219 Facts About Churchill


Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, was a British statesman, soldier, and writer who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, during the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955.

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Churchill was a member of the Liberal Party from 1904 to 1924.

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Mixed English and American parentage, Churchill was born in Oxfordshire to a wealthy, aristocratic family.

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Churchill joined the British Army in 1895 and saw action in British India, the Anglo-Sudan War, and the Second Boer War, gaining fame as a war correspondent and writing books about his campaigns.

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Churchill resigned in November 1915 and joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers on the Western Front for six months.

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Out of government during his so-called "wilderness years" in the 1930s, Churchill took the lead in calling for British rearmament to counter the growing threat of militarism in Nazi Germany.

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Churchill formed a national government and oversaw British involvement in the Allied war effort against the Axis powers, resulting in victory in 1945.

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Churchill lost the 1950 election, but was returned to office in 1951.

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In declining health, Churchill resigned as Prime Minister in 1955, although he remained an MP until 1964.

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Widely considered one of the 20th century's most significant figures, Churchill remains popular in the Anglosphere, where he is seen as a victorious wartime leader who played an important role in defending Europe's liberal democracy against the spread of fascism.

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Churchill was born on 30 November 1874 at his family's ancestral home, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

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Churchill's mother, Jennie, was a daughter of Leonard Jerome, a wealthy American businessman.

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When she died in 1895, Churchill wrote that "she had been my dearest and most intimate friend during the whole of the twenty years I had lived".

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Churchill began boarding at St George's School in Ascot, Berkshire, at age seven but was not academic and his behaviour was poor.

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Churchill's father wanted him to prepare for a military career and so his last three years at Harrow were in the army form.

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Churchill was accepted as a cadet in the cavalry, starting in September 1893.

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Churchill's father died in January 1895, a month after Churchill graduated from Sandhurst.

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In February 1895, Churchill was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 4th Queen's Own Hussars regiment of the British Army, based at Aldershot.

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Churchill sent reports about the conflict to the Daily Graphic in London.

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In India, Churchill began a self-education project, reading a range of authors including Plato, Edward Gibbon, Charles Darwin and Thomas Babington Macaulay.

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Churchill had been christened in the Church of England but, as he related later, he underwent a virulently anti-Christian phase in his youth, and as an adult was an agnostic.

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Churchill volunteered to join Bindon Blood's Malakand Field Force in its campaign against Mohmand rebels in the Swat Valley of north-west India.

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Churchill returned to Bangalore in October 1897 and there wrote his first book, The Story of the Malakand Field Force, which received positive reviews.

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Churchill wrote his only work of fiction, Savrola, a Ruritanian romance.

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In October, Churchill returned to England and began writing The River War, an account of the campaign which was published in November 1899; it was at this time that he decided to leave the army.

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Churchill was critical of Kitchener's actions during the war, particularly the latter's unmerciful treatment of enemy wounded and his desecration of Muhammad Ahmad's tomb in Omdurman.

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On 2 December 1898, Churchill embarked for India to settle his military business and complete his resignation from the 4th Hussars.

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Churchill spent a lot of his time there playing polo, the only ball sport in which he was ever interested.

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Churchill eventually made it to safety in Portuguese East Africa.

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Churchill was among the first British troops into both places.

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Churchill stood again as one of the Conservative candidates at Oldham in the October 1900 general election, securing a narrow victory to become a Member of Parliament at age 25.

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In February 1901, Churchill took his seat in the House of Commons, where his maiden speech gained widespread press coverage.

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Churchill associated with a group of Conservatives known as the Hughligans, but he was critical of the Conservative government on various issues, especially increases in army funding.

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Churchill believed that additional military expenditure should go to the navy.

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Churchill privately considered "the gradual creation by an evolutionary process of a Democratic or Progressive wing to the Conservative Party", or alternately a "Central Party" to unite the Conservatives and Liberals.

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Churchill sensed that the animosity of many party members would prevent him from gaining a Cabinet position under a Conservative government.

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In May 1904, Churchill opposed the government's proposed Aliens Bill, designed to curb Jewish migration into Britain.

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Churchill stated that the bill would "appeal to insular prejudice against foreigners, to racial prejudice against Jews, and to labour prejudice against competition" and expressed himself in favour of "the old tolerant and generous practice of free entry and asylum to which this country has so long adhered and from which it has so greatly gained".

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Churchill worked beneath the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Victor Bruce, 9th Earl of Elgin, and took Edward Marsh as his secretary; Marsh remained Churchill's secretary for 25 years.

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Churchill announced a gradual phasing out of the use of Chinese indentured labourers in South Africa; he and the government decided that a sudden ban would cause too much upset in the colony and might damage the economy.

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Churchill expressed concerns about the relations between European settlers and the black African population; after the Zulu launched their Bambatha Rebellion in Natal, Churchill complained about the "disgusting butchery of the natives" by Europeans.

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In private life, Churchill proposed marriage to Clementine Hozier; they were married on 12 September 1908 at St Margaret's, Westminster and honeymooned in Baveno, Venice, and Veveri Castle in Moravia.

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Churchill afterwards established a Standing Court of Arbitration to deal with future industrial disputes, establishing a reputation as a conciliator.

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Churchill promoted what he called a "network of State intervention and regulation" akin to that in Germany.

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Churchill introduced the Trade Boards Bill, creating Trade Boards which could prosecute exploitative employers.

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Churchill promoted the idea of an unemployment insurance scheme, which would be part-funded by the state.

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Churchill continued to campaign against the House of Lords and assisted passage of the Parliament Act 1911 which reduced and restricted its powers.

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In February 1910, Churchill was promoted to Home Secretary, giving him control over the police and prison services; he implemented a prison reform programme.

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The rules on solitary confinement were relaxed somewhat, and Churchill proposed the abolition of automatic imprisonment of those who failed to pay fines.

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Churchill commuted 21 of the 43 capital sentences passed while he was Home Secretary.

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Churchill supported giving women the vote, but he would only back a bill to that effect if it had majority support from the electorate.

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Churchill's proposed solution was a referendum on the issue, but this found no favour with Asquith and women's suffrage remained unresolved until 1918.

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Many suffragettes believed that Churchill was a committed opponent of women's suffrage, and targeted his meetings for protest.

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Churchill, learning that the troops were already travelling, allowed them to go as far as Swindon and Cardiff, but blocked their deployment; he was concerned that the use of troops could lead to bloodshed.

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Privately, Churchill regarded both the mine owners and striking miners as being "very unreasonable".

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In consequence of the latter, Churchill incurred the long-term suspicion of the labour movement.

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In January 1911, Churchill became involved in the Siege of Sidney Street; three Latvian burglars had killed several police officers and hidden in a house in London's East End, which was surrounded by police.

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Churchill stood with the police though he did not direct their operation.

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In March 1911, Churchill introduced the second reading of the Coal Mines Bill in parliament.

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Churchill formulated the Shops Bill to improve the working conditions of shop workers; it faced opposition from shop owners and only passed into law in a much emasculated form.

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Churchill created a naval war staff and, over the next two and a half years, focused on naval preparation, visiting naval stations and dockyards, seeking to improve morale, and scrutinising German naval developments.

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Churchill invited Germany to engage in a mutual de-escalation of naval building projects, but this was refused.

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Churchill pushed for higher pay and greater recreational facilities for naval staff, an increase in the building of submarines, and a renewed focus on the Royal Naval Air Service, encouraging them to experiment with how aircraft could be used for military purposes.

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Churchill coined the term "seaplane" and ordered 100 to be constructed.

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Churchill supported it and urged Ulster Unionists to accept it as he opposed the partition of Ireland.

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Churchill sent submarines to the Baltic Sea to assist the Russian Navy and he sent the Marine Brigade to Ostend, forcing a reallocation of German troops.

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Churchill maintained that his actions had prolonged resistance and enabled the Allies to secure Calais and Dunkirk.

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Churchill put forward some proposals including the development of the tank, and offered to finance its creation with Admiralty funds.

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Churchill was interested in the Middle Eastern theatre and wanted to relieve Turkish pressure on the Russians in the Caucasus by staging attacks against Turkey in the Dardanelles.

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Churchill hoped that, if successful, the British could even seize Constantinople.

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Churchill pleaded his case with both Asquith and Conservative leader Bonar Law, but had to accept demotion and became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

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On 25 November 1915, Churchill resigned from the government, although he remained an MP.

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Churchill decided to join the Army and was attached to the 2nd Grenadier Guards, on the Western Front.

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Churchill narrowly escaped death when, during a visit by his staff officer cousin the 9th Duke of Marlborough, a large piece of shrapnel fell between them.

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Churchill did not request a new command, instead securing permission to leave active service.

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Back in the House of Commons, Churchill spoke out on war issues, calling for conscription to be extended to the Irish, greater recognition of soldiers' bravery, and for the introduction of steel helmets for troops.

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Churchill was frustrated at being out of office as a backbencher, but he was repeatedly blamed for Gallipoli, mainly by the pro-Conservative press.

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Churchill argued his case before the Dardanelles Commission, whose published report placed no blame on him personally for the campaign's failure.

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Churchill quickly negotiated an end to a strike in munitions factories along the Clyde and increased munitions production.

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Churchill ended a second strike, in June 1918, by threatening to conscript strikers into the army.

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Churchill was returned as MP for Dundee and, although the Conservatives won a majority, Lloyd George was retained as Prime Minister.

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Churchill was responsible for demobilising the British Army, although he convinced Lloyd George to keep a million men conscripted for the British Army of the Rhine.

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Churchill was an outspoken opponent of Vladimir Lenin's new Communist Party government in Russia.

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Churchill initially supported the use of British troops to assist the anti-Communist White forces in the Russian Civil War, but soon recognised the desire of the British people to bring them home.

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Churchill became Secretary of State for the Colonies in February 1921.

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Marigold's death devastated her parents and Churchill was haunted by the tragedy for the rest of his life.

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Churchill was involved in negotiations with Sinn Fein leaders and helped draft the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

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Churchill travelled to Mandatory Palestine where, as a supporter of Zionism, he refused an Arab Palestinian petition to prohibit Jewish migration to Palestine.

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Churchill did allow some temporary restrictions following the 1921 Jaffa riots.

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Churchill spent much of the next six months at the Villa Reve d'Or near Cannes, where he devoted himself to painting and writing his memoirs.

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Churchill wrote an autobiographical history of the war, The World Crisis.

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Churchill had hoped they would be defeated by a Conservative-Liberal coalition.

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Churchill strongly opposed the MacDonald government's decision to loan money to Soviet Russia and feared the signing of an Anglo-Soviet Treaty.

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On 19 March 1924, alienated by Liberal support for Labour, Churchill stood as an independent anti-socialist candidate in the Westminster Abbey by-election but was defeated.

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Churchill said that Liberals must back the Conservatives to stop Labour and ensure "the successful defeat of socialism".

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Churchill stood at Epping, but he described himself as a "Constitutionalist".

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Churchill later called for the introduction of a legally binding minimum wage.

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In early 1927, Churchill visited Rome where he met Mussolini, whom he praised for his stand against Leninism.

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Out of office, Churchill was prone to depression as he sensed his political talents being wasted and time passing him by – in all such times, writing provided the antidote.

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Churchill began work on Marlborough: His Life and Times, a four-volume biography of his ancestor John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough.

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In October 1930, after his return from a trip to North America, Churchill published his autobiography, My Early Life, which sold well and was translated into multiple languages.

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In January 1931, Churchill resigned from the Conservative Shadow Cabinet because Baldwin supported the decision of the Labour government to grant Dominion status to India.

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Churchill believed that enhanced home rule status would hasten calls for full independence.

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Churchill was particularly opposed to Mohandas Gandhi, whom he considered "a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir".

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Churchill's views enraged Labour and Liberal opinion although he was supported by many grassroot Conservatives.

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October 1931 general election was a landslide victory for the Conservatives Churchill nearly doubled his majority in Epping, but he was not given a ministerial position.

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Churchill embarked on a lecture tour of North America, hoping to recoup financial losses sustained in the Wall Street Crash.

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Churchill returned to America in late January 1932 and completed most of his lectures before arriving home on 18 March.

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Armed with official data provided clandestinely by two senior civil servants, Desmond Morton and Ralph Wigram, Churchill was able to speak with authority about what was happening in Germany, especially the development of the Luftwaffe.

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Churchill told the people of his concerns in a radio broadcast in November 1934, having earlier denounced the intolerance and militarism of Nazism in the House of Commons.

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Baldwin then led the Conservatives to victory in the 1935 general election; Churchill retained his seat with an increased majority but was again left out of the government.

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Churchill supported Edward and clashed with Baldwin on the issue.

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At first, Churchill welcomed Chamberlain's appointment but, in February 1938, matters came to a head after Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden resigned over Chamberlain's appeasement of Mussolini, a policy which Chamberlain was extending towards Hitler.

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In 1938, Churchill warned the government against appeasement and called for collective action to deter German aggression.

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Churchill began calling for a mutual defence pact among European states threatened by German expansionism, arguing that this was the only way to halt Hitler.

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Churchill visited Chamberlain at Downing Street and urged him to tell Germany that Britain would declare war if the Germans invaded Czechoslovak territory; Chamberlain was not willing to do this.

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Churchill's popularity increased and people began to agitate for his return to office.

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Churchill later claimed that the Board of the Admiralty sent a signal to the Fleet: "Winston is back".

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Churchill was ebullient after the Battle of the River Plate on 13 December 1939 and afterwards welcomed home the crews, congratulating them on "a brilliant sea fight" and saying that their actions in a cold, dark winter had "warmed the cockles of the British heart".

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Churchill was concerned about German naval activity in the Baltic Sea and initially wanted to send a naval force there but this was changed to a plan, codenamed Operation Wilfred, to mine Norwegian waters and stop iron ore shipments from Narvik to Germany.

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Churchill was called upon to wind up the debate, which placed him in the difficult position of having to defend the government without damaging his own prestige.

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Churchill later wrote of feeling a profound sense of relief in that he now had authority over the whole scene.

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Churchill believed himself to be walking with destiny and that his life so far had been "a preparation for this hour and for this trial".

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Churchill began his premiership by forming a five-man war cabinet which included Chamberlain as Lord President of the Council, Labour leader Clement Attlee as Lord Privy Seal, Halifax as Foreign Secretary and Labour's Arthur Greenwood as a minister without portfolio.

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Churchill drafted outside experts into government to fulfil vital functions, especially on the Home Front.

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Churchill's resolve was to fight on, even if France capitulated, but his position remained precarious until Chamberlain resolved to support him.

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Churchill had the full support of the two Labour members but knew he could not survive as Prime Minister if both Chamberlain and Halifax were against him.

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Churchill succeeded as an orator despite being handicapped from childhood with a speech impediment.

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Churchill had a lateral lisp and was unable to pronounce the letter s, verbalising it with a slur.

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Churchill worked hard on his pronunciation by repeating phrases designed to cure his problem with the sibilant "s".

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Churchill was ultimately successful and was eventually able to say: "My impediment is no hindrance".

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Churchill made it plain to the nation that a long, hard road lay ahead and that victory was the final goal:.

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In early 1941 Mussolini requested German support and Hitler sent the Afrika Korps to Tripoli under the command of Generalleutnant Erwin Rommel, who arrived not long after Churchill had halted Compass so that he could reassign forces to Greece where the Balkans campaign was entering a critical phase.

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In other initiatives through June and July 1940, Churchill ordered the formation of both the Special Operations Executive and the Commandos.

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On 20 August 1940, at the height of the Battle of Britain, Churchill addressed the Commons to outline the war situation.

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Churchill was confident that Great Britain could hold its own, given the increase in output, but was realistic about its chances of actually winning the war without American intervention.

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Churchill persuaded Congress that repayment for this immensely costly service would take the form of defending the US.

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Churchill had tried to warn General Secretary Joseph Stalin via the British ambassador to Moscow, Stafford Cripps, but to no avail as Stalin did not trust Churchill.

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The night before the attack, already intending an address to the nation, Churchill alluded to his hitherto anti-communist views by saying to Colville: "If Hitler invaded Hell, I would at least make a favourable reference to the Devil".

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Churchill went to Washington later in the month to meet Roosevelt for the first Washington Conference.

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Churchill insisted that he did not need bed rest and, two days later, journeyed on to Ottawa by train where he gave a speech to the Canadian Parliament that included the "some chicken, some neck" line in which he recalled French predictions in 1940 that "Britain alone would have her neck wrung like a chicken".

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At a press conference in Washington, Churchill had to play down his increasing doubts about the security of Singapore.

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Churchill already had grave concerns about the fighting quality of British troops after the defeats in Norway, France, Greece and Crete.

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Churchill's government was criticised for refusing to approve more imports, a policy it ascribed to an acute wartime shortage of shipping.

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In February 1944, as preparation for Operation Overlord placed greater demands on Allied shipping, Churchill cabled Wavell saying: "I will certainly help you all I can, but you must not ask the impossible".

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Molotov was seeking a Second Front in Europe but all Churchill could do was confirm that preparations were in progress and make no promises on a date.

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Churchill felt well pleased with these negotiations and said as much when he contacted Roosevelt on the 27th.

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Churchill was with Roosevelt when the news of Tobruk reached him.

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Churchill was shocked by the surrender of 35,000 troops which was, apart from Singapore, "the heaviest blow" he received in the war.

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Churchill returned to England on the 21st, nine days before Rommel launched his final offensive.

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Churchill ordered the church bells to be rung throughout Great Britain for the first time since early 1940.

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In January 1943, Churchill met Roosevelt at the Casablanca Conference, which lasted ten days.

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From Morocco, Churchill went to Cairo, Adana, Cyprus, Cairo again and Algiers for various purposes.

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Churchill addressed the Commons on the 11th and then became seriously ill with pneumonia the following day, necessitating more than one month of rest, recuperation and convalescence – for the latter, he moved to Chequers.

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Roosevelt and Stalin co-operated in persuading Churchill to commit to the opening of a second front in western Europe and it was agreed that Germany would be divided after the war, but no firm decisions were made about how.

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Since 12 January 1943, when he set off for the Casablanca Conference, Churchill had been abroad or seriously ill for 203 of the 371 days.

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Churchill was then all for driving straight up the Italian mainland with Rome as the main target, but the Americans wanted to withdraw several divisions to England in the build-up of forces for Operation Overlord, now scheduled for the spring of 1944.

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Churchill was still not keen on Overlord as he feared that an Anglo-American army in France might not be a match for the fighting efficiency of the Wehrmacht.

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Churchill preferred peripheral operations, including a plan called Operation Jupiter for an invasion of northern Norway.

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Difficulties in Italy caused Churchill to have a change of heart and mind about Allied strategy to the extent that, when the Anzio stalemate developed soon after his return to England from North Africa, he threw himself into the planning of Overlord and set up an ongoing series of meetings with SHAEF and the British Chiefs of Staff over which he regularly presided.

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Churchill was especially taken by the Mulberry project but he was keen to make the most of Allied air power which, by the beginning of 1944, had become overwhelming.

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Churchill's attitude was demonstrated in a Sunday evening radio broadcast on 26 March 1944.

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Churchill was obliged to devote most of it to the subject of reform and showed a distinct lack of interest.

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Churchill was determined to be actively involved in the Normandy invasion and hoped to cross the Channel on D-Day itself or at least on D-Day+1.

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Churchill's desire caused unnecessary consternation at SHAEF until he was effectively vetoed by the King who told Churchill that, as head of all three services, he ought to go too.

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Churchill met Roosevelt at the Second Quebec Conference from 12 to 16 September 1944.

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Churchill suggested a scale of predominance throughout the whole region so as not to, as he put it, "get at cross-purposes in small ways".

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Churchill wrote down some suggested percentages of influence per country and gave it to Stalin who ticked it.

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Churchill faced some strong criticism for the Yalta agreement on Poland.

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Jenkins maintains that Churchill did as well as he could have done in very difficult circumstances, not least the fact that Roosevelt was seriously ill and could not provide Churchill with meaningful support.

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Jenkins asks if Churchill was moved more by foreboding than by regret but admits it is easy to criticise with the hindsight of victory.

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Churchill adds that the area bombing campaign was no more reprehensible than President Truman's use of the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki six months later.

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Churchill mishandled the election campaign by resorting to party politics and trying to denigrate Labour.

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Churchill was unopposed by the major parties in Woodford, but his majority over a sole independent candidate was much less than expected.

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Churchill now anticipated defeat by Labour and Mary later described the lunch as "an occasion of Stygian gloom".

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Churchill continued to lead the Conservative Party and, for six years, served as Leader of the Opposition.

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Churchill's desire was much closer collaboration between Britain and America.

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Churchill was an early proponent of pan-Europeanism, having called for a "United States of Europe" in a 1930 article.

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Churchill supported the creations of the Council of Europe in 1949 and the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951, but his support was always with the firm proviso that Britain must not actually join any federal grouping.

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Churchill achieved the target and, in October 1954, was promoted to Minister of Defence.

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Churchill was nearly 77 when he took office and was not in good health following several minor strokes.

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Churchill retired as Prime Minister in April 1955 and was succeeded by Eden.

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Churchill feared a global conflagration and firmly believed that the only way to preserve peace and freedom was to build on a solid foundation of friendship and co-operation between Britain and America.

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Churchill made four official transatlantic visits from January 1952 to July 1954.

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Churchill enjoyed a good relationship with Truman but difficulties arose over the planned European Defence Community, by which Truman hoped to reduce America's military presence in West Germany; Churchill was sceptical about the EDC.

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Churchill wanted US military support of British interests in Egypt and the Middle East, but that was refused.

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Churchill had been obliged to recognise Colonel Nasser's revolutionary government of Egypt, which took power in 1952.

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Churchill's government maintained the military response to the crisis and adopted a similar strategy for the Mau Mau Uprising in British Kenya.

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Churchill was uneasy about the election of Eisenhower as Truman's successor.

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Churchill told Colville that Eisenhower as president was "both weak and stupid".

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Churchill believed that Eisenhower did not fully comprehend the danger posed by the H-bomb and he greatly distrusted Eisenhower's Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles.

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Churchill spent most of his retirement at Chartwell or at his London home in Hyde Park Gate, and became a habitue of high society at La Pausa on the French Riviera.

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Churchill was flown home to a London hospital where he remained for three weeks.

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Jenkins says that Churchill was never the same after this accident and his last two years were something of a twilight period.

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Montague Browne wrote that he never heard Churchill refer to depression and certainly did not suffer from it.

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Churchill suffered his final stroke on 12 January 1965 and died twelve days later on the 24th, the seventieth anniversary of his father's death.

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Churchill is one of only eight people to be granted honorary citizenship of the United States; others include Lafayette, Raoul Wallenberg and Mother Teresa.

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Churchill's output included a novel, two biographies, three volumes of memoirs, several histories, and numerous press articles.

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Churchill was an amateur bricklayer, constructing buildings and garden walls at Chartwell.

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Churchill bred butterflies at Chartwell, keeping them in a converted summerhouse each year until the weather was right for their release.

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Churchill was well known for his love of animals and always had several pets, mainly cats but dogs, pigs, lambs, bantams, goats and fox cubs among others.

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Churchill has often been quoted as saying that "cats look down on us and dogs look up to us, but pigs treat us as equals", or words to that effect, but the International Churchill Society believe he has mostly been misquoted.

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Roy Jenkins concludes his biography of Churchill by comparing him favourably with W E Gladstone and summarising:.

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Churchill's self-belief manifested itself in terms of his "affinity with war" of which, according to Sebastian Haffner, he exhibited "a profound and innate understanding".

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Churchill considered himself a military genius but that made him vulnerable to failure and Paul Addison says Gallipoli was "the greatest blow his self-image was ever to sustain".

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Jenkins points out that although Churchill was excited and exhilarated by war, he was never indifferent to the suffering it causes.

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Churchill was, according to Jenkins, "singularly lacking in inhibition or concealment".

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Jenkins says that Churchill's self-belief was "far stronger than any class or tribal loyalty".

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Whether Churchill was a conservative or a liberal, he was nearly always opposed to socialism because of its propensity for state planning and his belief in free markets.

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Paradoxically, Churchill was supportive of trade unionism, which he saw as the "antithesis of socialism".

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Jenkins, himself a senior Labour minister, remarked that Churchill had "a substantial record as a social reformer" for his work in the early years of his ministerial career.

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Churchill worked hard; he put his proposals efficiently through the Cabinet and Parliament; he carried his Department with him.

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Churchill has been described as a "liberal imperialist" who saw British imperialism as a form of altruism that benefited its subject peoples because "by conquering and dominating other peoples, the British were elevating and protecting them".

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Martin Gilbert asserted that Churchill held a hierarchical perspective of race, seeing racial characteristics as signs of the maturity of a society.

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Churchill advocated against black or indigenous self-rule in Africa, Australia, the Caribbean, the Americas and India, believing that the British Empire promoted and maintained the welfare of those who lived in the colonies; he insisted that "our responsibility to the native races remains a real one".

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Addison makes the point that Churchill opposed anti-Semitism and argues that he would never have tried "to stoke up racial animosity against immigrants, or to persecute minorities".

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Churchill made a number of racist comments and jokes about Indian nationalists during the inter-war period and his wartime premiership, which historian Philip Murphy partly attributes to his "almost childish desire to shock" and provoke his colleagues and secretaries.

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Philip Murphy says that, following the independence of India in 1947, Churchill adopted a more pragmatic stance towards empire, although he continued to use imperial rhetoric.

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Churchill was aware of the strain that his political career placed on his marriage, and, according to Colville, he had a brief affair in the 1930s with Doris Castlerosse, although this is discounted by Andrew Roberts.

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