Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, during the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955.
- Early Life
- Battles and Books
- Churchill: “Crossing The Chamber”
- Churchill and Gallipoli
- Churchill Between The Wars
- Churchill: The “British Bulldog”
- The Iron Curtain
Winston Churchill came from a long line of English aristocrat-politicians. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was descended from the First Duke of Marlborough and was himself a well-known figure in Tory politics in the 1870s and 1880s. His mother, born Jennie Jerome, was an American heiress whose father was a stock speculator and part-owner of The New York Times. (Rich American girls like Jerome who married European noblemen were known as “dollar princesses.”)Churchill was born at the famil...
After he left Sandhurst, Churchill traveled all around the British Empire as a soldier and as a journalist. In 1896, he went to India; his first book, published in 1898, was an account of his experiences in India’s Northwest Frontier Province. In 1899, the London Morning Post sent him to cover the Boer War in South Africa, but he was captured by enemy soldiers almost as soon as he arrived. (News of Churchill’s daring escape through a bathroom window made him a minor celebrity back home in Bri...
That same year, Winston Churchill joined the House of Commons as a Conservative. Four years later, he “crossed the chamber” and became a Liberal. His work on behalf of progressive social reforms such as an eight-hour workday, a government-mandated minimum wage, a state-run labor exchange for unemployed workers and a system of public health insurance infuriated his Conservative colleagues, who complained that this new Churchill was a traitor to his class.
In 1911, Churchill turned his attention away from domestic politics when he became the First Lord of the Admiralty (akin to the Secretary of the Navy in the U.S.). Noting that Germany was growing more and more bellicose, Churchill began to prepare Great Britain for war: He established the Royal Naval Air Service, modernized the British fleet and helped invent one of the earliest tanks.Despite Churchill’s prescience and preparation, World War I was a stalemate from the start. In an attempt to...
During the 1920s and 1930s, Churchill bounced from government job to government job, and in 1924 he rejoined the Conservatives. Especially after the Nazis came to power in 1933, Churchill spent a great deal of time warning his countrymen about the perils of German nationalism, but Britons were weary of war and reluctant to get involved in international affairs again. Likewise, the British government ignored Churchill’s warnings and did all it could to stay out of Hitler’s way. In 1938, Prime...
“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat,” Churchill told the House of Commons in his first speech as prime minister. “We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what i...
The now-former prime minister spent the next several years warning Britons and Americans about the dangers of Soviet expansionism. In a speech in Fulton, Missouri, in 1946, for example, Churchill declared that an anti-democratic “Iron Curtain,” “a growing challenge and peril to Christian civilization,” had descended across Europe. Churchill’s speech was the first time anyone had used that now-common phrase to describe the Communist threat.In 1951, 77-year-old Winston Churchill became prime mi...
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Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was a British politician, military officer and writer who served as the prime minister of Great Britain from 1940 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1955.
Winston Churchill, in full Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (born November 30, 1874, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England—died January 24, 1965, London), British statesman, orator, and author who as prime minister (1940–45, 1951–55) rallied the British people during World War II and led his country from the brink of defeat to victory.
Churchill was the son of Randolph Churchill (1911–1968), the only son of Sir Winston Churchill, and of Randolph's wife Pamela Digby (1920–1997), later to become famous as Pamela Harriman. His parents divorced in 1945.
- Early career
In the late 19th century, it was rather common for British aristocrats to marry U.S. heiresses. One such relationship matched Lord Randolph Churchill, the third son of the seventh Duke of Marlborough, with Jennie Jerome, the Brooklyn-born daughter of a wealthy financier. The couple had two children together: Winston in 1874 and Jack in 1880. Yet the relationship purportedly soured, and Jennie was frequently absent. She remained in England following Lord Randolphs death in 1895 and would marry twice more, in both instances to men two decades her junior.
As a student, Churchill performed poorly in virtually every subject except history and English composition. He was particularly inept at foreign languages. In a memoir, he described taking a two-hour-long Latin test that he left completely blank apart from his name and the number of the first question, along with a blot and several smudges. His plan to attend the Royal Military College at Sandhurst suffered a setback when he twice failed the entrance examinations. With the help of a military tutor, he finally qualified the third time around, but only for the cavalry class, which had lower standards than the infantry.
Churchills political career began in 1900 when he was elected to Parliament, a position he would hold for more than 60 years. He secured his first cabinet post in 1908, and by 1911 had advanced to become First Lord of the Admiralty (the British equivalent of U.S. Secretary of the Navy). In this capacity, he prepared an amphibious assault during World War I against the crumbling Ottoman Empire. Churchill believed such action would allow the British to link up with their Russian allies, put added pressure on Germanys eastern front and possibly even tip the balance of the entire conflict. But when Allied battleships entered the Dardanelles strait, located near present-day Istanbul, in March 1915, Ottoman fire sank three of them, severely damaged three others and sent the remainder into retreat. Allied troops similarly failed to gain ground during months of fighting on the adjacent Gallipoli Peninsula, suffering over 250,000 casualties in the process. Although Churchill lost his admiralty post as a result of the failure, he was eventually able to rehabilitate his reputation.
Throughout much of his life, Churchill opposed any form of autonomy for India. He reserved particular dislike for nonviolent independence leader Mohandas Gandhi, at one point calling him a seditious Middle Temple lawyer now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the East, and he even favored letting Gandhi die during a hunger strike. Churchills imperialist attitude came through with regards to other British colonies as well. He once asserted, for example, that Zulus, Afghans and Dervishes were savages and barbarous peoples.
Churchill wrote about 20 books over the course of his life, the first of which detailed his army experiences in India, Sudan and South Africa. He later penned a biography of his father, a biography of the first Duke of Marlborough, numerous volumes on World War I and World War II, a history of English-speaking peoples and one novel that he urged his friends not to read. In 1953, while serving his second term as prime minister, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values.
As a youth, Churchill once suffered a concussion and ruptured a kidney while playfully throwing himself off a bridge. Later on, he nearly drowned in a Swiss lake, fell several times from horses, dislocated his shoulder while disembarking from a ship in India, crashed a plane while learning to fly and was hit by a car when he looked the wrong way to cross New Yorks Fifth Avenue. None of these incidents, however, left him too worse for wear. He lived until age 90 before finally succumbing to a stroke.
- Jesse Greenspan
- I no longer listen to what people say, I just watch what they do. Behavior never lies. Winston Churchill. Lying, People, Watches.
- Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions. Winston Churchill. Art, People, Way.
- Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. Winston Churchill.
- You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks. Winston Churchill. Inspirational, Inspiring, Dog.
- “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ― Winston S. Churchill.
- “You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.” ― Winston Churchill.
- “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.” ― Winston S. Churchill.
- “If you are going through hell, keep going.” ― Winston S. Churchill.
May 06, 2020 · As the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955, Winston Churchill was a respected figure during his day—and his legacy, as...
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