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Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill – is an English statesman, orator and writer, the British prime minister in 1940-1945 and 1951-1955 respectively, is a part of the “Big Three” in many ways by which the modern world is as it really is.
Winston Churchill was born November 30, 1874 in the family estate of the Dukes of Marlborough Blenheim Palace. Churchill’s father – was the Lord Randolph Spencer Churchill, the third son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough, he was a famous politician, member of House of Commons from the Conservative Party, and served as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Mother – was a Lady Randolph Churchill, she was the daughter of a wealthy American businessman, as described in A Life.
Churchill’s father was busy with his political career and his mother, absorbed in secular life, paid little attention to his son. Since 1875, child care was given to the nurse Elizabeth Ann Everest. She sincerely loved him and was one of the closest people to Winston Churchill.
According to Sir Winston (Leonard Spencer) Churchill Biography, when Churchill was eight years old, he was sent to prep school St. George’s. The school practiced corporal punishment and Winston, constantly violated discipline, as it was often subjected. After regular visits to his nanny, there were found on the body of the boy traces of vice, she immediately told his mother and he was transferred to the school of Nurses Thomson in Brighton. Academic success, especially after the transfer, was satisfactory, but the certification of the behavior of reads: “Number of students per class – 13. Place – the 13th”
In 1889, he was transferred to the “army class”, where, besides teaching general subjects, students were preparing for a military career. He graduated from school among the total of 12 students, who were able to withstand the tests in all subjects, and highlights the advances in the study of history. At Harrow, he was engaged in fencing and achieved notable success, becoming the champion of the school in 1892.
June 28, 1893 Churchill on the third attempt passed the exams to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (the difficulties were with the writing in Latin), one of the most prestigious military schools of the United Kingdom. Because of low ratings (92 of 102 results), he becomes a cavalry cadet and gets transferred into a more prestigious infantry class due to the fact that several candidates showed the best results, refused admission. On the February 20, 1895 Winston Churchill was awarded with the rank of second lieutenant, as stated in Sir Winston (Leonard Spencer) Churchill Biography. In the same year he suffered two heavy losses: in January, his father dies, and in July his favorite sitter died of peritonitis.
After obtaining military rank, Churchill was enrolled in the Fourth Hussars of Her Majesty. Perhaps, at that moment he realized that his military career was not very attractive: “The longer I serve, the more I like to serve, but the more I am convinced that it’s not for me,” he wrote to Lady Randolph in August 16, 1895, as stated in Churchill by Himself: The Life, Times and Opinions of Winston S. Churchill in his Own Words.
In 1895, thanks to extensive links to his mother, Churchill was sent to Cuba as a military correspondent for the “Daily Schedule” newspaper to cover an uprising of local people against the Spaniards, but continued with the number on active duty. Seconded to the Spanish troops, he first was visited by the fire. The newspaper has published five of his articles, some of which were reprinted by The New York Times. Articles were met favorably by readers, and the fee was 25 guineas, at that time was for Churchill’s quite a substantial sum. The Spanish government awarded him with the Medal of the Red Cross, it has given the popularity of Churchill’s controversial nature, since he led the British press to question the neutrality of the correspondent. In addition to the awards and literary fame, he has acquired in Cuba two habits that accompanied him throughout his life: smoking Cuban cigars and afternoon breaks – siesta. On the way back to England, Churchill first time visited the United States, as stated in An Officer and a Bulldog.
In October 1896, the regiment was sent to India and houses in Bangalore. Churchill read a lot, thus attempting to compensate studies for the lack of university education, and became one of the best players on the team regimental polo. According to the memoirs of subordinates, he conscientiously regarded officer’s duties and a lot of time to exercises with the soldiers and sergeants, but routine service burden to him twice, he went on vacation in England (including the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the reign of Queen Victoria), he traveled in India, visiting Calcutta and Hyderabad.
In the autumn of 1897, empty again in the course of his personal connections and the possibilities of his mother, he seeks the secondment to the Expeditionary Corps, to suppress the uprising Pushtun tribes in the mountain area of Malakand in north-west of the country. This campaign was far more cruel and dangerous than the Cuban. During the operation, Churchill showed absolute courage, though often the risk was unnecessary, caused by the bravado and not a necessity. He wrote to his mother: “I seek the reputation for courage more than anything else in this world”, as described in Churchill by Himself: The Life, Times and Opinions of Winston S. Churchill in his Own Words.
Letters from the front line have been published in the Daily Telegraph newspaper and after the campaign had a circulation of 8,500 copies of his book “The Story of the Malakand Field Force”. Because of the hurried preparations for the printing of the book, were crept into a huge number of typographical errors, Churchill had counted more than 200 spelling errors and since then has always demanded personal rule proofs publishers.
The desire to go to another journalistic assignment has not met the understanding of the command, and he wrote to the Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, frankly admitting that travelling is motivated as a desire to illuminate a historic moment and opportunity to retrieve personal, including financial benefits from the publication of a book. As a result, the Military Department approved a request by appointing him to the supernumerary post of lieutenant in the order of the appointment. It was stressed that in case of injury or death, he cannot rely on payments from the funds of the Ministry of Defense.
In the pitched battle at Omdurman, Churchill took part in the last cavalry charge of the British Army. He has described this episode by himself: “I pulled to a trot and rode up to individuals firing my pistol in their faces and killing several – three for certain – two doubtful – one very doubtful”, as stated in Churchill by Himself: The Life, Times and Opinions of Winston S. Churchill in his Own Words.
“He’s a great general, but nobody has accused him that he was a great gentleman” – Churchill said about himself in private conversation, apt description, however, quickly became publicly known. Although the criticism was largely fair, public reaction to it was ambiguous; the position of publicist and ill accuser was combined with official duty junior officer.
After the end of the campaign Churchill returned to India to take part in national polo tournament. During a brief stop in England on several occasions he speaks at a rally conservatives. Almost immediately after the tournament, which his team won, defeating the stubborn final match, In March 1899 he resigned.
By the time Churchill’s resignation became known in some circles as a journalist, and his book was about the Sudan campaign “The River War”, became a bestseller. The first attempt to take a seat in the House of Commons had not been successful; there were no fault of Churchill himself: county was dominated by nonconformists. Churchill during the campaign expressed his disagreement with the law, but it had no effect, and both mandates from Oldham have got the liberals, as stated in A Life.
Second English-Boer War (1899-1902). By the autumn of 1899, relations with the Boer republics became worse, and when in September the Transvaal and the Orange Republic rejected the British proposal to grant voting rights of British workers in the gold mines, it became apparent that war was inevitable.
In September 1899, owners of the Daily Mail asked Churchill to go to South Africa as a military correspondent. Without giving any answer, he reported it to the editor of the Morning Post, for which he worked during the Sudan campaign, and he was offered a monthly salary of 250 pounds plus reimbursement of all expenses. It was a very significant amount (about 8,000 pounds today) more than ever a journalist was offered and Churchill agreed immediately. He departed from England on October 14, two days after the war started, as described in Winston Churchill: Soldier, Statesman, Artist.
On November 15 1899, Churchill went on a reconnaissance raid on an armored train, which was commanded by Captain Haldane, his friend in Malakand. Soon an armored train was fired upon by Boers’ artillery. When a person tried to escape from the fire at a high speed, reverse composition crashed into boulders, that blocked the path of the enemy to cut off the retreat. The repair platform and two armored wagons derailed, the only instrument which has become immobile armored train was incapacitated by a direct hit. Churchill volunteered to command the clearing of paths; Haldane tried to establish a defense and to cover workers. According to eyewitnesses, Churchill acted courageously under fire, but when the road was cleared, it turned out that the coupling of the remaining wagons on the track was killed off by a shell, and the only thing left Haldane – Immerse in the engine severely injured to send them to the rear. Around 50 Britons still face many times superior enemy forces. As Churchill himself wrote, the Boers attacked “with a courage equal to humanity”, urging the enemy to surrender. Haldane and the soldiers were taken as prisoners. Churchill attempted to flee but was detained in cavalry drills, and placed in a prisoner’s camp, hosted by the State exemplary school in Pretoria, as stated in An Officer and a Bulldog.
On December 12, 1899 Churchill escaped from the camp. Two other members of the escape – Haldane and Sergeant Major Brookie did not manage to get across the fence unnoticed by the guards, and Churchill, while waiting for them in the bushes on the opposite side of the wall. He was subsequently charged with the fact that he left his comrades, but there is no evidence for this. He jumped on the freight train, he got to Uitbank, where he was within a few days hiding in the mine, and then helped smuggle a train across the front line, said a mining engineer Daniel Devsnap. For the capture of Winston Churchill Boers was offered reward of 25 pounds.
Escape from captivity made him famous, he received several offers to run for parliament, including a telegram from Oldham’s voters, promising to give him his vote “regardless of political affiliation”, but Churchill chose to stay in the army, he was promoted to lieutenant of the Light Brigade without pay, while continuing to work as a special correspondent of the Morning Post. He had been in many battles, for his courage during the battle of Diamond Hill, the last operation, in which he participated, General Hamilton introduced him to the Victoria Cross, but progress in this representation was not received, as Churchill at the time resigned, as stated in Winston Churchill: Soldier, Statesman, Artist.
In July 1900, Churchill returned to England again soon, and announced his candidacy from Oldham. He had a reputation of the hero and easily beat a candidate from the Liberals and in 26 years, first became a member of the House of Commons. In the elections the Conservatives won the majority and became the ruling party.
On February 18, 1901 he delivered his first speech in the House of Commons on the postwar settlement in South Africa. He called for clemency “to help Boer accept defeat”.
On this conflict, young parliamentarians from Churchill’s own party weren’t agreeing. In 1902-1903 years he has repeatedly expressed its disagreement on the issues of free trade (Churchill opposed the introduction of import duties on grain) and colonial policies. Against this background, his transition into the Liberal Party on the 31 of May 1904 looked quite a logical step. On December 12, 1905 Winston Churchill was appointed Deputy Minister for the Colonies in Campbell-Bannerman’s government; in this capacity he was involved in the elaboration of a constitution for the defeated Boer republics, as described in Sir Winston (Leonard Spencer) Churchill Biography.
In April 1908, in connection with the sharply deteriorating health of Campbell-Bannerman becomes unable to perform the duties of prime minister and cabinet had a number of permutations: Herbert Asquith, who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer becomes Prime Minister, then his place is taken by David Lloyd George, former Minister of Trade and industry, and this post on April 12, receives Churchill. Lloyd George and Churchill advocated a reduction in public and in particular in military spending. Their efforts do not always lead to success.
Churchill was a staunch supporter of social reform undertaken by the Asquith Cabinet. In 1908, he became the initiator of the law on minimum wage. The law was adopted by an overwhelming majority for the first time in England with the sets of the rules of the hours and wages.
On February 14, 1910 at the age of 35 Churchill became Minister of Internal Affairs, occupying one of the most influential posts in the country. Ministerial salary was 5000 pounds (about $200 thousand in the modern equivalent). He left a literary career, returning to that occupation only in 1923.
Tenure as minister has been one of the most difficult and controversial steps in the political career of Winston Churchill. This period was marked by massive demonstrations of workers. Churchill’s actions on taming disorder repeatedly subjected to severe criticism from all sides of the political spectrum, moreover, as interior minister he was responsible, even in cases where the person does not interfere.
In summer 1911, there was a strike of seafarers and port workers. In August there were riots in Liverpool. August 14 Marines from the warship “Antrim”, arrived in town on the orders of Winston Churchill, soldiers opened fire on the crowd and eight people were wounded. On the 15th, he was able to meet with leaders of the striking Dockers and defuse the situation in London, but on August 19, the strike threatened to join the railway. In a situation where in the cities, paralyzed by strikes and riots have a shortage of food, and the probability of rebellion is threatening, Churchill mobilized 50 thousand soldiers and repealed a provision under which the army can only be imposed at the request of the local civil authorities. By August 20, through the intermediary of Lloyd George’s threat of a general strike was averted. Churchill said in a telephone conversation with Lloyd George: “I am very sorry to learn about it. It would be better to continue and give them a good thrashing”, as described in Churchill by Himself: The Life, Times and Opinions of Winston S. Churchill in his Own Words.
However, relations with Germany were worsening. Churchill was persuaded to address the issues of foreign policy. Of ideas and information obtained from military professionals, Churchill drew up a memorandum on “the military aspects of the continental problem” and handed it to the Prime Minister. This document has been a success. He testified that Churchill, having a modest military education, which gave him a school of cavalry officers, was able to quickly and professionally investigate a number of important military issues. In October 1911, Prime Minister Asquith invited Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty, and on October 23, he was officially appointed to the position.
Formally, the transition to the Admiralty has been decreasing – Minister of Internal Affairs was considered one of the three most important government agencies. Nevertheless, Churchill accepted the offer without hesitation. Navy has always been one of the most important instruments of British geopolitics, in this period it had one of the major upgrades in its history.
Naval arms race that began at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries, accelerated after the launching of the first dreadnought in 1906. First time there was a situation where the superiority of the British Navy, both quantitatively and qualitatively, began to threaten not only the traditional rivals Germany and France, but also the United States.
The cost of the naval forces was the largest cost-article of British budget. Churchill was asked to carry out reforms while improving cost effectiveness. Changes initiated by them were very ambitious: organized Chief of Naval Staff established a naval air force, designed and built warships of new types. Thus, according to initial plans, shipbuilding program in 1912 was supposed to build 4 improved types the battleship class “Iron Duke”. However, the new First Lord of the Admiralty ordered the redraft of the main fire less than 15 inches, despite the fact that the design work to create such weapons has not even been completed. The result was the very successful type of battleships Queen Elizabeth, which served Britain until 1948.
One of the most important decisions was the transfer of the navy from coal to liquid fuel. Despite the obvious advantages, navy for a long time opposed the move, for strategic reasons – quite rich in coal Britain had no oil reserves. In order to transfer the fleet of oil was possible for Churchill to initiate the allocation of 2.2 million pounds to acquire 51% of English-Iranian Oil Company. Apart from the purely technical aspects, the decision had far-reaching political consequences – the Persian Gulf regions have become a zone of strategic interests of Britain.
Britain has officially entered the First World War on August 3. Churchill ordered the fleet to run for their positions off the coast of England. On October 5 Churchill arrived in Antwerp, where personally led the defense of the city, which the Belgian government offered to surrender to Germans. Despite all efforts, the city fell on October 10, and 2,500 soldiers were killed. Churchill was accused of undue waste of resources and lives, although many noted that the defense of Antwerp helped to keep Calais and Dunkirk, as stated in Churchill and War.
As chair of the Commission on land ships (English Landships Committee) Churchill took part in the development of the first tank and the creation of tank forces.
In 1915, he became one of the initiators of the Dardanelles operation, which ended disastrously for the Allied forces and caused a government crisis. Responsibility for the fiasco Churchill largely took over, and when he was forming a new coalition government, the Conservatives demanded his resignation from his post as First Lord of the Admiralty.
On November 15 1915, he resigned and went to the Western Front, where as a colonel commanded the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scottish Fusiliers. In December 1915, Major Churchill arrived in Flanders. He became the biggest attraction of the front. People everywhere flocked to see the former Minister of soiled clay helmet. But Churchill was carrying his service as all. The only luxury he allowed himself – hiking bath at the command post. Subordinates loved him. The Times quoted one of Corporal: “Churchill moved among his troops on the front line as if walking on the sidelines of the lower house of parliament. We have often discussed his composure, and everyone admired him.” However, the long Churchill in the trenches not sat through – and not because of the danger: his concern was their own isolation from London, as stated in An Officer and a Bulldog.
In May 1916, he handed over the command and finally returned to England. In July 1917, he was appointed a Minister of weapons and in January 1919 – a Minister of War and Minister of Aviation. He became one of the architects of Ten Year Rule – the doctrine that the military construction and military budget should plan on the basis of the installation that England will not engage in major conflicts within ten years after the war.
Churchill was one of the main supporters and the main initiators of the intervention in Russia, stating the need to “strangle communism in its cradle.” Although the intervention was not approved by the support of Prime Minister Churchill, due to the tactics of political maneuvering among the various factions in the government and prolong the time, managed to delay the withdrawal of British troops from Russia until 1920.
At the end of World War I, Churchill was in the status of Secretary of State for Military Affairs, held a series of reforms in 1918-21, respectively. Catching up in the years 1921-22 issue of the colonies of Great Britain, he was directly involved in the creation of some Arab countries in solving the issue of establishing a Jewish state in the Middle East (as part of the mandate given by the League of Nations, Britain for Palestine). During these years Churchill’s political leanings were strongly anti-socialist, he nevertheless maintained Liberal party platform. His proposal to use troops against the Soviet Union led to a cooling of relations with Lloyd George, who appointed lord-treasurer, Robert Horn, by passing Churchill. However, in 1923, Churchill returned to the bosom of the Conservative Party, followed by instant his appointment to this post, as described in Winston Churchill’s War Leadership.
Since 1930, Winston Churchill was out of politics, but in September 1939, with the start of World War II, under the pressure of public opinion, he was again appointed the First Lord of the Admiralty. Chamberlain’s resignation in May 1940, as Prime Minister of Great Britain, led the appointing place to Churchill. In his first speech in the status of prime minister in the House of Commons, which was held immediately after the French surrender to Nazi Germany, Churchill made it clear that Britain does not intend to compromise: “You ask, what is our aim?” My answer is simple – victory – victory at any price, victory over terror, victory, a long and painful it may be”. For Churchill did not exist even the possibility of negotiating with Hitler.
Until the United States entered the war, Churchill was going to fight alone. The basis of his strategy was in bombing Germany and the concentration of British forces in the Mediterranean and the Middle East regions. Both positions were supported by the U.S. after the Japanese bombing of a military base at Pearl Harbor.
Churchill was needed in the U.S. aid – both economically and military. Lend-Lease program significantly supported Britain, however, total U.S. control of the British economy has deprived Britain during the war of some economic independence. Nevertheless, Churchill was interested in close cooperation with U.S. and even dreamed of “the closest in history” alliance. This cooperation was confirmed by the Atlantic Charter in August 1941. Later the Soviet Union joined the alliance completing the creation of the Big Three. After the war, close relationship of Allied anti-Hitler coalition came to naught. Moreover, Churchill is the author of the term “Iron Curtain”, as described in Churchill and War.
After Germany’s surrender, England began to prepare for the elections, which passed in July 1945. Election campaign was won by Labor, Churchill resigned. For six years he was the leader of the opposition, calling on European leaders not to be influenced by the Soviet Union.
In 1951, Churchill returned to 10 Downing Street, the official residence of British Prime Minister. In this capacity, he pursued a policy of support for NATO and the European Union. Churchill did not neglect the social sphere, conducted through the Parliament laws, such as the nationalization of the railways, the Royal Bank of Scotland etc, as described in Winston Churchill’s War Leadership.
In 1953, Winston Churchill was knighted and received the Nobel Prize for literature, and ten years later he was made an honorary U.S. citizen. In 1955, Churchill moved away from high politics, and had lived in peace for ten years. On January 24, 1965, the greatest man of the century was gone. Winston Churchill was buried in his native Oxfordshire.
Winston Churchill entered the history of Britain as the most brilliant English politician of the twentieth century, who was in power during the reign of six monarchs – from Queen Victoria to her great-great-granddaughter Elizabeth II. He was present during testing of the nuclear bomb, has become a major threat to postwar peace. With his bowler hat and cane unchanged Churchill was a brilliant diplomat, artist and even a gardener in his estate at Chartwell. Churchill was one of the best orators of his time. He was the author of the term “Iron Curtain”, which became characteristic of the capacious postwar political situation. Churchill also was one of the most ingenious in his time. Lady Astor once told him: “If you were my husband, I would poison your coffee,” to which Churchill replied: “If you were my wife, I would drink it”.
It is very difficult to estimate the scale of such person as Winston Churchill. There is no one in the world whose fate he did not indirectly affect, such a large scale is Winston Churchill’s identity. According to a survey conducted in 2002, the broadcaster BBC has been named Churchill the greatest Briton in history.
During all his life he always showed incredible courage and indomitable will-power. When it seemed that the situation was hopeless – he believed in and was going to win in spite of all difficulties, moreover, he successfully led the people and the whole nation to victory. He was a leader, a real leader and patriot of his country. His country can be proud for such son, who was named Winston Spencer Churchill.
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