NOBODY then has its secrets. Kill the goose and it lays eggs for nobody anymore.
 

private fraser

Well-Known Member
Years ago I read The River War by Churchill, not an easy read but worthwhile.
It gives some background to Islam and shows how little things have changed in that part of the world.
It's reference to the (mad) Mahdi remind me of some of my pal corporal Jones's recollections
:)
 

Yorkie

Well-Known Member
The Greatest Briton to have drawn breath?

Without him this Country would have done a deal with the Nazis. The world would be a very different place today.
A Leader who Rallied a Nation in its Darkest times.

He was half American too which our Friends across the Atlantic like :D.

Yorkie.
 

Cootmeurer

Well-Known Member
The Greatest Briton to have drawn breath?

Without him this Country would have done a deal with the Nazis. The world would be a very different place today.
A Leader who Rallied a Nation in its Darkest times.

He was half American too which our Friends across the Atlantic like :D.

Yorkie.
We like him overall, but he is easier to like when you look at the Sanitized picture.

I recently finished reading the "The Last Lion" by Manchester. It paints Churchill as a heroic but self-centered and very complex individual. Overall it does him justice, but there are many things about your Noble class that we find quite objectionable. Quite interesting to know he was a POW, decorated combat veteran of nearly every war he could get himself posted to. He also clearly understood and recognized Hitler for what he was, perhaps even before Hitler himself realized.
 

Yorkie

Well-Known Member
Hi Cootmeurer.

Indeed a complex man and indeed I am aware he is not universally admired. Your President returned the Bust of Churchill from the Oval Office so I am guessing he is not a fan being of Kenyan Heritage.
I made my last comment in my previous post light heartedly.

Did you know he was afflicted with terrible bouts of depression. He referred to them as 'the black dog'.

Yorkie.
 

Pedro

Well-Known Member
"There are many things about your Noble class we find objectionable".

Perhaps, although Churchill was not one of the nobility (although he came from a family). He was made a knight, something that happens to many people in very ordinary walks of life such as teachers, charity workers, actors, politicians and so on these days mainly as a result of work that they have done in the community or nationally as recognition of that work. It doesn't carry any privileges or anything. Remember, Downton Abbey is a television programme. It doesn't exist in reality and hasn't for some considerable time. It'll be a bit like me thinking all Americans wear Stetsons and have a six gun strapped on.

As for a classless society, the upper classes these days anywhere are pretty much defined solely by wealth. And the U.S.A. leads the way there. :)
 

Southern

Well-Known Member
Hi Cootmeurer.

Indeed a complex man and indeed I am aware he is not universally admired. Your President returned the Bust of Churchill from the Oval Office so I am guessing he is not a fan being of Kenyan Heritage.
Yorkie.
Like all great leaders, Churchill was an egoist; he had vision, and he did things to promote himself, and I cannot fault him for putting himself in danger by volunteering for combat, because he saw it as earning his way forward - more than you can say for most sniveling politicians today.

And I will offer my apologies for the uncouth behavior of our Kenyan president for returning the bust of Churchill to the Queen, along with the gift of audio books of his ghost written best-sellers. His father was a Communist, and deported from America for that, along with being an illegal alien. His grandfather was a Mau Mau, and served time in prison for sabotage. Those are some of his sordid reasons for disliking England, along with the rest of Western Civilization.
 

Cootmeurer

Well-Known Member
"There are many things about your Noble class we find objectionable".

Perhaps, although Churchill was not one of the nobility (although he came from a family). He was made a knight, something that happens to many people in very ordinary walks of life such as teachers, charity workers, actors, politicians and so on these days mainly as a result of work that they have done in the community or nationally as recognition of that work............ :)
Please don't take my comment as severe criticism. What I was referring to, especially at the turn of the 20th Century, was how a Noble would have multiple sons. The first would eventually assume title and go into the House of Lords, while the remaining sons often went into the Commons, or became military officers. In essence your entire leadership was all drawn from the same pool.

While I agree that our moneyed classes have always enjoyed power, we do tend to actually have a great many of our leading politicians come from a very common class (sometimes to our embarrassment, as Southern has stated).
 

Archer

Well-Known Member
I think that they feared it's secrets would be passed on to the Russians who would then use it against Britain. This was the same time of course that British spies working for the Russians were betraying the secrets of the nuclear bomb to the Russians. So smash it up and NOBODY then has its secrets. Kill the goose and it lays eggs for nobody anymore.
They weren't smashed up just moved to a secret location and used to monitor the Russians
 

Pedro

Well-Known Member
Please don't take my comment as severe criticism. What I was referring to, especially at the turn of the 20th Century, was how a Noble would have multiple sons. The first would eventually assume title and go into the House of Lords, while the remaining sons often went into the Commons, or became military officers. In essence your entire leadership was all drawn from the same pool.

While I agree that our moneyed classes have always enjoyed power, we do tend to actually have a great many of our leading politicians come from a very common class (sometimes to our embarrassment, as Southern has stated).
Okay:

Margaret Thatcher - (Prime Minister - 1979 -1990) shopkeeper's daughter.

James Callaghan - (Prime Minister 1976-1979) Junior Navy officer's son.

Tony Blair - (Prime Minister 1997-2007) the son of the illegitimate son of two actors.

Gordon Brown - (Prime Minister 2007-2010) son of a church minister.

Going back to around the war -

Bernard Montgomery - (the WW2 Field Marshall) fourth child of nine to a minister.

Clement Attlee - (Prime Minister 1945 -1951) Seventh of eight children to a solicitor (lawyer to you).

Ramsay MacDonald (prime minister 1929-1935) - Illegitimate son of a farm labourer and a house maid.

So you see, many of these were also from average, even poor backgrounds. Compare them to the Kennedy and Bush family political dynasties. Don't get hung up on old titles. Old countries such as ours have titles such as Earls and Dukes who, going back to the middle ages, ran things. Not in modern times. Hereditary peers are no longer made. Those remaining have no political standing (not even having seats in the House of Lords) by virtue of their peerage. Generally, titles these days are given after a life of service to the country and can't be passed down.

As for Churchill getting patronage from his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, a politician in his time, well his father was convinced he would amount to nothing and one of the driving factors in Churchill's life was to prove his father wrong. From a boy with a stammer and a lisp, he became undoubtedly one of the great orators.
 
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Pedro

Well-Known Member
But he did polarise people for sure. There are some great quotes from him that hint at this.

"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."

Bessie Braddock: "Winston, you are drunk, and what's more, you are disgustingly drunk."
Churchill: "Bessie, my dear, you are ugly, and what's more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly."

He had a fascinating life for sure. In his early military career he was with the 21st Lancers when involved in a full cavalry charge at Omdurman in 1898. The Lancers were tasked with clearing the plain towards Omdurman. They were getting rifle fire as they advanced. They charged towards the snipers. There were 400 of the 21st Lancers and they thought they were up against a few hundred dervishes. However there were 2,500 infantry out of sight in a depression. After the charge and fierce fighting, the Lancers drove them all back. Three Victoria Crosses were awarded to members of that charge.
 

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