Winston Churchill - Biography, speeches, praise and critique.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
Half-finished cigar smoked by Winston Churchill sells for more than $12,000
A half-smoked cigar owned by Sir Winston Churchill has sold for $12,000 (£9,000) at auction. The former British prime minister enjoyed the cigar during a trip to Paris in 1947. The cigar was kept by British airman, Corporal William Alan Turner, after finding it at Le Bourget Airport. The La Corona cigar from Havana, Cuba, is personalised as it includes Churchill`s name on the label.
In the spring of 1945, Churchill asked his military chiefs to prepare a secret plan to Invade Russia in 1945
In the spring of 1945, Winston Churchill asked his military chiefs to prepare a secret plan: Operation Unthinkable. That was nothing new. The hyper-energetic Churchill was always coming up with plans, some clever and some crazy. But this plan was beyond all that. Winston Churchill wanted a plan for Britain to invade the Soviet Union. Churchill`s gaze beheld a darkness descending upon Europe. What would happen with a Red Army occupying its heart?
Photos by aide to Churchill`s chief of staff gives behind-the-scenes view of some of history`s greatest moments
Pictures of some of the most momentous events that took place behind the scenes of the WW2 have been unearthed. The photos were taken by Cabinet Office secretary Brenda Hart, who worked for the Government in the last two years of the war and had a ringside seat to key decisions made by the Allied leaders. As part of her work she accompanied former prime minister Winston Churchill and other leading political figures on official diplomatic trips to Russia and Germany and witnessed the Potsdam Conference in which the division of Germany into four zones was agreed. Her unique collection of photographs and mementos, which also include snaps of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, is now going up for auction where it could fetch as much as £1,200.
Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include Axis Balkan Campaign, D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, and the Battle of Bulge. In addition to WWII some other time periods include Korean War, American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War. The more complex campaigns like Operation Sea Lion, Invasion of Norway, and Invasion of Japan 1945, include Naval element and handling logistics of supply flow.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store since 2011)
Churchill`s Ungentlemanly, but deadly, war against the Nazis
The English have always taken pride in civility, so it should come as no surprise that the government debated how to deal with Hitler and his Nazi war machine. The question: Should the war be conducted in the traditional British gentlemanly fashion? A member of Parliament ridiculed the idea. `When you are fighting for your life against a ruthless opponent, you cannot be governed by the Queensbury rules.` The rules concern few in the tight-knit group of Churchill`s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler`s Defeat (Picador, 368 pp., ***½ out of four stars), Giles Milton`s richly detailed narration of British government-sanctioned sabotage and other hit-and-run tactics against Germany.
Churchills bodyguard saved him over 20 times, carried the PMs Colt .45 with orders for Churchill not to be taken alive
Walter H. Thomson travelled over 200,000 miles while protecting Winston Churchill and was said to have spent more time with him than Churchill`s own wife. On top of the constant threat of assassination at the hands of the Nazis, Indian Nationalists and Communists, Churchill also had a habit of voluntarily putting himself in dangerous situation such as IRA attacks, blitz bombing sites and most famously the Siege of Sidney Street, where a bullet allegedly rocketed through his top hat, inches away from his head. Thompson was said to have single-handedly saved Mr Churchill`s life on nearly 20 occasions and it will come as little surprise that after over 14 years of protecting Britain`s most famous minister he eventually had a nervous breakdown.
Winston Churchill`s Daily Calendar Provides a Different Look at WWII
Churchill`s wartime engagement diary, which covers his schedule from 1939-45, is filled with thousands of these entries. Steve Forbes donated the collection of 30 cards to the Chicago-based Churchill Centre, an international education organization that made the initial leadership gift to establish the National Churchill Library and Center at GW. Churchill`s engagement diary was recently donated to GW for use in the center. The planner is the subject of a GW Libraries digital history project. GW is crowdsourcing the transcription of the diary, inviting public contributors to help digitize entries. `It`s like you are contributing this little bit to knowledge, and you are putting yourself in the historical realm,` Beth Kaplan, associate university librarian, said of participating in the project.
You could own Winston Churchill`s wartime pistol
He wasn`t afraid to carry a weapon during World War II, and a pistol from his personal wartime collection is going under the hammer in early December. Bonhams auction house is selling Churchill`s 1913 Webley & Scott self-loading pistol. It estimates the firearm could fetch £2,000 to £3,000 ($3,000 to $4,000).
Britain`s War Cabinet Considered Making Peace with Hitler in 1940; Churchill Talked Them Out of It
Britain`s War Cabinet Considered Making Peace with Hitler in 1940; Churchill Talked Them Out of It.
Operation Unthinkable -- Churchill`s Planned Invasion of the Soviet Union, July 1945
Not later than April 1945 Churchill instructed the British Armed Forces` Joint Planning Staff to draw up Operation Unthinkable, a code name of two related plans of a conflict between the Western allies and the Soviet Union. The generals were asked to devise means to `impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire`. The hypothetical date for the start of the Allied invasion of Soviet-held Europe was scheduled for 1 July 1945. In the final days of the war against the Hitler`s Germany London started preparations to strike the Soviet Union from behind.
Winston Churchill planned and executed a sustained chemical attack on Russia in 1919
Secrecy was paramount. Britain`s imperial general staff knew there would be outrage if it became known that the government was intending to use its secret stockpile of chemical weapons. But Winston Churchill brushed aside their concerns. As a long-term advocate of chemical warfare, he was determined to use them against the Russian Bolsheviks. In the summer of 1919 Churchill planned and executed a sustained chemical attack on northern Russia. The British were no strangers to the use of chemical weapons. During the third battle of Gaza in 1917, General Edmund Allenby had fired 10,000 cans of asphyxiating gas at enemy positions.
Wartime talks between Churchill and Stalin were awkward until a 8-hour drinking session lasting until 3am
Wartime talks between Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin were proving awkward until a drinking session lasting until 3am, newly released files, written by Sir Alexander Cadogan, who was permanent under-secretary at the Foreign Office, show. In a Foreign Office account of the 1942 Moscow visit, an official recalls finding the men enjoying "food of all kinds... and innumerable bottles". The mood was "merry as a marriage-bell" although Churchill was "complaining of a slight headache" by 1am.
The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965
After nearly a quarter-century, readers enthralled by the first two volumes of William Manchester`s projected trilogy on Winston Churchill gave up their hopes that a concluding volume might appear. Manchester, after all, was unable to make more than a start at the actual writing before illness and death stilled his pen. Never, never, never give up. Before he died, Manchester passed the torch to Paul Reid, a reporter for The Palm Beach Post who has used Manchester`s leavings and his own research to complete the task begun by his friend with 1983`s "The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Visions of Glory, 1874-1932" and 1988`s "The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Alone, 1932-1940."
Churchill favoured execution over Nuremberg trials for Nazi leaders
The British government opposed the establishment of the Nuremberg war crimes tribunals at the end of the WWII because it wanted selected Nazi leaders to be summarily executed and others to be imprisoned without trial, reveals to a declassified file. Winston Churchill made the proposal at the "Big Three" conference at Yalta in February 1945, but was overruled by Franklin D Roosevelt, who believed the US public would demand proper trials, and Joseph Stalin, who argued that public trials possessed excellent propaganda value. The British agreed to the war crimes trials, in spite of thinking that the decision to prosecute the Nazi leadership for waging a war of aggression would set a dangerous precedent. They also feared the prosecutions would be on a par with the high-profile show trials in Stalin`s Russia.
Churchill opposed international WW II Katyn investigation to cover up the massacre
Winston Churchill agreed with Stalin that no International Red Cross investigation should be carried out in German occupied territory into the Katyn massacre, US declassified files reveal. After leader of the Polish-government-in-exile in London, General Sikorski called for an investigation into the 1940 Katyn massacre, where 21,000 Polish officers were murdered, British PM Churchill agreed with Stalin that the idea should be opposed. "We shall certainly rigorously oppose any investigation by the International Red Cross or any other body in any territory under German authority," Churchill quotes a telegram he sent Stalin in a cable to US President Roosevelt.
Nazis plotted to assassinate Churchill with exploding chocolate placed in War Cabinet dining room
Secret wartime papers exchanged between MI5 officials reveal that the Nazis` plans to conquer Britain included a deadly assault on Sir Winston Churchill with exploding chocolate. Nazi bomb-makers coated explosive devices with a thin layer of rich dark chocolate, then packaged it in expensive-looking black and gold paper. The Germans planned to use secret agents working in Britain to discreetly place the bars of chocolate - branded as Peter`s Chocolate - among other luxury items taken on trays into the dining room used by the War Cabinet during the Second World War.
Winston Churchill`s custom-made wartime earplugs to be auctioned off
Winston Churchill did not want his mid-afternoon naps disturbed so he had the custom-made earplugs made to help him get his regular sleep. Now they will go under the hammer at Keys in Aylsham, Norfolk, where they have an asking price of £2,000. The ear defenders - made of purified beeswax, cotton and lanolin - come complete with the original casts of Churchill`s ears, which they still fit snugly inside. Money raised from the sale of the earplugs on March 30 will be given to charity.
Excerpt: A Daughter`s Tale: The Memoir Of Winston And Clementine Churchill`s Youngest Child
Mary Churchill: My mother confided to me that D-Day was scheduled for June 5. Owing to unsatisfactory weather, the invasion was delayed by 24 hours: so on June 5 I waited all day in a fever of anxiety. That evening I went to a party: "Great fun – very gay. Got home [to my billet] about three-ish. I don`t think I could have been asleep very long – I suddenly awoke, rather chilly, and heard a throbbing continuous roar – and I knew D-Day was here." I rushed into the garden, and could make out aircraft towing gliders overhead: I fell to my knees and prayed as I had never prayed before.
MI5 files: Jewish Zionists who killed a British minister during WWII also plotted to kill PM Winston Churchill
A Jewish extremist who murdered a British government minister during the Second World War also suggested assassinating Winston Churchill, MI5 records reveal. Eliyahu Bet-Zuri - a member of a Jewish underground militant group that wanted to end the British Mandate in Palestine and establish the State of Israel - suggested sending agents of the Stern Gang, a Zionist paramilitary group, to London to kill the British prime minister. MI5 was also deeply concerned that Jewish terrorists might try to assassinate other leading British politicians.
Man arrested for selling memorabilia bearing fake signatures of Winston Churchill
If you have purchased anything with the signature of Winston Churchill during the last couple of years you probably should read this story.
The British Metropolitan Police Service`s Art and Antiques Unit has arrested a man in Hampshire who has been offering for sale - either directly or on eBay - a number of books and memorabilia purportedly signed by Churchill himself.
Physician`s notes reveal that stress ruined Winston Churchill - A healthy PM might have kept Poland free
The toll of World War II on Winston Churchill has been revealed in notes compiled by his physician, Charles Moran. The confidential records depict a leader who spent his nights smoking and drinking, and whose work deteriorated and whose character suffered because of years of stress that left him with "an intolerance of criticism and bad temper" - which sounds eerily similar to Hitler`s behaviour in his last years. A healthy Churchill might have been able to stand up to Josef Stalin and keep Poland free of Soviet occupation. Strangely, it looks like that millions of people could have enjoyed a better life, had one man taken better care of himself.
Churchill Defiant: Fighting on, 1945-1955 by Barbara Leaming (book review)
Winston Churchill`s last decade of active life is usually ignored. The conventional wisdom is that the Grand Old Man had grandiose daydreams which were out of touch with the realities of a new nuclear world, where Britain was overshadowed by the new superpowers. Barbara Leaming admits this, while drawing attention to the large number of achievements of Churchill`s later years.
Documentary film: Winston Churchill - Walking With Destiny
"Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny" is a glowing biography of the wartime PM, with extracts from the famous WWII speeches. The documentary film - directed by Richard Trank, and produced by Trank and Rabbi Marvin Hier under the guidance of the film division of the Simon Wiesenthal Center - is also meant to highlight Churchill`s early recognition of Hitler`s anti-Semitism and his efforts during the war to publicize the suffering of the Jews. But these details are only mentioned in the film, as a counterpoint to the amazing story of Britain`s resolution against the Nazis.
Book: Churchill let 3 million Indians starve to death while full grain ships passed by
Up to 3 million people perished in the Bengal famine of 1943 after Japan captured Burma - a major source of rice imports - and British colonial rulers in India amassed food for soldiers. Rice price skyrocketed, and distribution channels were wrecked when officials seized most boats and bullock carts. As hunger spread through villages, Churchill dismissed desperate emergency food requests from British officials in India, while full grain ships from Australia were passing India. As a prove author Madhusree Mukerjee uses forgotten ministry records and personal archives in her book "Churchill`s Secret War".
Churchill ordered assassination of Mussolini to protect letters in which Churchill praised Fascism?
French historian Pierre Milza, author of The Last Days of Mussolini, speculates that Winston Churchill may have wanted Benito Mussolini dead to prevent the letters, in which Churchill expressed his admiration for Fascism, to be found. Churchill once said: "Fascism has rendered a service to the entire world..." Despite wearing German officer uniform in a mixed Italian and SS convoy, Mussolini - and his mistress Clara Petacci - were seized by Italian partisans near Dongo on Lake Como. In a 2004 documentary film partisan Bruno Lonati stated he was part of a 2-man team tasked by British SOE to eliminate the couple.
Churchill`s Empire: The World That Made Him and the World He Made by Richard Toye (WWII book review)
Winston Churchill is respected for his leadership during the darkest days of World War Two. But an equally significant part of his political career – a lifelong defense of the British Empire – has gotten far less attention. There has never been a single volume that focused Churchill`s views of and impact on the British Empire. Historian Richard Toye has authored such an overview with "Churchill`s Empire" - which is mostly favourable, but it shows Churchill in a much less flattering light than usual, for example revealing his dislike of Indians: "I hate Indians, they are a beastly people with a beastly religion."
Winston Churchill, who almost met Hitler in 1932, under scrutiny (long article)
Hitler`s Wehrmacht was marching from one victory to the next, until Winston Churchill stood up to the Nazi dictator. The wartime British PM has been viewed as one of the key individuals of the 20th century. Is the reputation justified? --- Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill never met, and who knows how it might have changed the course of history if the meeting set up by Churchill`s son and Hitler`s foreign press agent Ernst "Putzi" Hanfstaengl had taken place at the Continental in the spring of 1932. In his memoirs, Churchill regrets that Hitler "lost his only chance of meeting me."
The Churchill Archives Center to place the entire Churchill archive online in 2012
You`re a high student, or a journalist, or historian, and you have a paper to write on Winston Churchill`s "finest hour" speech from June 18, 1940. But you want to go beyond the famous words of defiance and learn how he progressed in his mind to that moment, and what doubts he had about Britain`s ability to withstand Nazi Germany. In 2012 the challenge will become a lot easier, thanks to a project by the Churchill Archives Center. The Churchill archive, kept in 2,500 boxes in the precincts of Cambridge University’s Churchill College, will be placed online on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Winston Churchill`s gold-mounted false teeth go up for auction (estimate £5,000)
False teeth worn by Winston Churchill when he made some of his historic WWII speeches - inspiring the Britain during its darkest days in its struggle against the Third Reich - are to be auctioned off. The gold-mounted teeth are one of 3 sets that were made for the PM who had had dental problems since childhood. One set went with Churchill to his grave and another was given to the Royal College of Surgeons` museum where they are titled: "The teeth that saved the world". The third set was given back to dental technician Derek Cudlipp - who made them just before the war - and they are now being sold by his son.
Winston`s War: Churchill, 1940-1945 by Max Hastings (WWII book review)
Max Hastings shows how the British, with Winston Churchill`s inspiring leadership, secured a victory over Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain, gaining a vital time for the forces of Democracy to rally against the Third Reich. But the victory came at a cost that cannot be measured in the number of lost aircraft and pilots. Partly as a result of the PR effort aimed at gaining support from the US, Churchill used the myth of Britain`s "Finest Hour" to cover up weaknesses in the British war effort. Churchill wanted to compensate for Britain`s poor position with bold offensive feats that ended, almost entirely, in disaster.
Winston Churchill struggled with finest hour speech, papers reveal
To many, it was Winston Churchill`s finest hour. The WW2 speech he made to the British nation as it stood alone against the seemingly unstoppable Nazi war machine - the Battle of France was lost, the Battle of Britain was about to begin - is one of the most famous speeches in history. Full of passion and Shakespearesque language, his call for fortitude and courage was credited with re-galvanising the Britain in its darkest hour. But a new examination of his papers reveals how he struggled over every famous phrase – even adding one at the last minute – and how his private secretary was secretly unimpressed.
Churchill Memorabilia fetched $846,364 - His unsmoked Havana cigar sold for $3,120
Winston Churchill Memorabilia sold for 577,063 pounds (US$846,364) at Christie`s Auction House. The items were part of a collection amassed over 30 years by Malcolm S. Forbes Jr. The rest of the collection will be sold in two more sets. Among the items up for bid were books and letters by Churchill as well as photos and an unsmoked Havana cigar - which sold for $3,120. The memorabilia collection also included a South African police telegram ($12,635) which describes Churchill as a wanted man when he escaped prison in Pretoria by vaulting over the latrines and jumping onto a moving train in 1899.
Secrets of the Dead series: Churchill`s Deadly Decision
Secrets of the Dead explores the dark side of Britain`s struggle against the Nazis in "Churchill`s Deadly Decision". July 3, 1940, PM Winston Churchill ordered British Navy to take control of French ships, or sink them if the French refused to relinquish control. What led to this attack was a dramatic series of events that saw France being seized by the Nazis, Roosevelt fearing that Britain would fall just as quickly, and Churchill needing a way to prove otherwise. The film includes eye-witness accounts, unclassified documents between Churchill and Roosevelt, and files from British War Cabinet meetings.
Huge collection of Winston Churchill memorabilia and collectables for sale
The remarkable collection of memorabilia and collectables chronicle Churchill`s life in extraordinary detail: Rarely seen photographs, revealing letters, his World War II engagement diary (which details the PM`s daily appointments from September 1939 to June 1945), an unsmoked cigar, and A presentation copy of Churchill`s book Arms And The Covenant (which was presented to double agent Guy Burgess). Collected by American Malcolm S Forbes Jr, the collection is expected to fetch over £1million. Christie`s auctioneers said the most sought-after lot is Churchill`s war diary that could be worth £120,000.
Churchill by Paul Johnson - Finally a short Winston Churchill biography
After years of writing long history books, British historian Paul Johnson has just written what may be the shortest Churchill biography (192 pages). The head of Viking Penguin approached Johnson "saying that young people are very interested in Winston Churchill but... are most reluctant to read long books... do you think you could do a short biography." The book crushes many of the negative myths about Churchill, like that he was drunk for much of World War II. "He appeared to drink much more than he did. He used to sip his drinks... slowly, and he always watered his whisky and brandy."
Churchill: failed Gallipoli campaign, disastrous Norway invasion, giving eastern Europe to Stalin
The controversy of the legacy of Sir Winston Churchill is widespread. In 1915, as First Lord of the Admiralty, Churchill was a force behind the disastrous Gallipoli campaign. And his Budget of 1925 has become infamous for returning Britain to the gold standard, making British industry uncompetitive and lengthening the slump. In 1940 he backed the disastrous invasion of Norway. At the Yalta conference in 1945, Churchill expressed his agreement to Stalin`s demand for control over eastern Europe in return for a guarantee that Greece would not fall into the Soviet hands - this sealed the fate of several countries including Poland, Hungary and Romania.
Churchill wanted to use captured Nazi troops to drive the Soviet Union out of Eastern Europe
When Winston Churchill learned that the Americans were about to stop their march on Berlin and leave Nazi capital to the communists, he was furious. The US had made a commitment not to let post-war Europe be divided into areas of influence. Now this was exactly what was happening. Situation was worsening by the day as Stalin`s Red Army invaded the countries, making them satellites of Moscow, in spite of Yalta agreement, made only weeks earlier. Within days of Germany`s collapse Churchill asked the military planners to examine ways to impose upon Russia the will of US and UK - with "the use of German manpower and what remains of German industrial capacity."
Churchill, wanting to take the fight to Hitler, send thousands of special forces men to needless death
He is accused of arrogance and a blind faith in his own ability. But without Winston Churchill`s will, Britain would have fallen to Nazi Germany. Unlike the Americans, who thought in terms of large armies, Churchill used small raids to annoy the enemy. "His Majesty`s government can`t have its troops standing idle. Muskets must flame." As a result special forces used up a huge percentage of Britain`s best warriors. The Special Air Service (SAS), Special Boat Squadron (SBS), Long Range Desert Group, SOE and other elite groups and their secret missions of little strategic value ill served the British Army, chronically short of good infantrymen for the major battles.
Churchill`s Bunker: The Secret Headquarters at the Heart of Britain’s Victory [book review]
"This is the room from which I will direct the war," Churchill stated when he visited the cabinet war rooms after becoming PM in May 1940. Churchill`s Bunker - by military historian Richard Holme - is a history of this underground complex, coinciding with an exhibition to mark the 70th anniversary of the site. The cabinet war rooms were the nerve centre from which world war two was won and Britain`s survival as an independent nation ensured. The war cabinet met there regularly during the Nazi Blitz, the months when, in the words of historian Paul Addison, "the career of Winston Churchill merged into the history of the British people".
Into the Storm - HBO film tells the story of Winston Churchill during World War II
While 2002 film "The Gathering Storm" depicted Winston Churchill prior to World War II, "Into the Storm" shows him at the height of his powers. Coming in at less than 2 hours, "Into the Storm" is forced to take a "greatest hits" approach to the war. One minute Neville Chamberlain is resigning, the next fishing boats are sent to Dunkirk. Although the time frames can be a bit confusing, the film keep our eyes firmly on Churchill as his strengths are mirrored by his weaknesses. A faith in destiny keeps him stalwart while telling King George VI that a Nazi invasion is looming, while hearing himself compared to Adolf Hitler by members of Parliament.
Patrick Kinna - Winston Churchill`s stenographer during World War II
Patrick Kinna, whose WWII duties as stenographer to Winston Churchill included taking dictation as the PM bathed, has passed away at the age of 95. He was a witness to the famous encounter between a naked Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House at Xmas time in 1941. "Churchill was in the bath and began dictating. He would submerge himself... and come up and carry on with the dictation. ... There was a rat-a-tat-tat on the door, and Churchill swung the door open to President Roosevelt! Churchill simply said that he had nothing to hide from Mr. President," Kinna recalled in a recording for the BBC`s oral history archive.
Churchill by Himself: The Definitive Collection of Quotations [book review]
During World War 2, Winston Churchill became the icon of Britain`s never say die spirit, a bulldog figure in his Coke hat, vested suit, spotted bow tie, a cigar clamped in his teeth and his arm raised in the "V for Victory" sign. At the time of his death in 1965 he had published a 15 million words spanning countless books, collections of his speeches, essays, articles and miscellaneous writings. His most famous words are probably those offered in Parliament on May 13, 1940, in his first speech as PM, when Churchill told the British nation he had "nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat."
Warlord - A Life of Winston Churchill at War 1874-1945 [book review]
Winston Churchill`s life spanned the last decades of the British Empire, and to read Carlo D`Este`s new biography is to recall the series of disasters that faced Britain between the final days of the Victorian era and its brush with extinction in the Second World War. Churchill spent the better part of his life preventing more and more dire threats to Britain`s place in the world, and then to its very existence as an independent nation. A biography of Churchill is in some ways a biography of the British people, with all their noteworthy successes, crushing failures, occasional silliness, arrogance and lightheartedness, and finally their bravery.
The Woman Who Censored Churchill by Ruth Ive -- Book review
You might think that no further stories could emerge from the WWII archives. Yet here comes Ruth Ive with her wartime memoir. For 3½ years, Ive, an ace at typing and shorthand, was assigned the secret task of monitoring the only transatlantic telephone link. Her task was to listen in to all VIP calls, and in particular those between Churchill and Roosevelt. These top-secret talks had to be carefully monitored to make sure nothing was said which might risk national security. Churchill, after his champagne-and-scotch suppers and his afternoon naps with the whisky decanter close at hand, could very well have been a security nightmare.
Churchill: The Life and Speeches - Sir Winston Churchill
It`s hard to watch this documentary without thinking that something more was lost than the cigar-smoking statesman when he died aged 90. He represented an era when statesmanship and leadership were one and the same, when oration and eloquence were the traits people admired in a leader, not commonness. And yet this documentary, which shows a lot of footage of the former British PM addressing various audiences, showes that Churchill was no shrinking violet. "We shall never descend to the level of the Japanese and Germans. But if anybody wants to play rough, we can play rough too," he once declared.
Bullet-proof team: Winston Churchill and his bodyguard Walter Thompson
Winston Churchill lived dangerously. In June 1940, with France on the brink of collapse, he boosted his ally`s morale with a visit. Boarding his flight he asked Walter Thompson, if he could borrow his revolver: "I do not intend to be taken alive." Countess Hélène de Portes, mistress of the French PM Paul Reynaud, had heard enough talk of war, and she threw herself at Churchill in a knife-wielding "fury of hatred". Luckily Thompson intervened. On the flight home - without fighter escort - pilot spotted a Heinkel. "Some German pilot will never know, how close he came to winning the Iron Cross," said Thompson.
Winston Churchill`s Moroccan Sunset Expected to Fetch $600,000
In January 1943, as Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt met in Casablanca to plan World War II strategy, the British leader took break from the conference to show the American president a Moroccan landscape he loved. "Sunset Over the Atlas Mountains," an oil painting of that scene done by Churchill in 1935, is expected to go for as much as $600,000. Churchill took up the brush at 40 and painted over 500 pictures over the next five decades, says the online site of the Churchill Centre, a Washington-based group that promotes the legacy of the former British PM.
£1200 for album with signatures like Winston Churchill, Neville Chamberlain
A woman has spoke of her joy after an autograph album brought in £1,200 at auction. Joyce Thompsett and her sister Chris gave their father, captain William Baker, the autograph book in the 1930s and he kept it onboard the ferries he captained. Over time he filled it with 38 famous signatures, like Winston Churchill, Neville Chamberlain, Rudyard Kipling, Prince Albert and Lady Elizabeth Bownes-Lyon, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Joyce only expected the VIP book to get £100, but with much interest from overseas, it sold for £1,200. "I am sad to see it go though. It has a lot of sentimental value."
Winston and Jack: The Churchill Brothers by Celia and John Lee
Winston Churchill`s brother was airbrushed out of history, his father was unfairly vilified and his mother cheated her sons out of their inheritance – a new book by the historians John and Celia Lee, with unique access to the papers of Winston`s nephew the late Peregrine Churchill, rewrites the troubled story of one of Britain`s greatest families. Hundreds of books have been devoted to the life of Winston Churchill but there are still many unexplained aspects of his family`s story. Reintroducing Winston`s little-known brother Jack into the story has proved to be the key to appreciating the truth about many mysterious aspects of the Spencer-Churchills.
Tehran 1943: Wrecking the plan to kill Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill
The significance of the Big Three conference in Tehran in 1943 was enormous. Aware of this the Nazi regime instructed the Abwehr to assassinate Joseph Stalin, Theodore Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Otto Skorzeny planned an operation called Long Jump. Nazis learnt about the conference after cracking the American naval code. Moscow learned about the plot from Dmitry Medvedev`s guerrillas. Soviet intelligence officer Nikolai Kuznetsov - posing as a German Oberleutnant Paul Siebert - became friendly with SS Sturmbannfuehrer Ulrich von Ortel, who, when drunk, boasted that: "We will repeat the Abruzzi jump... People are already being trained in a special school."
Major Ion Calvocoressi - Keeping Winston Churchill away from the front
Major Ion Calvocoressi, who won an MC in 1942 while serving with the Scots Guards in North Africa, has died aged 88. On June 13 1942, after several days of bitter fighting, the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards (2SG) were attacked by 2 armoured columns of the 21st Panzer Division. The first onslaught fell upon No 17 anti-tank platoon commanded by Calvocoressi. Before its last guns were silenced, it had accounted for 5 German tanks. When 2SG`s position was overrun, he was taken POW; but he escaped late that night and walked 17 miles through the desert to rejoin his battalion. He was awarded an immediate MC.
Book examines Churchill’s relationship with top WWII generals
In the early days of World War II, when victory for the Allied Forces was anything but certain, British PM Winston Churchill faced two challenges. The first was the survival of his island nation in the midst of daily bombardment by air and the threat of invasion from German forces. The second challenge facing the legendary wartime leader was changing the beleaguered British Army from a force that was in constant retreat to an effective fighting machine capable of taking the war to its enemies. Why the British army found itself in such a situation and how it transformed itself is the subject of Raymond Callahan`s book "Churchill and His Generals".
Winston Churchill`s warnings about the "Hebrew bloodsuckers" (Article no longer available from the original source)
Winston Churchill suggested Jewish people were "partly responsible for the antagonism" that saw them branded "Hebrew bloodsuckers", according to an article made public for the first time. The 1937 document, "How the Jews Can Combat Persecution", was unearthed by Cambridge University historian Richard Toye. Written 3 years before Churchill became PM, the article has lain unnoticed in the Churchill archives at Cambridge since the early months of World War II. Churchill says: "The central fact... Jew is `different`. He looks different. He thinks differently. He has a different tradition and background."
Churchill`s speech picked from H G Wells classic
Former British PM Winston Churchill borrowed the lines for one of his most famous speeches from H G Wells. History lecturer Richard Toye discovered the phrase "The Gathering Storm" - used by Churchill to describe the rise of Nazi Germany - in a Wells authored book The War of the Worlds. Toye further claims that Winston Churchill, a fan of science fiction, delivered the speech in Glasgow on October 9, 1906. Historians now regard this as a landmark speech of Churchill`s career. Churchill later wrote to Wells saying he owed him "a great debt."
Churchill favored letting India`s Mohandas Gandhi die
British World War II troops were told to show respect for the U.S. Army`s racial segregation practices, according to government documents. Other documents released for the first time show that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was determined to have Adolf Hitler executed if captured, and that he favored letting India`s Mohandas Gandhi die if he went on a hunger strike while interned during the war.
Winston Churchill wanted to sent Adolf Hitler to the electric chair
Winston Churchill would have sent German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler to the electric chair if he was captured, and senior Nazis should be shot without trial. The documents consist of notes taken by Deputy Cabinet Secretary Sir Norman Brook. At one meeting in Dec 1942, Churchill said: "Contemplate that if Hitler falls into our hands we shall certainly put him to death." and "This man is the mainspring of evil." In April 1945, Home Secretary Herbert Morrison said that a "mock trial" for Nazi leaders would be "objectionable". He said: "Better to declare that we shall put them to death." Churchill agreed that a trial for Hitler would be "a farce".
Churchill had his plane sabotaged to protect code secret
Winston Churchill told his bodyguard deliberately to sabotage his aircraft to foil a Luftwaffe assassination plot. Churchill`s order instructing Walter Thompson, the detective who was his constant companion for 18 years, to immobilise his private aeroplane has remained secret until now. But the makers of a documentary, Churchill`s Bodyguard, believe that they have uncovered new evidence suggesting that Churchill dreamt up the elaborate scheme, because the cracking of the enigma code had provided him with intelligence saying there was to be an attempt on his life.
Uncensored memoirs of the Churchill`s bodyguard found
The uncensored memoirs of the PM`s bodyguard were found in a farm loft. Detective Inspector Walter Thompson was Churchill`s personal bodyguard for 18 years. He accompanied him over 200,000 miles and witnessed some of the defining moments of the 20th century from the outbreak of war in 1939 until May 1945. Churchill had 20 brushes with death, 7 of which were direct attempts on his life where Walter intervened. Among the threats to his life were from an Indian nationalist who tried to kill him in America, a German sniper team in Antibes, a loner with a loaded revolver as Churchill was about to board a flying boat, a sewer bomb in Athens (by Greek communists)...
Book: In Command of History - How Churchill Revised World War II
"In Command of History" describes how Churchill produced the six volumes of "The Second World War," which appeared between 1948 and 1954. That Churchill had the freedom to write was due to one of the bitterest blows of his life - the loss of the 1945 general election. During his "second wilderness years," he turned to the pen, as he had before, to redeem his reputation, and also to pad his bank account. But he faced considerable obstacles before he could present his version of events.