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Old 10-20-2019, 12:12 AM
Mike Mabes is offline
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Did Churchill help win WWII?


There have been several recent movies, and god knows how many bios written, most of them hagiographiers. I read one. And we all know the speech - We shall fight...we shall never surrender etc.

We also know that he was a total racist who supported colonialism and the British domination of India because those brown people needed the white man to take care of them.

We also know he was an opportunist, first he is a liberal, then a conservative, whatever it took to get elected.

I've always forgiven him for all that shit because he rallied the British people with his speeches. Just like Rudy in NYC after 9/11. I lived about half a mile from ground zero. And Rudy went on TV and said be strong, keep going to restaurants, don't let the terrorists win. And at the time I sort of bought the America's Mayor stuff. But he didn't do anything, he made the same speeches that any mayor would have made. Do we think if there would have been a different mayor he would have said we are all fucked?

So when I ask if Churchill helped win WWII, I'm not talking about military strategy and such. I'm asking if the speeches really made a difference. Would the Battle of Britian been lost without him?

Last edited by Mike Mabes; 10-20-2019 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Mabes View Post
I'm asking if the speeches really made a difference. Would the Battle of Britian been lost without him?
Yeah, I think they did. The BoB very well may have been lost without the early warning radar and intelligent deployment of the limited resources.
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:45 AM
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When you're asking people to go into battle with a high probability of death, it surely makes all the difference whether they believe that their cause is just, worth fighting for, and ultimately winnable. That if they die it means something. His speeches still give me goosebumps, so I have to believe that during actual war they would have made a difference. The significant of morale also depends on the type of war being fought. If we're firing rockets at ISIS camps from drones, all that matters it intelligence and technical superiority. If we asking men to jump out of landing craft under heavy fire, morale is everything.
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:21 AM
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Churchill's most famous speech (well, one of two) was a rather sombre after-action report about Dunkirk given in the House of Commons. Here's the whole thing

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From the moment that the French defenses at Sedan and on the Meuse were broken at the end of the second week of May, only a rapid retreat to Amiens and the south could have saved the British and French Armies who had entered Belgium at the appeal of the Belgian King; but this strategic fact was not immediately realized. The French High Command hoped they would be able to close the gap, and the Armies of the north were under their orders. Moreover, a retirement of this kind would have involved almost certainly the destruction of the fine Belgian Army of over 20 divisions and the abandonment of the whole of Belgium. Therefore, when the force and scope of the German penetration were realized and when a new French Generalissimo, General Weygand, assumed command in place of General Gamelin, an effort was made by the French and British Armies in Belgium to keep on holding the right hand of the Belgians and to give their own right hand to a newly created French Army which was to have advanced across the Somme in great strength to grasp it.


However, the German eruption swept like a sharp scythe around the right and rear of the Armies of the north. Eight or nine armored divisions, each of about four hundred armored vehicles of different kinds, but carefully assorted to be complementary and divisible into small self-contained units, cut off all communications between us and the main French Armies. It severed our own communications for food and ammunition, which ran first to Amiens and afterwards through Abbeville, and it shore its way up the coast to Boulogne and Calais, and almost to Dunkirk. Behind this armored and mechanized onslaught came a number of German divisions in lorries, and behind them again there plodded comparatively slowly the dull brute mass of the ordinary German Army and German people, always so ready to be led to the trampling down in other lands of liberties and comforts which they have never known in their own.

I have said this armored scythe-stroke almost reached Dunkirk-almost but not quite. Boulogne and Calais were the scenes of desperate fighting. The Guards defended Boulogne for a while and were then withdrawn by orders from this country. The Rifle Brigade, the 60th Rifles, and the Queen Victoria’s Rifles, with a battalion of British tanks and 1,000 Frenchmen, in all about four thousand strong, defended Calais to the last. The British Brigadier was given an hour to surrender. He spurned the offer, and four days of intense street fighting passed before silence reigned over Calais, which marked the end of a memorable resistance. Only 30 unwounded survivors were brought off by the Navy, and we do not know the fate of their comrades. Their sacrifice, however, was not in vain. At least two armored divisions, which otherwise would have been turned against the British Expeditionary Force, had to be sent to overcome them. They have added another page to the glories of the light divisions, and the time gained enabled the Graveline water lines to be flooded and to be held by the French troops.

Thus it was that the port of Dunkirk was kept open. When it was found impossible for the Armies of the north to reopen their communications to Amiens with the main French Armies, only one choice remained. It seemed, indeed, forlorn. The Belgian, British and French Armies were almost surrounded. Their sole line of retreat was to a single port and to its neighboring beaches. They were pressed on every side by heavy attacks and far outnumbered in the air.

When, a week ago today, I asked the House to fix this afternoon as the occasion for a statement, I feared it would be my hard lot to announce the greatest military disaster in our long history. I thought-and some good judges agreed with me-that perhaps 20,000 or 30,000 men might be re-embarked. But it certainly seemed that the whole of the French First Army and the whole of the British Expeditionary Force north of the Amiens-Abbeville gap would be broken up in the open field or else would have to capitulate for lack of food and ammunition. These were the hard and heavy tidings for which I called upon the House and the nation to prepare themselves a week ago. The whole root and core and brain of the British Army, on which and around which we were to build, and are to build, the great British Armies in the later years of the war, seemed about to perish upon the field or to be led into an ignominious and starving captivity.

That was the prospect a week ago. But another blow which might well have proved final was yet to fall upon us. The King of the Belgians had called upon us to come to his aid. Had not this Ruler and his Government severed themselves from the Allies, who rescued their country from extinction in the late war, and had they not sought refuge in what was proved to be a fatal neutrality, the French and British Armies might well at the outset have saved not only Belgium but perhaps even Poland. Yet at the last moment, when Belgium was already invaded, King Leopold called upon us to come to his aid, and even at the last moment we came. He and his brave, efficient Army, nearly half a million strong, guarded our left flank and thus kept open our only line of retreat to the sea. Suddenly, without prior consultation, with the least possible notice, without the advice of his Ministers and upon his own personal act, he sent a plenipotentiary to the German Command, surrendered his Army, and exposed our whole flank and means of retreat.

I asked the House a week ago to suspend its judgment because the facts were not clear, but I do not feel that any reason now exists why we should not form our own opinions upon this pitiful episode. The surrender of the Belgian Army compelled the British at the shortest notice to cover a flank to the sea more than 30 miles in length. Otherwise all would have been cut off, and all would have shared the fate to which King Leopold had condemned the finest Army his country had ever formed. So in doing this and in exposing this flank, as anyone who followed the operations on the map will see, contact was lost between the British and two out of the three corps forming the First French Army, who were still farther from the coast than we were, and it seemed impossible that any large number of Allied troops could reach the coast.

The enemy attacked on all sides with great strength and fierceness, and their main power, the power of their far more numerous Air Force, was thrown into the battle or else concentrated upon Dunkirk and the beaches. Pressing in upon the narrow exit, both from the east and from the west, the enemy began to fire with cannon upon the beaches by which alone the shipping could approach or depart. They sowed magnetic mines in the channels and seas; they sent repeated waves of hostile aircraft, sometimes more than a hundred strong in one formation, to cast their bombs upon the single pier that remained, and upon the sand dunes upon which the troops had their eyes for shelter. Their U-boats, one of which was sunk, and their motor launches took their toll of the vast traffic which now began. For four or five days an intense struggle reigned. All their armored divisions-or what Was left of them-together with great masses of infantry and artillery, hurled themselves in vain upon the ever-narrowing, ever-contracting appendix within which the British and French Armies fought.

Meanwhile, the Royal Navy, with the willing help of countless merchant seamen, strained every nerve to embark the British and Allied troops; 220 light warships and 650 other vessels were engaged. They had to operate upon the difficult coast, often in adverse weather, under an almost ceaseless hail of bombs and an increasing concentration of artillery fire. Nor were the seas, as I have said, themselves free from mines and torpedoes. It was in conditions such as these that our men carried on, with little or no rest, for days and nights on end, making trip after trip across the dangerous waters, bringing with them always men whom they had rescued. The numbers they have brought back are the measure of their devotion and their courage. The hospital ships, which brought off many thousands of British and French wounded, being so plainly marked were a special target for Nazi bombs; but the men and women on board them never faltered in their duty.

Meanwhile, the Royal Air Force, which had already been intervening in the battle, so far as its range would allow, from home bases, now used part of its main metropolitan fighter strength, and struck at the German bombers and at the fighters which in large numbers protected them. This struggle was protracted and fierce. Suddenly the scene has cleared, the crash and thunder has for the moment-but only for the moment-died away. A miracle of deliverance, achieved by valor, by perseverance, by perfect discipline, by faultless service, by resource, by skill, by unconquerable fidelity, is manifest to us all. The enemy was hurled back by the retreating British and French troops. He was so roughly handled that he did not hurry their departure seriously. The Royal Air Force engaged the main strength of the German Air Force, and inflicted upon them losses of at least four to one; and the Navy, using nearly 1,000 ships of all kinds, carried over 335,000 men, French and British, out of the jaws of death and shame, to their native land and to the tasks which lie immediately ahead. We must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations. But there was a victory inside this deliverance, which should be noted. It was gained by the Air Force. Many of our soldiers coming back have not seen the Air Force at work; they saw only the bombers which escaped its protective attack. They underrate its achievements. I have heard much talk of this; that is why I go out of my way to say this. I will tell you about it.

This was a great trial of strength between the British and German Air Forces. Can you conceive a greater objective for the Germans in the air than to make evacuation from these beaches impossible, and to sink all these ships which were displayed, almost to the extent of thousands? Could there have been an objective of greater military importance and significance for the whole purpose of the war than this? They tried hard, and they were beaten back; they were frustrated in their task. We got the Army away; and they have paid fourfold for any losses which they have inflicted. Very large formations of German aeroplanes-and we know that they are a very brave race-have turned on several occasions from the attack of one-quarter of their number of the Royal Air Force, and have dispersed in different directions. Twelve aeroplanes have been hunted by two. One aeroplane was driven into the water and cast away by the mere charge of a British aeroplane, which had no more ammunition. All of our types-the Hurricane, the Spitfire and the new Defiant-and all our pilots have been vindicated as superior to what they have at present to face.

When we consider how much greater would be our advantage in defending the air above this Island against an overseas attack, I must say that I find in these facts a sure basis upon which practical and reassuring thoughts may rest. I will pay my tribute to these young airmen. The great French Army was very largely, for the time being, cast back and disturbed by the onrush of a few thousands of armored vehicles. May it not also be that the cause of civilization itself will be defended by the skill and devotion of a few thousand airmen? There never has been, I suppose, in all the world, in all the history of war, such an opportunity for youth. The Knights of the Round Table, the Crusaders, all fall back into the past-not only distant but prosaic; these young men, going forth every morn to guard their native land and all that we stand for, holding in their hands these instruments of colossal and shattering power, of whom it may be said that:

Every morn brought forth a noble chance
And every chance brought forth a noble knight,
deserve our gratitude, as do all the brave men who, in so many ways and on so many occasions, are ready, and continue ready to give life and all for their native land.

I return to the Army. In the long series of very fierce battles, now on this front, now on that, fighting on three fronts at once, battles fought by two or three divisions against an equal or somewhat larger number of the enemy, and fought fiercely on some of the old grounds that so many of us knew so well-in these battles our losses in men have exceeded 30,000 killed, wounded and missing. I take occasion to express the sympathy of the House to all who have suffered bereavement or who are still anxious. The President of the Board of Trade [Sir Andrew Duncan] is not here today. His son has been killed, and many in the House have felt the pangs of affliction in the sharpest form. But I will say this about the missing: We have had a large number of wounded come home safely to this country, but I would say about the missing that there may be very many reported missing who will come back home, some day, in one way or another. In the confusion of this fight it is inevitable that many have been left in positions where honor required no further resistance from them.

Against this loss of over 30,000 men, we can set a far heavier loss certainly inflicted upon the enemy. But our losses in material are enormous. We have perhaps lost one-third of the men we lost in the opening days of the battle of 21st March, 1918, but we have lost nearly as many guns — nearly one thousand-and all our transport, all the armored vehicles that were with the Army in the north. This loss will impose a further delay on the expansion of our military strength. That expansion had not been proceeding as far as we had hoped. The best of all we had to give had gone to the British Expeditionary Force, and although they had not the numbers of tanks and some articles of equipment which were desirable, they were a very well and finely equipped Army. They had the first-fruits of all that our industry had to give, and that is gone. And now here is this further delay. How long it will be, how long it will last, depends upon the exertions which we make in this Island. An effort the like of which has never been seen in our records is now being made. Work is proceeding everywhere, night and day, Sundays and week days. Capital and Labor have cast aside their interests, rights, and customs and put them into the common stock. Already the flow of munitions has leaped forward. There is no reason why we should not in a few months overtake the sudden and serious loss that has come upon us, without retarding the development of our general program.

Nevertheless, our thankfulness at the escape of our Army and so many men, whose loved ones have passed through an agonizing week, must not blind us to the fact that what has happened in France and Belgium is a colossal military disaster. The French Army has been weakened, the Belgian Army has been lost, a large part of those fortified lines upon which so much faith had been reposed is gone, many valuable mining districts and factories have passed into the enemy’s possession, the whole of the Channel ports are in his hands, with all the tragic consequences that follow from that, and we must expect another blow to be struck almost immediately at us or at France. We are told that Herr Hitler has a plan for invading the British Isles. This has often been thought of before. When Napoleon lay at Boulogne for a year with his flat-bottomed boats and his Grand Army, he was told by someone. “There are bitter weeds in England.” There are certainly a great many more of them since the British Expeditionary Force returned.

The whole question of home defense against invasion is, of course, powerfully affected by the fact that we have for the time being in this Island incomparably more powerful military forces than we have ever had at any moment in this war or the last. But this will not continue. We shall not be content with a defensive war. We have our duty to our Ally. We have to reconstitute and build up the British Expeditionary Force once again, under its gallant Commander-in-Chief, Lord Gort. All this is in train; but in the interval we must put our defenses in this Island into such a high state of organization that the fewest possible numbers will be required to give effective security and that the largest possible potential of offensive effort may be realized. On this we are now engaged. It will be very convenient, if it be the desire of the House, to enter upon this subject in a secret Session. Not that the government would necessarily be able to reveal in very great detail military secrets, but we like to have our discussions free, without the restraint imposed by the fact that they will be read the next day by the enemy; and the Government would benefit by views freely expressed in all parts of the House by Members with their knowledge of so many different parts of the country. I understand that some request is to be made upon this subject, which will be readily acceded to by His Majesty’s Government.

We have found it necessary to take measures of increasing stringency, not only against enemy aliens and suspicious characters of other nationalities, but also against British subjects who may become a danger or a nuisance should the war be transported to the United Kingdom. I know there are a great many people affected by the orders which we have made who are the passionate enemies of Nazi Germany. I am very sorry for them, but we cannot, at the present time and under the present stress, draw all the distinctions which we should like to do. If parachute landings were attempted and fierce fighting attendant upon them followed, these unfortunate people would be far better out of the way, for their own sakes as well as for ours. There is, however, another class, for which I feel not the slightest sympathy. Parliament has given us the powers to put down Fifth Column activities with a strong hand, and we shall use those powers subject to the supervision and correction of the House, without the slightest hesitation until we are satisfied, and more than satisfied, that this malignancy in our midst has been effectively stamped out.

Turning once again, and this time more generally, to the question of invasion, I would observe that there has never been a period in all these long centuries of which we boast when an absolute guarantee against invasion, still less against serious raids, could have been given to our people. In the days of Napoleon the same wind which would have carried his transports across the Channel might have driven away the blockading fleet. There was always the chance, and it is that chance which has excited and befooled the imaginations of many Continental tyrants. Many are the tales that are told. We are assured that novel methods will be adopted, and when we see the originality of malice, the ingenuity of aggression, which our enemy displays, we may certainly prepare ourselves for every kind of novel stratagem and every kind of brutal and treacherous maneuver. I think that no idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered and viewed with a searching, but at the same time, I hope, with a steady eye. We must never forget the solid assurances of sea power and those which belong to air power if it can be locally exercised.

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts 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 even 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.
To finish on that note is a masterpiece of rhetoric.
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:35 AM
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I would think that speeches would not be much important considering the choices Churchill actually made. In this case, this example is about what Churchill wrote:

https://www.comedy.co.uk/tv/qi/episodes/9/13/
Quote:
According to General (later US President) Eisenhower, cracking the Enigma code shortened the war by two years. [-added- Saving hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives]..

...

Some politicians [and bean counters] during the war wondered why Bletchley Park was being given such a large budget, so Churchill went there to see what they did. Afterwards Churchill wrote a hand-written memo reading:
http://www.s10probus.co.uk/Bletchley...0Churchill.jpg

https://www.awesomestories.com/asset...tion-This-Day-

https://bletchleypark.org.uk/news/ep...ction-this-day
Quote:
Make sure they have all they want on extreme priority
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Old 10-20-2019, 02:06 AM
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So when I ask if Churchill helped win WWII, I'm not talking about military strategy and such. I'm asking if the speeches really made a difference. Would the Battle of Britian been lost without him?
Why have you limited it to just speeches? Why don’t his policy decisions and efforts toward coalition-building count? It’s not so much that you’ve asked the wrong question as you’ve asked people to ignore the things that really would be necessary to properly answer your question.

FWIW, I think we have good evidence that, no, not all politicians will say the right thing, and some who should be leaders in trying times might just get out there and say (or convey via other means, perhaps with limited characters) the most boneheaded thing imaginable, completely undercutting the morale of fighting forces and sowing division rather than unifying people towards a singular end (be it peace or war).

ETA: So, to be clear, I wouldn’t take it for granted that anyone could have said the right words in Churchill's place. I suspect there were others who could have plugged the gap if he hadn’t been available, but how they would have fared will be forever unknowable.

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 10-20-2019 at 02:10 AM.
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Old 10-20-2019, 03:56 AM
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Try reading John Lukacs's "Five Days in May", all about the debate in the War Cabinet about possible peace moves*, given the impending defeat in France.

Churchill was hardly single-handed in the decision to fight on, but his leadership was decisive in pulling the mood together to see it through. Had it not been, the war would have been lost, and Hitler given a free hand with the Soviet Union and in due course with the USA once Japan decided to attack.

*And take the movie "Darkest Hour" with a bucket of salt.
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:17 AM
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There may have been other people who wanted to continue the war after France fell but Churchill was the only person who was plausibly in a position to become Prime Minister and actually make this the official policy. So without Churchill, there almost certainly would have been a negotiated surrender around 1940.

Churchill also realized that Britain wasn't going to be able to win the war without help from the United States and/or the Soviet Union so he cultivated relationships with both of those powers. But while doing so, he was able to maintain Britain's reputation as a great power that should be seen as an equal to the United States and the Soviet Union.

Would Germany have won the war if Britain had sought peace? I think it probably would have. I think Britain could have negotiated a peace that would have kept Britain independent and in control of its empire but Britain would have had to acknowledge German control of the continent. If Britain stopped fighting, America would have lost its focus on Europe; resisting Japan would have become the main foreign policy. Germany would have been free to turn its undivided military strength against the Soviet Union and the Soviets would have been fighting without American and British aid. I think a stronger German attack could have defeated a weaker Soviet defense.

I think we would have ended up in a Cold War situation like we historically had except America's opponent would have been the German Reich instead of the Soviet Union.
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:20 AM
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Just want to point out that Rudy did noting on 9/11. Nice of him to attend the funerals afterward, but as was pointed out after the fact, the best thing Rudy did after 9/11 was stay out of the way.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:15 AM
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Sounds like the OP doesn't really understand how the pen can be mightier than the sword. A well-crafted speech or pamphlet can do astonishing things. Some historians think that America would have lost the Revolutionary War if not for the inspired pen of Thomas Paine.

It takes a terrifically strong motivation to make people willing to die for a cause, and not many things are capable of producing such a motivation. Well-crafted rhetoric is one of those things.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:28 AM
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Yeah, I think they did. The BoB very well may have been lost without the early warning radar and intelligent deployment of the limited resources.
I'm not sure what radar or the RAF's strategy had to do with Winston Churchill, whose speeches were responsible for neither.
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:30 PM
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Why have you limited it to just speeches? Why don’t his policy decisions and efforts toward coalition-building count? It’s not so much that you’ve asked the wrong question as you’ve asked people to ignore the things that really would be necessary to properly answer your question.

FWIW, I think we have good evidence that, no, not all politicians will say the right thing, and some who should be leaders in trying times might just get out there and say (or convey via other means, perhaps with limited characters) the most boneheaded thing imaginable, completely undercutting the morale of fighting forces and sowing division rather than unifying people towards a singular end (be it peace or war).

ETA: So, to be clear, I wouldn’t take it for granted that anyone could have said the right words in Churchill's place. I suspect there were others who could have plugged the gap if he hadn’t been available, but how they would have fared will be forever unknowable.
You are right, I made the question too narrow. Unlike Rudy, Churchill did more than make speeches. Reading all the posts I do remember some now, especially he and Roosevelt working together. Lend Lease was it? I did not know Britian would have probably surrendered without him

Last edited by Mike Mabes; 10-20-2019 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:46 PM
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Honestly, I think my abhorrance for a lot of Churchill's beliefs had me looking for reasons to diminish his contributions in the war. And that is not a very honest approach to history, is it? I pride myself on being objective and looking at all sides.

Is there a good movie I should see, one that doesn't lionize him and shows his faults as well as strengths?
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:37 PM
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Dizzy Gillespie was asked once about Satchmo. Dizzy said "No him, no me!"

The same could be said of Churchill and Roosevelt. If Churchill hadn't kept Britain in the war, it's highly doubtful that Roosevelt could have ever led the US to enter the war in Europe. The war likely would have been over before Pearl Harbour, and American neutrality would never have been tested.

Churchill's grand strategic goal was to seek allies: "If Hitler invaded Hell, I would at least make a favourable mention of Satan in the House of Commons."

In his memoirs, he wrote that after December 7, 1941, he slept easily, because he knew that with the US in the war, Britain would survive.

Last edited by Northern Piper; 10-20-2019 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:56 PM
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...
We also know that he was a total racist who supported colonialism and the British domination of India because those brown people needed the white man to take care of them....

So when I ask if Churchill helped win WWII, I'm not talking about military strategy and such. I'm asking if the speeches really made a difference. Would the Battle of Britian been lost without him?
I dispute this poisoning of the well. Why say crap like that? was it necessary to make your point?

But in any case, other than his speeches, there are two other things that Churchill did that helped win the war:

1. He wouldnt give up and the nazis' knew it.

2. If you read Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare by Giles Milton, it will be clear that the entire idea of a resistance and a sabotage dept run and funded by the brits would not have occurred if it wasnt for Churchill. Everyone else was against it. An example if given of saboteurs slowing the Das reich Division from getting to the D-Day beaches, they destroying the heavy water plants, and so forth. Not to mention invented the shaped charge and the hedgehog anti-sub weapon. Those brave commandos certainly lessened allied casualties and quite possibly shortened the war.
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:05 PM
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So when I ask if Churchill helped win WWII, I'm not talking about military strategy and such. I'm asking if the speeches really made a difference. Would the Battle of Britian been lost without him?
On other forums there are endless "what if" battles where the viewers hypothetically usually ask "if you were in control of the Nazi High Command at <some date in the 1930s or 1940s>, how would you go on to win".

Or, alternately, they are hypotheticals like 'what if the Nazis had nukes sooner, or a nuclear submarine fully loaded with nuclear-tipped ICBMs, or a stargate, or".

Some of these hypotheticals give the allies a similar advantage, but generally this isn't interesting, because we historically already know it wasn't anywhere close. Giving the allies a bigger advantage just means they win even faster.

Anyways, one trend here is generally it's thought that the material and numerical advantage was so drastically in favor of the allies that almost nothing the Germans could have done, and almost no sequence of mishaps and defeats for the Allies, would have changed the ultimate outcome.

So if you hypothetically have a silenced pistol with 10 shots and can teleport and shoot in the head up to 10 allied leaders - it wouldn't be enough. It would be disruptive. Might drag ww2 out another few months but it still wouldn't change the outcome.
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:10 PM
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I dispute this poisoning of the well. Why say crap like that? was it necessary to make your point?

But in any case, other than his speeches, there are two other things that Churchill did that helped win the war:

1. He wouldnt give up and the nazis' knew it.

2. If you read Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare by Giles Milton, it will be clear that the entire idea of a resistance and a sabotage dept run and funded by the brits would not have occurred if it wasnt for Churchill. Everyone else was against it. An example if given of saboteurs slowing the Das reich Division from getting to the D-Day beaches, they destroying the heavy water plants, and so forth. Not to mention invented the shaped charge and the hedgehog anti-sub weapon. Those brave commandos certainly lessened allied casualties and quite possibly shortened the war.
You might be interested in a TV program where a bunch of modern people were given the training of the SOE. Wiki Entry. I've seen it, and it includes lots of interesting history.

In addition to what others have said, Churchill had to make the tough choice of sacrificing some of Britain, like Coventry, to keep Enigma a secret.
Churchill was very much against giving independence to India, but that does not reduce what he did for England in the war.
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:23 PM
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I have to point out the absurdity of the comparison of a war time leader, who dealt continuously with an on-going threat which required leadership to actually manage the military strategies and battles, inspire and rally civilians, and manage foreign policy and alliances, with someone who happened to be mayor of a one-time surprise attack over which he had no warning or control, which had no reasonable expectation of being an ongoing situation, where there were no follow up attacks or continued threat, whose accomplishments in your eyes were telling people to go back to restaurants.

Even within the limits of your OP - not talking about military strategy or anything - Britain had to survive an ongoing assault by a military power that was shockingly powerful, who had been winning battles all over Europe, who was starving Britain of food and supplies with a u-boat campaign, who were bombing Britain on a daily basis with no apparent end and sight, whereas NYC had to survive one isolated attack. Britain had to stay strong against an extended campaign against a foreign power that could've forced their surrender. New York.... how would they have lost? Surrendered to nobody and abandoned the city over one attack with no ongoing threat?
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:24 PM
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I dispute this poisoning of the well. Why say crap like that? was it necessary to make your point?
You are right, and I addressed it above. Well, it is not crap to say he was a racist, but that is beside the point.
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:47 PM
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Is there a good movie I should see, one that doesn't lionize him and shows his faults as well as strengths?
Don't watch movies for history. Movies are entertainment.

A good one-volume comparative book is "The Warlords" by AJP Taylor: aricles about Churchill, Roosevelt, Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini, from their role as war-leaders.

See also the Lukacs book recommended by PatrickLondon, and also Lukacs' earlier book The Duel: May 10 - July 31 1940.

You could also read the wiki article: War Cabinet Crisis, 1940

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_ca...isis,_May_1940

(Lukacs once joked that given the narrowing of focus, his third book after "The Duel" and "Five Days in May" would have to be "Cabinet Room, May 26 1940").

Churchill's speeches were important, but asking if Churchill "helped" win WWII is a remarkable question.

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Old 10-20-2019, 07:02 PM
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Don't watch movies for history. Movies are entertainment.

A good one-volume comparative book is "The Warlords" by AJP Taylor: aricles about Churchill, Roosevelt, Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini, from their role as war-leaders.

See also the Lukacs book recommended by PatrickLondon, and also Lukacs' earlier book The Duel: May 10 - July 31 1940.

You could also read the wiki article: War Cabinet Crisis, 1940

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_ca...isis,_May_1940

(Lukacs once joked that given the narrowing of focus, his third book after "The Duel" and "Five Days in May" would have to be "Cabinet Room, May 26 1940").

Churchill's speeches were important, but asking if Churchill "helped" win WWII is a remarkable question.
I don't want to watch a movie for history. I love Lawerence of Arabia but as history, there are a lot of things that just didn't happen. I would like to watch a movie that is reasonably accurate about Churchill in WWII. Darkest Hour is apparently not that movie.

Back to my original post, as I've said it was way too narrow, I was specifically asking about the speeches, and whether they, in and of themselves, mattered. It was a stupid title for the thread. I've read the speeches, I've listened to them. Churchill speaking in a voice that is much more subdued than is portrayed in movies (I have not seen a whole movie but I've seen clips). If he had never made those speeches, he would have still did all the other things that he did, some of which I am learning about.

Thanks for the reading list, but this a not a subject that I want to spend a lot of time reading about, there are many other books I would like to read instead. This thread and all the good information I am getting is my book on this subject.
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:00 PM
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Another book you might want to take a look at is Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime by Eliot A. Cohen.

He uses Lincoln, Clemenceau, and Ben-Gurion as examples along with Churchill. The section on Churchill is a strong case for his leadership and political expertise in guiding Britain. Since Churchill is just 50 or so pages, you'll find it less of a slog than the many full books on the man. Along the way he examines both sides of the case and discusses the way that opinions have changed since the war.

Cohen choose these four because he admires the way they handled their wartime problems, but I wouldn't say it's a hagiography. He concludes with a chapter on the way Johnson bungled Vietnam, so he knows the alternatives.
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:27 PM
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Another book you might want to take a look at is Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime by Eliot A. Cohen.

He uses Lincoln, Clemenceau, and Ben-Gurion as examples along with Churchill. The section on Churchill is a strong case for his leadership and political expertise in guiding Britain. Since Churchill is just 50 or so pages, you'll find it less of a slog than the many full books on the man. Along the way he examines both sides of the case and discusses the way that opinions have changed since the war.

Cohen choose these four because he admires the way they handled their wartime problems, but I wouldn't say it's a hagiography. He concludes with a chapter on the way Johnson bungled Vietnam, so he knows the alternatives.
Sounds interesting. How does it compare, if you've read it (I haven't), to Doris Kearns Goodwin's Leadership?
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:43 PM
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You are right, and I addressed it above. Well, it is not crap to say he was a racist, but that is beside the point.
As were the vast majority of his contemporaries. Roosevelt wasn't much better, (actually, he was just as bad), but we wouldn't have won the war without him either.

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Old 10-20-2019, 08:53 PM
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As were the vast majority of his contemporaries. Roosevelt wasn't much better, (actually, he was just as bad), but we wouldn't have won the war without him either.
Right. Washington and Jefferson owned slaves. Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears. Teddy and his "splendid little war." It's just the way it was, and in many cases still is.

Link to Humans: A Brief History of How We Fucked It All Up. Haven't read it yet but will. Just reading the first pages on the Amazon preview, I'm laughing through my tears

https://www.amazon.com/Humans-Brief-...s=books&sr=1-1

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Old 10-20-2019, 09:55 PM
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On other forums there are endless "what if" battles where the viewers hypothetically usually ask "if you were in control of the Nazi High Command at <some date in the 1930s or 1940s>, how would you go on to win".

Or, alternately, they are hypotheticals like 'what if the Nazis had nukes sooner, or a nuclear submarine fully loaded with nuclear-tipped ICBMs, or a stargate, or".

Some of these hypotheticals give the allies a similar advantage, but generally this isn't interesting, because we historically already know it wasn't anywhere close. Giving the allies a bigger advantage just means they win even faster.

Anyways, one trend here is generally it's thought that the material and numerical advantage was so drastically in favor of the allies that almost nothing the Germans could have done, and almost no sequence of mishaps and defeats for the Allies, would have changed the ultimate outcome.....
Once the war was going and the Japanese attacked Pearl harbor, yes, the Allies were gonna win. No amount of early jet fighters or better decisions in battle would have done anything but drag it out, if that.

But if Lord Halifax had accepted Hitlers deal, then the USSR fights on alone. Stalin himself said he needed that second front and lend lease/aid.

Now then Japan attacks Pearl, but since the USA isnt sending lend lease to GB or USSR etc, there's no reason for Hitler to declare on the uSA. The USA whups Japan, turning it's full force against them.

Meanwhile, the USSR, without that needed 2nd front and without the millions of tonnes of supplies, food, tanks, truck, trains, factories, etc- falls.

If Hitler could avoid getting the USA mad at him, the germans have won. England is safe, France is Vichey (One story is the Hitler was even offering to withdraw occupation forces from France, Belgium, etc. Of course, a puppet protectorate would go in, but they'd have had nominal independence), Japan is defeated.

In one way this might have actually been better for the world, but who knows?

But year, once the war was fully going, it was a certain Allied victory.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:08 PM
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In one way this might have actually been better for the world, but who knows?

But year, once the war was fully going, it was a certain Allied victory.
Indeed. The Soviet Union ended up being a far bigger threat than the Nazis ever were. One way to re-play ww2, if you somehow could, would be for the Allies to let the Nazis face the Soviets alone - with carefully limited amounts of lend-lease to the weaker side - while developing long range bombers and a large arsenal of fission bombs. Then, when the two enemies are weakest, nuke em both.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:19 PM
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Sounds interesting. How does it compare, if you've read it (I haven't), to Doris Kearns Goodwin's Leadership?
That one I haven't read.

Can't read 'em all. I try. But I can't.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:47 PM
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Churchill also realized that Britain wasn't going to be able to win the war without help from the United States and/or the Soviet Union so he cultivated relationships with both of those powers.......

If Britain stopped fighting, America would have lost its focus on Europe; resisting Japan would have become the main foreign policy.
Britain was in no position to cultivate much of a relationship with the Soviet Union while it was still supplying Germany - not until the attack actually took place.

If Britain had stopped fighting, the USA wouldn't have had much of a focus on Europe in the first place - unless and until Hitler followed up Pearl Harbour by declaring war on the USA just the same. In that case, then yes, it would have been next to impossible for the USA to do much in relation to Europe.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:02 AM
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Churchill speaking in a voice that is much more subdued than is portrayed in movies .
That's because the recordings may have been made by him after the war for fundraising purposes. Many of the famous ones were made in Parliament, and the general public only read or heard them secondhand through the press or radio news bulletins.
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Old 10-21-2019, 02:24 AM
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Perhaps the best miniseries ever made about Churchill is Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981) - eight one-hour episodes.

It deals with Churchill from 1928-1939 - the time before WWII when he was out of power, so not exactly what you are looking for. But it does show how he recognised the danger of Nazi Germany early on, and pushed unrelentingly for Britain to build up defences against Hitler, against strong opposition.

It's a brilliant and highly accurate series, but I'd be the first to say that it's not for everyone. It's slow, there are many characters to keep track of, there are many complex political issues to follow, and it assumes a long attention span. But it shows both Churchill's strengths and weaknesses, and the acting is exceptional. Of course, it also helps to know Churchill's earlier history - his highly eventful early life, and his first stint in government in WWI.

IMDb reviews

Episode 1 on YouTube.
  #32  
Old 10-21-2019, 06:03 AM
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He was absolutely needed, the man for the moment. Complex, conflicted, imperfect and infuriating certainly but having read widely on this it is clear that his influence on the Allies initial willingness to resist, and the civilian willingness to bear it, has not been overstated.

Prior to the War he was a prime architect of the UK's re-arming and preparation for war. He also brought Bertram Ramsay out of retirement for the express purpose of defense against German invasion. When others were inclined to sue for peace he wasn't. His eloquence and force on that point really did matter. The "success" narrative of Operation Dynamo (organised by Ramsay) enabled a willingness to rebuff the Luftwaffe through 1940. No air superiority and a solid coastal defence (Ramsay) meant the invasion was now impossible. Germany is forced into a second front and from that point they are unable to win.

For all his many faults, I think you take Churchill out of the equation for that period and I'm not sure the UK resists and if the UK doesn't resist then Germany is much better placed to triumph.
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:03 AM
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You can remember all the reasons Churchill was not perfect, and there is no argument with me. But as a leader in a time of war, a man who would not surrender and would keep his country safe or die trying, well... The closest US leader to him was Lincoln, who is remembered for his speeches and was also 'less than perfect' in terms of slavery, but had the uncompromising will where others didn't in leading his country to victory.

I always remember a column written by the New York Columnist Jimmy Breslin when Churchill lay dying. Breslin was a dyed-in-the-wool Irishman and thus had no great love for the English, but he quoted a Cockney woman he spoke to that has resonated with me ever since...

"E' was there when e' was needed."

And to me, that sums up Churchill (and Lincoln, and yes, Stalin).
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:25 AM
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"E' was there when e' was needed."
"And e' was thrown under the bus when e' wasn't"

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Old 10-21-2019, 09:38 AM
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"And e' was thrown under the bus when e' wasn't"
I mean, he was still an MP, and he was still knighted, and he would be PM again when his party regained the majority, so... Itís not like they put him on an ice flow. I believe I reas he turned down a hereditary peerage so as not to jeopardize his son's chance at a career in the commons (though that didnít quite pay off IIRC).
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:44 AM
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As were the vast majority of his contemporaries. Roosevelt wasn't much better, (actually, he was just as bad), but we wouldn't have won the war without him either.
This is the typical apologist Bladderdash with large subtext of these darkies are so sensitive, humour them.

The man was a vile, vicious racist. Even by the standards of the time. His contemporaries thought he was too racist. To illustrate, his views were extreme even for his own Secretary of State for India.
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:39 AM
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Britain was in no position to cultivate much of a relationship with the Soviet Union while it was still supplying Germany - not until the attack actually took place.
Yes, but there were people at the time who felt that Britain should adopt the policy of sitting back and letting the Germans and the Soviets fight it out and kill each other off (and there have certainly been people saying this since). Churchill was smart enough to see this was a bad idea. He understood that Britain needed to support the Soviet Union and help the Soviets win.

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If Britain had stopped fighting, the USA wouldn't have had much of a focus on Europe in the first place - unless and until Hitler followed up Pearl Harbour by declaring war on the USA just the same. In that case, then yes, it would have been next to impossible for the USA to do much in relation to Europe.
Obviously, if Germany had declared war on the United States, there would have been a war. It only takes one side to start a war. The United States had made contingency plans around the possibility of fighting a war across the Atlantic without a base in Britain.

But if we're talking about a British armistice in 1940, we're talking about a very different war. It's not automatic that Hitler would have declared war against the United States in support of Japan, even if we assume that Japan followed its historical path.
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:51 AM
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There have been several recent movies, and god knows how many bios written, most of them hagiographiers. I read one. And we all know the speech - We shall fight...we shall never surrender etc.

We also know that he was a total racist who supported colonialism and the British domination of India because those brown people needed the white man to take care of them.

We also know he was an opportunist, first he is a liberal, then a conservative, whatever it took to get elected.

I've always forgiven him for all that shit because he rallied the British people with his speeches. Just like Rudy in NYC after 9/11. I lived about half a mile from ground zero. And Rudy went on TV and said be strong, keep going to restaurants, don't let the terrorists win. And at the time I sort of bought the America's Mayor stuff. But he didn't do anything, he made the same speeches that any mayor would have made. Do we think if there would have been a different mayor he would have said we are all fucked?

So when I ask if Churchill helped win WWII, I'm not talking about military strategy and such. I'm asking if the speeches really made a difference. Would the Battle of Britian been lost without him?
Did he help win? Certainly. Hell, I think he was instrumental in holding the UK together. You have to ask yourself, if Churchill wasn't the PM, who would have been...and what were the policies they were leaning towards? Would they have sought some sort of peace with Hitler and Germany? Hitler certainly WANTED them too, and had put out feelers for peace. Would any of Churchill's contemporaries with a shot at being the PM have stayed the course wrt the war, a war where at one point the UK was pretty much all alone (except for some US aid)? My take is, no...several of the people who might have been PM had there been no Churchill or he not gotten the nod might very well have accepted the peace Hitler was offering. IMHO, had this happened the Soviet Union would have fallen and the US probably would have stayed isolationist, or, if not, would have had very little they could do wrt Germany anyway. We probably would have pursued a war against Japan and left Europe to itself. Hell, it might have made things more peaceful between the US and Germany, considering one of the main issues was the US supplies going to the UK, sparking a covert war between the German Navy and the US Navy. Without that potential conflict point, and with the UK at peace with Germany I doubt the US would get involved...hell, we might not have even been able to help the Soviets had we wanted too if the UK was a neutral.

So, yeah, I think he helped. How much is probably debatable, but he definitely had an impact. As I noted, IMHO, he had a major impact as great as any individual in the war, by MMV on that one.
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:17 AM
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British policy for nearly 300 years was to oppose there being a dominant power on the continent.

Churchill or no Churchill that would not change. The British had several peace agreements with Louis XVI, Revolutionary France and Napoleon. None of those lasted.

Any agreement with 1940 Germany would be similarly temporary. By 1941, events in East or Southern Europe or N Africa would lead the British back to war.

Not like they did much against Germany anyway until 1942.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:21 PM
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Like AK84 alludes to above, even if Germany and GB had made peace in 1940 they would have soon been at war over North Africa. The Italians would have still been fighting the British there, the British would still have won, and the Germans would have been forced to intervene.

Also lets say the Germans really did push the Russians hard and took Moscow in 41 or 42. As they pushed further east and south in Asia they would have run afoul of GB like if they tried to attack the middle eastern oilfields.

Finally even though German had taken countries like France and Belgium, they still had to control those countries. Resistance movements were popping up all over Europe and I feel the British would have supported those.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:34 PM
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I think that overall, as stated upthread, his strategic goal was to build a coalition to defeat Hitler, with the chief ally being the United States.

But equally important was his sort of belligerent, stubborn and irascible nature that he displayed to great effect on the British home front early in the war. At no point did he ever convey anything but an unshakeable belief that the only course of action was that the British would fight like hell and eventually win, and I think that's something that's of understated importance. If you're trying to get people together behind a common goal, the leaders have to act like they are also totally committed to that goal, and Churchill accomplished that magnificently.

Now he wasn't perfect at all, but he was the right man at the right time in 1940-1941 Britain. Anyone less belligerent, stubborn and irascible might not have portrayed the level of commitment, determination and fighting spirit that he did, and Britain might have chosen not to fight- after all, the French had just been soundly beaten, the Army had just escaped by the skin of its teeth from Dunkirk, and the Luftwaffe was bombing British cities in preparation for what many believed to be an amphibious invasion of Britain. I'm sure things looked very dire to your average Briton then, but then you had the primary political leader of the country doing his thing and while acknowledging that things were dire, absolutely not acknowledging that there was any other course of action besides fighting and winning.

That's his greatest contribution, I suspect- after the US was in the war, I think that his role became less singularly important- it was more coalition building/maintenance, and less crisis leadership.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:38 PM
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Like AK84 alludes to above, even if Germany and GB had made peace in 1940 they would have soon been at war over North Africa. The Italians would have still been fighting the British there, the British would still have won, and the Germans would have been forced to intervene.

Also lets say the Germans really did push the Russians hard and took Moscow in 41 or 42. As they pushed further east and south in Asia they would have run afoul of GB like if they tried to attack the middle eastern oilfields.

Finally even though German had taken countries like France and Belgium, they still had to control those countries. Resistance movements were popping up all over Europe and I feel the British would have supported those.
I think his points are highly speculative and based on a logic chain that I don't find particularly compelling. The Brits had tried to avoid direct high level conflict since WWI, as we can see from Chamberlain, and I think that this mentality still had solid backing despite Chamberlain being out. If someone who thought along similar lines got the PM spot instead of Churchill it might have been quite a while before the Brits butted heads again with the Germans. Really, it might have only needed to be a year or so, with Germany able to focus a lot more on it's invasion of Russia, especially wrt air power. That would have been a huge amount of combat losses the Germany WOULDN'T have taken in the BoB, which would have translated into a lot more capable Luftwaffe. In addition, you would have less manpower and other resources directed to western Europe and available for that invasion.

As it was, it was a pretty near run thing. Even tipping the scales only a bit would have almost certainly, at a minimum, split Russia and forced the Russian leadership to have to relocate to beyond the Ural's.
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  #43  
Old 10-21-2019, 01:02 PM
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Trying to avoid conflict and trying to ensure there is no dominant power on the continent are not mutually exclusive. Pre June 1940 the British were in an alliance with the French, for this exact reason, to maintain the balance of power.

For some reason XT seems to think that in case of a ceasefire, the British would have accepted the status quo in the continent for good. That is against precedent and indeed policy. The British absolutely would have gotten involved again and soon. They would have tried to prop up both Eastern Europe and the USSR when the Germans inevitably hit.
War with Italy would have begun like it did historically and would have likely gotten the German sucked in.

And even with the Battle of Britain, it’s not like the effects of it hurt the Luftwaffe in anyway. Until the strategic bombing got underway in ‘42, not like the Brits did anything substantial in hurting Germany.

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Old 10-21-2019, 01:23 PM
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Without Churchill, does the UK continue to maintain a naval blockade against Germany? And without Churchill, does the Dunkirk evacuation happen as successfully?

No blockade means the US can make money selling to Germany throughout 1940 and '41. A Germany dependent on US trade does not then declare war on the US in December 1941. Further, a supplied Germany probably does a lot better against the USSR. I don't think they knock out Moscow in '41, but I think the 1942 offensives have a much better chance of succeeding. Also, does the US supply the USSR through Lend-Lease, sans a declaration of war by Germany? I don't think Bagration et al are nearly as successful without American trucks, gasoline, phone lines, and all of the other materiel shipped to the USSR.

I've said here before that a failed Dunkirk evacuation, IMHO, means the UK calls it a day against Germany and asks for an armistice. Losing the BEF entirely would have been a ~300,000 man defeat. Few countries could take that shock and want to keep fighting.

Germany, if they have a brain in their head---which is debatable, given their clumsy diplomacy---points out to the UK all of the nascent anti-colonial movements in the UK colonies and says 'Your chances of beating these is a whole lot higher if you call off this silly war with us.' Ironically, given Churchill's feelings on imperialism, this might have been a reasonable tack to take in negotiating with him.
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Old 10-21-2019, 02:29 PM
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Trying to avoid conflict and trying to ensure there is no dominant power on the continent are not mutually exclusive. Pre June 1940 the British were in an alliance with the French, for this exact reason, to maintain the balance of power.

For some reason XT seems to think that in case of a ceasefire, the British would have accepted the status quo in the continent for good. That is against precedent and indeed policy. The British absolutely would have gotten involved again and soon. They would have tried to prop up both Eastern Europe and the USSR when the Germans inevitably hit.
War with Italy would have begun like it did historically and would have likely gotten the German sucked in.

And even with the Battle of Britain, it’s not like the effects of it hurt the Luftwaffe in anyway. Until the strategic bombing got underway in ‘42, not like the Brits did anything substantial in hurting Germany.
Again, I don't find your line here to be that compelling. Britain wanted to dominate the continent (or prevent the Germans or anyone else from doing so), so they would just go to war with Germany again, despite being in even a worse military position because...European domination? Especially since it's pretty obvious that Germany WANTED a cease fire with Britain, and would have been focused on Russia, not North Africa. They were focused on North Africa in our world partly to get the Italians feet out of the fire, but mostly because the British were there, and they wanted to break up communications routes to the British far east part of the empire. Take away a Britain at war with Germany, and most of the reasons for Germany to push the British back into even contemplating a war evaporate. Even the Italian stuff could be dealt with, as Germany was pretty obviously the senior partner, even at this stage. Italy was going to do what Germany wanted them to do.

As for the last paragraph, I get a rough number of German combat air losses between May of 1940 and June of 1941 of around 2000-3000 air craft. This doesn't even get into the expenditure of resources. And we haven't started talking about North Africa. Take all of that away, or even most of it and you are talking about significant resources that could have been focused on Russia instead, to give the Germans a heavier punch. Even if the Brits just held off their war until Russia was invaded it would be significant, and I have serious doubts that, with a British/German cease fire, that the Brits would have gone back to war with Germany just because Germany invade Russia.
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Last edited by XT; 10-21-2019 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:29 PM
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The Germans suffered 75,000 losses of aircraft in WW2, of which nearly 50,000 were total losses.
2000/3000 aircraft? The Russians might not even notice. Plus, I doubt a few additional wings of aircraft are going to make any difference on the Eastern front.

As for N Africa, the Italians regularly did things the Germans would rather they did not in our world. The tensions between the Brits and the Italians predate the war and the Italo-German alliance. They aren’t going away and will likely lead to war shortly. Historically, the Brits beat tye Italians with troops already in Egypt and the Middle East, the first large scale reinforcement from the UK and India didn’t arrive until mid 41, after Rommel had already been sent there.

N Africa was important to the Germans not because of the fact it could cut the British off from the Shorter route to the Far East, that was done in ‘39 when the decision was made to cease merchant traffic through the canal, but because a loss of N Africa would expose all of Southern Europe to British air and naval assets.

And if not North Africa, there were plenty of other crises which could re-precipitate war. The Balkans, Turkey, and Russia. Even if the British did not declare war after Barbarossa, they would certainly support the Soviets, which would absolutely antagonise the Germans and might get Hitler to declare his armistice at an end.

Or will Hitler show Job like patience and Solomonesque wisdom in all the several crises with Britain which will come?

As far as trade, while I suspect civilian trade with the US will resume, the British in even the worst realistic ceasefire situation will never countenance military supplies going to Germany.

Last edited by AK84; 10-21-2019 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:40 PM
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The Germans suffered 75,000 losses of aircraft in WW2, of which nearly 50,000 were total losses.
2000/3000 aircraft? The Russians might not even notice. Plus, I doubt a few additional wings of aircraft are going to make any difference on the Eastern front.
Sorry, but this is just ridiculous. We are talking about 1941, not 1945. It would have made a HUGE difference in the early stages of the war. They definitely would have noticed, as in the early stages the Luftwaffe crushed the Russians early on...and this was WITH those losses and diversion of resources to fight the British.

Quote:
As for N Africa, the Italians regularly did things the Germans would rather they did not in our world. The tensions between the Brits and the Italians predate the war and the Italo-German alliance. They arenít going away and will likely lead to war shortly. Historically, the Brits beat tye Italians with troops already in Egypt and the Middle East, the first large scale reinforcement from the UK and India didnít arrive until mid 41, after Rommel had already been sent there.
With a peace treaty in hand, I seriously doubt the Italians would buck the Germans on keeping the Brits out of the war at this point just to fuck around in North Africa. The Italians alone weren't going to push into Egypt, and really that would have been the only thing that, after suffering the defeat they did on the continent and going for peace would bring the Brits back into the war.

Quote:
And if not North Africa, there were plenty of other crises which could re-precipitate war. The Balkans, Turkey, and Russia. Even if the British did not declare war after Barbarossa, they would certainly support the Soviets, which would absolutely antagonise the Germans and might get Hitler to declare his armistice at an end.
Well, that's your whole premise. I'm unconvinced, but YMMV. I seriously doubt the Brits would have gone back to war so soon without an immediate and existential threat to their empire, which, presumably, the Germans wouldn't have given them...at least not until after they had secured the victory they were actually looking for the whole time in Russia. But even if we posit that, having stayed out of the fighting for over a year, giving the Germans breathing space to prepare for their Russian adventure without having to fight the Brits that whole time, the Brits got back in, I'd say that it STILL would have been a decisive respite for the Germans.

And, getting back to the OP, it could have happened, had Churchill not been PM. There was still an appeasement faction in Parliament, as well as factions that just didn't think the British could or should continue to fight the Germans, instead needing to focus on the empire and holding it together.

Quote:
Or will Hitler show Job like patience and Solomonesque wisdom in all the several crises with Britain which will come?
He wouldn't have to. He WANTED peace with the British and breathing space to go after Russia. It was his plan all along. He only needed to go along with the Brits for a few years at most. He also thought the British were Germany's natural allies, and that they shouldn't be fighting. He needs neither 'Job like patience' nor 'Solomonesque wisdom' to see that German gains a lot more by not fighting the Brits than by fighting them, especially at this stage. It's why they were asking for peace and even offering pretty good terms.
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:47 PM
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Just gonna point out that my father helped win WWII also. Despite his faults Churchill deserves a little more credit than dad in that regard.
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:52 PM
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If the US hadn't have been dragged into the European conflict what reason would there have been for the US to have wanted to get involved with a war against Japan?
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:52 PM
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Just gonna point out that my father helped win WWII also. Despite his faults Churchill deserves a little more credit than dad in that regard.
Churchill certainly had a lot of faults and flaws. This is an understatement. But there seems to be a belief by some that if someone is bad on one point, that means he or she couldn't possibly make a positive contribution or needs to be undercut and marginalized. Hell, for all I hate the man, and for all his much more odious faults and flaws, Stalin helped 'win WWII' as well.

We need to look at history with a clear view, seeing the people involved for what they were wrt their myriad flaws and horrible behavior. But we ALSO need to be able to see what they actually accomplished. It's hard to believe that anyone thinks Churchill didn't help win the war. Was he the only factor? Not even close. But his contribution was as great as any other individual, and greater than most. I'd say it ranks far past our own President, despite how instrumental the US was to winning.
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