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Churchill: The flawed giant who saved our nation - and our world
Daily Mail UK ^ | 8/14/09 | Max Hastings

Posted on 08/14/2009 6:32:58 PM PDT by pissant

On Sunday, September 3, 1939 - 70 years ago next month - Britain declared war on Germany in fulfilment of its pledge to aid Poland, invaded by the Nazis. 'I know now that it will come to me to deal with Mr Hitler,' Winston Churchill told a cousin a few days earlier. He perceived his own hour of destiny at hand.

That same afternoon, he was summoned to Downing Street by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. For most of the decade Churchill had been a scourge of the Tory government. From 'the wilderness' of the Commons back benches, he denounced the folly of appeasing the dictators.

Only amid the crisis of war did his party overcome its bitter resentment to offer him office. He became once more First Lord of the Admiralty, the post he had occupied through the first year of World War I.

The early months of the greatest struggle in human history became known as the 'phoney war'. It seemed to many British people ridiculous and humiliating that though the country had committed itself to fight Hitler, it lacked the means to do so.

Poland was crushed in three weeks, without a French or British finger being lifted to save it. The two allies feared even to bomb Germany, lest they provoke devastating reprisals from the Luftwaffe.

On the Franco-German border, 94 French and nine British divisions confronted Hitler's army. But in neither Paris nor London was there the slightest will to launch an attack.

(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: churchill; winstonchurchill; wwii
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He had the able bodied assistance of Patton, Bradley, Ike and the boys.

1 posted on 08/14/2009 6:33:00 PM PDT by pissant
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To: pissant

“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.” Sir Winston Churchill


2 posted on 08/14/2009 6:37:45 PM PDT by Huskrrrr
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To: pissant

Without a doubt, Churchill saved the entire world from Totalitarianism ... until now.


3 posted on 08/14/2009 6:37:59 PM PDT by DontTreadOnMe2009 (So stop treading on me already!)
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To: All
If only the current batch of socialist scum would read history... just once... and learn a little bit from it!
4 posted on 08/14/2009 6:43:38 PM PDT by elpinta (No tagline, I can't express the way I feel lately.)
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To: pissant
"Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities."

-Winston Churchill

5 posted on 08/14/2009 6:49:49 PM PDT by LiberConservative (One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: elpinta

“If only the current batch of socialist scum would read history...”

.
They’ve read history but prefer a Stalin over Churchill.


6 posted on 08/14/2009 6:54:37 PM PDT by 353FMG
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To: pissant

Half American.
And the less flawed half was the American, and she was “no better than she should be.” Sometimes worse.
So, given his parents, he didn’t do too badly.
Gallipoli notwithstanding.


7 posted on 08/14/2009 6:55:40 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast (Rebellion is not brewing. Frog is brewing.)
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To: pissant

A good BBC Churchill documentary.
A History of Britain - The Two Winstons (2002)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0602015/

http://www.newzleech.com/?p=6916843


8 posted on 08/14/2009 6:56:11 PM PDT by Bobalu (I AM JIM THOMPSON)
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To: pissant

Like a salmon swimming upstream against the current. Is this the role that Sarah will be assuming in history?


9 posted on 08/14/2009 6:57:52 PM PDT by johniegrad
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast

Yup, Gallipoli, an unmitigated disaster!

The sea at your immediate rear, hills in front, snipers everywhere, bad water and too little of it, 100 billion flies...FUBAR


10 posted on 08/14/2009 6:59:14 PM PDT by Bobalu (I AM JIM THOMPSON)
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To: pissant
A fav' quote, from around the time of the fall of France, Winston referring to what the French generals were telling their public:

"In three weeks, England... will have her neck wrung like a chicken! ... SOME Chicken! ... Some Neck!"

11 posted on 08/14/2009 7:00:45 PM PDT by C210N (A patriot for a Conservative Renaissance!)
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To: johniegrad

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”


12 posted on 08/14/2009 7:15:01 PM PDT by Liberty Wins
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
Gallipoli notwithstanding.

As much as I liked the guy, he pulled some doozies. A few are:

WWI
Saddling the South American cruiser squadron with the slow, antiquated battleship "Centurion" ("a veritable citadel"), resulting in their annihilation at the Battle of Coronel.
WWII
Failure to push Rommel out of North Africa early in the war because he:
Pulled troops out to fight in Crete - and lose.
Pulled troops out to fight in Singapore - just in time to surrender.
Pushing to invade Germany via the Mediterranean instead of France.
Advocating invasion via the "soft underbelly" of Italy. (As one vet there said, "It was one tough old gut.")

13 posted on 08/14/2009 7:36:48 PM PDT by Oatka ("A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." –Bertrand de Jouvenel)
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To: 353FMG

Reagan once noted that a Communist was someone who had read Marx.....a conservative someone who UNDERSTOOD Marx!!


14 posted on 08/14/2009 7:46:59 PM PDT by mo
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To: pissant

I can’t help but feel Churchill is overrated historically. Sure he was better than Chamberlain (who wouldn’t be?) but England was getting her butt kicked until America got involved in the European theatre and Hitler turned on Stalin.


15 posted on 08/14/2009 7:52:53 PM PDT by RAO1125 (Neoconservatism:Failed. Socialism:Failing (again). Next up: Libertarianism)
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To: Oatka
Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

ALL Western leaders seem to have regarded the Japanese as beneath consideration militarily;that is ,until they took over half the Pacific!

But what if Churchill shocked Hitler by smashing the Afrika Korps and Hitler decided NOT to invade Russia?Russia was where Hitler lost WW2.If Hitler had had the use of those hundreds of divions ,thousands of tanks, and thousands of aircraft for the Western Front,D-Day would have been a massacre!And before that,Italy would have been easily swept of American and English forces.

16 posted on 08/14/2009 7:53:18 PM PDT by hoosierham (Waddaya mean Freedom isn't free ?;will you take a credit card?)
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To: RAO1125

Not really.


17 posted on 08/14/2009 7:56:11 PM PDT by pissant (THE Conservative party: www.falconparty.com)
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To: RAO1125
If not Churchill, would any have resisted Hitler?

And if England fell,what of America?

18 posted on 08/14/2009 7:59:36 PM PDT by hoosierham (Waddaya mean Freedom isn't free ?;will you take a credit card?)
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To: Bobalu

D*mned shame some idiots charge with executing Churchill’s (actually brilliant) plan completely screwed it up. The Turkish sniper and machine gun positions on the cliffs were supposed to be subjected to heavy naval bombardment before and during the landings, but someone in the Admiralty got in a snit with the General Staff, and the moronic martinet in charge of the ground operation said go because his watch said it was time, even though the barrage hadn’t started.


19 posted on 08/14/2009 8:00:12 PM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: pissant

Not till later.


20 posted on 08/14/2009 8:01:46 PM PDT by Boiling Pots (Evil-Mongering Angry Mobster)
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To: hoosierham

Even if Germany had prevailed over Europe, Russia would’ve taken down the quickly disintigrating Third Reich. The real divergence point would’ve been if we weren’t secretly supplying weapons and such to the Allies, which lead to Pearl Harbor, which lead to us developing the atomic bomb first. If Germany had developed it first, God only knows. Let’s face it, World War II spurred us to the golden era of America. I just think it had ALOT more to do with Eisenhower and Co. than it did with Churchill.


21 posted on 08/14/2009 8:05:29 PM PDT by RAO1125 (Neoconservatism:Failed. Socialism:Failing (again). Next up: Libertarianism)
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To: pissant
Churchill went to Harrow School - one of Britain's most famous and prestigious schools. The school has a very famous school song.

Forty years on, when afar and asunder
Parted are those who are singing today,
When you look back, and forgetfully wonder
What you were like in your work and your play,
Then, it may be, there will often come o’er you,
Glimpses of notes like the catch of a song –
Visions of boyhood shall float them before you,
Echoes of dreamland shall bear them along,

Follow up! Follow up! Follow up
Follow up! Follow up
Till the field ring again and again,
With the tramp of the twenty-two men.
Follow up! Follow up!


Routs and discomfitures, rushes and rallies,
Bases attempted, and rescued, and won,
Strife without anger and art without malice, –
How will it seem to you, forty years on?
Then, you will say, not a feverish minute
Strained the weak heart and the wavering knee,
Never the battle raged hottest, but in it.
Neither the last nor the faintest, were we!

Oh the great days. in the distance enchanted,
Days of fresh air, in the rain and the sun,
How we rejoiced as we struggled and panted –
Hardly believable, forty years on!
How we discoursed of them, one with another,
Auguring triumph, or balancing fate,
Loved the ally with the heart of a brother,
Hated the foe with a playing at hate!

Forty years on, growing older and older,
Shorter in wind, as in memory long,
Feeble of foot, and rheumatic of shoulder,
What will it help you that once you were strong?
God give us bases to guard or beleaguer,
Games to play out, whether earnest or fun;
Fights for the fearless, and goals for the eager,
Twenty, and thirty, and forty years on!

Two verses have been written and added for Churchill.

Blazoned in honour! For each generation
You kindled courage to stand and to stay;
You led our fathers to fight for the nation,
Called "Follow up" and yourself showed the way.
We who were born in the calm after thunder
Cherish our freedom to think and to do;
If in our turn we forgetfully wonder,
Yet we'll remember we owe it to you.

and


Sixty years on - though in time growing older,
Younger at heart you return to the Hill:
You, who in days of defeat ever bolder,
Led us to Victory, serve Britain still.
Still there are bases to guard or beleaguer,
Still must the battle for Freedom be won:
Long may you fight, Sir, who fearless and eager
Look back to-day more than sixty years on

22 posted on 08/14/2009 8:05:54 PM PDT by naturalman1975 ("America was under attack. Australia was immediately there to help." - John Winston Howard)
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To: pissant

And he was a chief architect of the British socialized insurance. I think we can find better heroes.


23 posted on 08/14/2009 8:08:10 PM PDT by Captain Kirk
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To: hoosierham

Yep if the Luftwaffe could have mounted any kind of attacks on the beaches it would have been a slaughter


24 posted on 08/14/2009 8:09:33 PM PDT by uncbob
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To: Captain Kirk

You are reading the wrong books.


25 posted on 08/14/2009 8:12:22 PM PDT by pissant (THE Conservative party: www.falconparty.com)
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To: All
In reading this thread, I'm reminded of a statement made in a history class when I was at school during one of the many debates I've experienced over the role of various allies in World War II. It's always rung true to me.

The United States won the Second World War.

Britain and Her Empire made sure there was a war left to win.

The war would have gone very differently if the United States hadn't become a combatant - but if the United Kingdom and the British Empire hadn't held out until the end of 1941...

And that was where Churchill stood above all other leaders of his day.

What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. 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."

26 posted on 08/14/2009 8:12:43 PM PDT by naturalman1975 ("America was under attack. Australia was immediately there to help." - John Winston Howard)
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To: RAO1125

If DDAY hadn’t of been a success and the V2 sites put out of commission England would have been toast

Imagine what it would have been if the V2s could have been dropped on the port cities where the invasion was being prepared

There was NO defense against them


27 posted on 08/14/2009 8:14:02 PM PDT by uncbob
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To: naturalman1975
Even though large parts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, 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, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the Old.
28 posted on 08/14/2009 8:15:38 PM PDT by naturalman1975 ("America was under attack. Australia was immediately there to help." - John Winston Howard)
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To: uncbob

Indeed. If the German leadership wasn’t completely disjointed (not to mention Hitler being out of his mind and drugged up by then) their superior military hardware would’ve been damn near unstoppable. It is still incredible to me that we defeated them, which says a TON about the greatest generation.


29 posted on 08/14/2009 8:17:02 PM PDT by RAO1125 (Neoconservatism:Failed. Socialism:Failing (again). Next up: Libertarianism)
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To: LiberConservative

I like Winston Churchill.

That said I have always thought it odd they criticize us for ‘coming late’ yet saving their butts. I guess there will always be a tinge of resentment for the First American Revolution.

(PS in the second one, the UK has nothing to do with it.)


30 posted on 08/14/2009 8:54:54 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: pissant

"Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others." Winston Churchill..

31 posted on 08/14/2009 9:39:51 PM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan (Sarah Palin is our Iron Lady of the North)
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To: pissant
Churchill inspired like no other.

He stood up to totalitarians when no one else would just like today.

He fought Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin. I would say the true measure of a man is not only by the company he keeps but also the enemies he chooses to defy.

By that standard Churchill is the greatest of men.

Now we have a president who embraces dictators and curses Churchill.

We should never forget that.

32 posted on 08/14/2009 11:30:06 PM PDT by TheThinker
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To: pissant
By coincidence, I was just reading about Operation Menace, which was another setback during his tenure.

But without Churchill, Britain would have become one among many client states of Nazi Germany. History from 1940 onward would have been completely different; we would have fought the Japanese, but I doubt we would have fought in Europe.

Churchill was undoubtedly one of the key figures of history.

33 posted on 08/15/2009 1:12:56 AM PDT by snowsislander (NRA -- join today! 1-877-NRA-2000)
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To: hoosierham
Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
But what if Churchill shocked Hitler by smashing the Afrika Korps

He would have, but over the protests of the generals in Africa, he kept sucking troops out from under them for other no-hope campaigns. The military was pretty bitter about it. Had they knocked Rommel out then, there would have been no need for the Americans to go in there. At least it gave them some experience, especially at Kasserine Pass, which prepared them for the Italian campaign.

and Hitler decided NOT to invade Russia? Russia was where Hitler lost WW2.

Agree there. The two greatest blunders of his were invading Russia and declaring war on America. Roosevelt wanted to get us into the European war so bad he was drooling. I suspect he fell to his knees in thanks when Hitler did that when he didn't have to, otherwise the pressure would have been on to take out the Japs first. (From what I read, Hitler was probably sucking up to Japan in hopes they'd attack the Russians.)

Lots of "What ifs?", and as you say, 20-20 is extremely acute looking in the rear mirror. Plenty of screw-ups on both sides (Don't get me started about MacArthur in the Philippines.) but Churchill overrode good counsel time and again.

34 posted on 08/15/2009 4:47:46 AM PDT by Oatka ("A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." –Bertrand de Jouvenel)
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To: Bobalu

>Yup, Gallipoli, an unmitigated disaster!
>The sea at your immediate rear,

Churchill’s plan was for a Naval only attack and even this was bungled by the military which seemed unable to plan and execute anything competently. WWI has many shocking examples of British military incometence.


35 posted on 08/15/2009 6:16:32 AM PDT by bkepley
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To: Oatka
Saddling the South American cruiser squadron with the slow, antiquated battleship "Centurion" ("a veritable citadel"), resulting in their annihilation at the Battle of Coronel.

1. HMS Centurion was only a year old. 26,000 tons 10 13.5" guns 21 knots. Needless to say it was kept in home waters to face the German battleship squadrons.

2, The RN cruisers on the South American Station were themselves "slow, antiquated", with no hope of matching the more modern German Cruisers they were facing.

3. It was Admiral Craddock's own decision to not take the old battleship HMS Canopus to support his cruisers that ensured their defeat.

36 posted on 08/15/2009 8:59:02 AM PDT by Oztrich Boy (War is fought by human beings. - Carl von Clausewitz in On War)
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To: Oztrich Boy
1. HMS Centurion was only a year old. 26,000 tons 10 13.5" guns 21 knots.
My error. (I knew it began with a "C" (cough). The Canopus couldn't even keep up with those older cruisers, so they went alone. She ended up being scuttled as a breakwater on D-Day so she still did some good service to the end.

2, The RN cruisers on the South American Station were themselves "slow, antiquated", with no hope of matching the more modern German Cruisers they were facing.
Two were antiquated, one having two 9" guns and the rest 6 inchers against the German's 4.2", plus they were all rated at 23-25 knots, the Canopus at 14 and the armed liner at 14 which was what slowed them down. They held their own against the German cruisers but got pounded by the German armored cruisers' 16 8 inchers.

3. It was Admiral Craddock's own decision to not take the old battleship HMS Canopus to support his cruisers that ensured their defeat.
Wiki says she hadn't arrived before the battle took place, but I thought she was there - just too slow to keep up. It was there that Churchill called her "a veritable citadel" for the cruisers to rally around. The two older cruisers' crews were new recruits and/or raw home guard types, which didn't help when facing the crack German Asiatic Fleet crews.

Lots of blame to go around, and it seems we didn't learn either - sending up our antiquated four-pipers and one modern heavy cruiser against the Japs steamrolling their way down through Java.

37 posted on 08/15/2009 12:17:11 PM PDT by Oatka ("A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." –Bertrand de Jouvenel)
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To: Oatka
2, The RN cruisers on the South American Station were themselves "slow, antiquated", with no hope of matching the more modern German Cruisers they were facing.

Discounting the armed liner HMS Ortanto, HMS Glascow was a protected cruiser, her only armour being a waterline deck keeping machinery and magazines safe, everything above the waterline was unarmoured. Such ships might stand up to a single hit but were not expected to slug it out, their job being to show the flag and impress the natives on foreign stations or to scout for more battle capable ships.

Basicalkly it came down to the Armoured Cruisers, HMS Good Hope was antiquated with only two heavy guns; HMS Monmouth was a relic of the not very well thought out idea of the "not quite first rate" smaller cheaper armoured cruiser with only 6" guns and a 4" armoured belt.

With no hope of matching the German ships, Cradock should have attempted to track and shepherd them onto the guns of the battleship. It's what Churchill and the Admiralty expected him to do, and how Admiral Fraser sank a later Scharnhorst off North Cape 30 years later.

Instead Cradock tried a Hail Mary.

38 posted on 08/15/2009 5:25:30 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (War is fought by human beings. - Carl von Clausewitz in On War)
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To: RAO1125

I don’t think the whole of Europe under Soviet domination would have been much of an improvement.


39 posted on 08/16/2009 6:01:59 AM PDT by hoosierham (Waddaya mean Freedom isn't free ?;will you take a credit card?)
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To: Oatka

IMO there were valid reasons for attacking via Sicily, Italy and the Med.


40 posted on 08/16/2009 6:38:26 AM PDT by the scotsman
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To: RAO1125

Erm, no.


41 posted on 08/16/2009 6:38:50 AM PDT by the scotsman
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To: RAO1125

Firstly, re the atomic bomb, that would never have been built had it not been for the huge influence of British research from British and Jewish emigre scientists in the late 30’s and early days of the war.

We gave you all of our nuclear secrets, plans and technology in 1940 for nothing. And lets us not forget, in fact it tends to be forgotten, that Britain was prior to that developing its own nuclear programme, testing grounds in Canada had already been set up, if Britain had to go it alone and America stayed out.

Secondly, and very simply, without a Britain that stood alone in 1940 and 1941, there would have been no way to defeat the Nazis.

Britain could not have defeated the Nazis without America and Canada. But America could never have defeated the Nazis without Britain and Canada.


42 posted on 08/16/2009 6:43:50 AM PDT by the scotsman
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To: Captain Kirk

The NHS came from the Beveridge Report of 1944, whose ideas were opposed by Churchill and the Tories, or at least some of the report’s ideas were.

Remember also that the report was commissioned at a time when Britain had a ‘National Govt’, which was a combination war govt of Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats.


43 posted on 08/16/2009 6:45:57 AM PDT by the scotsman
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To: Secret Agent Man

Nope. Its a reaction to the perceived attitude of Americans post war, the ‘we saved your ass’/’if not for us, youd be speaking German’, an attitude sadly reinforced by film and TV and ‘bad history’. To that, we react by having a dig ‘at the Yanks’ for not being there in 1939. IE, ‘turning up late and claiming all the glory’.

Of course, both attitudes are simplistic shorthand.


44 posted on 08/16/2009 6:49:20 AM PDT by the scotsman
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To: pissant

It says a lot about Hussein that he made it a point to return the bust of Churchill that had been given to W by Tony Blair.His act demonstrates contempt for W...Blair...and,most importantly,Churchill himself.


45 posted on 08/16/2009 6:56:58 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Christian+Veteran=Terrorist)
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To: Captain Kirk
While Churchill was a compatriot of William Beveridge during his 'wilderness' years as a member of the Labour party, he did not embrace the framework for a welfare state Beveridge wrote during World War II. In fact, privately he referred to Beveridge as a 'windbag'. As far as heroes go and as far as people who are willing to stand up to evil and call it what it is, Sir Winston is just fine for me, thanks.
46 posted on 08/16/2009 7:05:51 AM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (You're either in or in the way.)
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To: the scotsman
To that, we react by having a dig ‘at the Yanks’ for not being there in 1939. IE, ‘turning up late and claiming all the glory’.

Yes,we were inexcusably absent for a while back then.Just as Europe was inexcusably absent for Vietnam (which wasn't a "civil" war but,rather,a small part of the USSR's and China's larger chess game) and are currently absent from Iraq (sharia law in British courts? Astounding!).

We don't claim all the glory.The RAF deserves some of it.Montgomery deserves some.Churchill deserves a good deal of it.The US Army and Army Air Corps deserves much of it in Europe and the US Marine Corps,Navy and Army Air Corps deserves much...but not all...of it in the Pacific.

47 posted on 08/16/2009 7:09:55 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Christian+Veteran=Terrorist)
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To: Gay State Conservative

Perhaps it is fitting that Churchill’s bust was repatriated to Britain from America so that both nations might properly reflect upon that which they have lost.


48 posted on 08/16/2009 7:16:45 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: Gay State Conservative

Canada and the Commonwealth/Empire deserves a lot of credit too.


49 posted on 08/16/2009 8:19:19 AM PDT by the scotsman
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To: the scotsman
Canada and the Commonwealth/Empire deserves a lot of credit too.

They certainly deserve credit...but not "a lot" in terms of absolute numbers.In terms of money,equipment and/or lives (military lives,not civilians) the US deserves the most,the USSR deserves a good bit and the other Allies deserve the rest.In terms of "bravery","resolve" and "selflessness" the UK and her Commonwealth allies deserve *enormous* credit....of course.

50 posted on 08/16/2009 8:34:08 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Christian+Veteran=Terrorist)
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