tv Winston Churchill - Life Legacy Part 2 CSPAN July 17, 2022 5:40am-6:41am EDT
to turn it over to kevin matthews for this second part kevin. we are not seeing you at the moment. so click. yes. okay. i thought i clicked it. there you go. it's one of those days it right to go back to the story churchill was in the government with the worst having started a member of chamberlain's war cabinet. let me try to get this thing to go from here. yes, here we go, but he was isolated as i said an answer to one of those questions.
i the period between september 1939 and 1940 is commonly known as the phony war and that's because well the french man their frontier behind the maginot line the british sent a british expeditionary force these men with equipment that i must say looks quaint today. they did nothing practical to try to help their polish allies for their east when it was suggested to chamberlain that the royal air force bomb german cities to make the german people at least pay for hitler's regression. he wouldn't hear it and his um chancellor of the exchecker kingsley wood was horrified at the idea because he said it possibly meant destroying private property in germany. so that gives you a sense of the colleagues at churchill had this was the front for the entire period of the phoning board when
literally nothing seemed to happen. where there was action was on the high seas as soon as the war started churchill had to contend with the unleashing of hitler's you wrote within hours of war being declared a vessel traveling from scotland to canada was was sunk and this was the beginning of the battle of the atlantic which was a phrase at churchill himself coined. it was the longest of the war. it was in some ways to the most dangerous. it again with the war in 19 september 1939 and didn't end until may 1945. it didn't go. well at first for the british among other things one of their six aircraft carriers. the courageous was sunk. just a few weeks after the war started with taking 500 lives.
uh later that autumn churchill paid a visit to scap a flow as the best map. i could get showing where it's located in the british isles. this was the main base for the british home fleet, and he was horrified to find that the beach i'm sorry that the the base was almost entirely undefended measures he had ordered when he was chance when he was first lord of the admiralty in 1914 had not been carried out and eventually that same autumn this submarine u47 managed to evade what defenses had been put up by that time and sunk the battleship royal oak taking 833 men in port churchill later wrote that the only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the u-boat peril. and in that that some of it was
shared the danger we shared by franklin roosevelt later during the war fdr wrote to churchill that the war would be decided in the atlantic. if you are wrote if hitler lost this battle he cannot win anywhere in the world. the problem for both men was that to protect the allied convoys not only had german u-boat technology and tactics improved, but from the summer of 1940 they faced the additional problem that the german now had you both bases in occupied france. these bases allowed the u-boost the range much further across the atlantic indeed even into the gulf of mexico and and at the same time they were at a disadvantage. they didn't have during the great war during the great war
both the british and american navies at the americans got into the war. anyway used bases in southern ireland. this was the reason that churchill had insisted on those, uh tree ports. you can see the three that were in the irish free state. they don't show belfast on here in northern ireland but in astonishing act of ill-time act of appeasement in 1938 chamberlain had returned the tree ports to the new prime minister or tisha of ireland eamon de valera chamberlain believed that the bases would be returned to the british in the event of a war but when war was declared in 1939 of all of the dominions only the irish free state or era as it was then called refused to join and this meant that britain would be denied those ports and the air bases that accompanying them
ireland remained stubbornly neutral throughout the war. and that neutrality was purchased at the price of thousands of british canadian american and indeed irish sailors who also served on on ships going to and from north america and the british isles all were needlessly killed because they did not have the access to these treaty ports. to win the battle of the atlantic the allies hit on a strategy that combined aircraft radar coordination of ships with planes using radio the intelligence that they got from the codebreakers at bletchley park. but even then this could not entirely account for the gaps that this cover could give these ships as they traveled a cross the atlantic. and add to that the germans
began to use a tactic for their u-boats called wolf packs in which you both, uh, attack convoys and groups. this is a good explanation for why it took so long to win the battle of the atlantic. it didn't really turn until 1943 this meant that the allied invasion of europe could not take place until 1944. at the very same time at the start of the war churchill also had to deal with the problem of nazi surface raiders. like this pocket battleship the graph space. they were all chased down eventually most famously the graphs bay in a battle with british warships off the coast of uruguay the battle of river plat as it's called. the british warships managed to
damage the grass bay, but they could not entirely sink it it limped into montevideo harbor what was given 72 hours to make repairs and then the uruguayan government said that it had to leave month of the day of when the ship did its commander after putting to see had the ship scuttled this was a huge morale booster for the british people at a time when it seems as if this war was going nowhere and churchill immediately recognized this he had the cruise of most of the ships that attacked the garage bay brought back to london and had them honored at the guildhall and a special banquet where he delivered a memorable speech which i think is worth hearing the last few words to praise island for the right honorable winston churchill first lord of the adverty the brilliant chief
fight which shut admiral howard conceived and which you executed? those who are here. executed takes its place in our naval animals and i may add. that in a dark cold winter it warmed the cockles of the british heart. right i don't think anybody could quite get away with using an overlord like couples as churchill could anyway by the time he delivered the speech. his attentions had been turned elsewhere namely to scandinavia during the war the germans were
heavily dependent on neutral sweden for its supplies of iron work and these supplies were sometimes transported to neutral norway to the port of norvic where they could then be transported through norwegian neutral waters to germany churchill was determined to stop the this route being used and suggested that the allies either take the port of norovic or at least mine norway's waters. the the cabinet turned them cold. they would not have anything to do with this. they said they would not violate the neutrality of any norwegian or swedish government. hitler wasn't willing to be concerned about neutrality and same way that chamberlain was it was also at this time that chamberlain was beginning to think that this war was going to go the way of the great war that
the world navy's blockade was slowly strangle the germans. and there would be an uprising against hitler much as it happened against kaiserville held in the second in 1918, but again hitler wasn't willing to sit around and wait for that to happen either. on the fourth of april chamberlain delivered a public address in which he claimed that hitler had missed the bus. that time was on the ally side and that this war would end in an allied victory. but without the massive massive casualties of the great war. just five days. later. hitler sent his army and navy and air force to invade norway. um the allied response to the invasion was a fiasco. it was family organized from the start and did to help the norwegians. even the most sympathetic
biographers agree that churchill was up to his neck in this ignominious defeat in the norwegian campaign. but it also demonstrated more broadly. how ill prepared britain was for this war fairly or not the man on whom that fell was neville chamberlain. the norwegian debate in the house of commons set the stage. for for an event that one mp called the most momentous that has ever taken place in parliament the debate that began on the 7th of may 1940 started as i calling to account for the fiasco in norway, but it ended as a reckoning. a reckoning for chamberlain personally a reckoning for the policy of the peasement in general. as a member of the government churchill did not try to hide
his responsibility. for norwegian fiasco, but there was a difference a difference between himself and chamberlain that difference was that by this time in both parliament and the country though not in the conservative party. churchill's position was unassailable chamberlain. however had become the face of failure. churchill to four responsibility for the navy's operations. he pointed out that those who are now bane for chamberlain's blood have been happy to cheer on appeasement when it seemed to work. but it didn't work. it didn't help. there were two speeches in this debate that were that were significant that stood out. one was delivered by churchill's old colleague. lloyd. george was still a member of the house of commons and in veteran folk of chamberlain's especially because chamberlain helped to
bring him down in 1922. in this debate chamberlain had said that sacrifices would be needed to win the war. and at that roy george pounced telling the house of commons that the best contribution that chamberlain himself could make would be to quote sacrifice the seals of his own office as prime minister. violet asked with later said she had never heard a more savage speech given by louis george. but there was an earlier speech given by one of chamberlain's old friends and colleagues leo amory. that probably hurt him the most. nothing could have been more painful for the prime minister then when amory chose to quote oliver cromwell's famous condemnation of the long parliament in 1653. looking at chamberlain amory said you have sat too long here for any good you have been doing.
part i say and let us have done with you. in the name of god go people who are present said that that speech made chamberlain seem to wilt as he sat in the commons and when the debate on the motion ended about the norwegian campaign chamberlain's majority in the commons had been reduced from over 200 to only 81 votes. what that made clear? was that the members of the house of commons wanted an all-party government? the problem was that both the labor party and the liberals would not serve under chamberlain if he continued on as prime minister. a majority of tory mp's however did not want churchill to be their leader. their preferred candidate was
lord halifax the former secretary the successor for preferred by chamberlain himself, and it must be said by the king too. the problem was of course that halifax was appear he sat in the house of lords and by convention if not law prime ministers could no longer sit in the house of lords. fortunately halifax also did not see himself as a war leader. that didn't stop chamberlain from trying to change his mind. what did change the situation was that on the morning of the 10th of may? the country awoke to the news that hitler's armies had invaded holland and belgium and luxembourg. we're now about to strike into france itself. in other words the norwegian campaign had been a way to distract the allies. this would be the main thrust. so that afternoon chamberlain went to buckingham palace? resigned recommended that church
will be called to form a new government and george the sixth did so however, it must be said very reluctantly. churchill arrived at the palace to kiss hands as they say and assume the office of both prime minister and minister of defense. and at that both labor and liberals agreed to join a new coalition government. years later churchill wrote that when he became prime minister he felt as if his entire life had been his own words but a preparation for this hour and for this trial. those words gloss over a fact that he probably chose to forget later on and that was that at the time he was not his own master of his fate. churchill's assumption of the premiership surely rates as one of the most inauspicious in history. the allies were thrown off guard
as the vermont swept into the low countries the british and the french were forced back into france itself. closer to home churchill was in much the same position as lloyd. george had been when he became prime minister in 1916. he was prime minister without a party. churchill's support rested on labor and the liberals among conservatives and in the british establishment. generally churchill's emergencies prime minister caused many to despair and that included the king and queen who rather liked chamberlain chamberlain also seems to believe that once this immediate crisis was over that he would again soon the rains as prime minister. churchill's was always in this dilemma until he became leader of the conservative party itself, but that did not happen
until the end of the year. in the meantime both chamberlain and churchill dependent on each other. chamberlain couldn't lead a cross-party coalition government, but churchill could not command the majority that was needed in the house of commons. but when the new government entered the house of commons, by the way for the first time the man that most people was chamberlain not churchill. this was the case even after churchill delivered some of his most famous speeches beginning with his famous blood toilet tears and sweat speech in which he promised the collins and he promised the british people that he would fight on he would have the country fight on until the war was won one die hard conservative mp said that the prime minister spoke well, but it was not well received to his
credit until he himself died of cancer later that year chamberlain was sorry chamberlain was and a loyal colleague of churchill on whom he could depend and that was never more true than in what were called the five days in may when resistance was crumbling in europe to the nazi advance and lord halifax. wanted to have churchill enter into negotiations with the germans. chamberlain was undecided at this point and churchill was left with the task of convincing his other cabinet colleagues that this would be a mistake the fact was that many at the time thought that churchill was wrong and halifax was right that they could do a deal that would give the nazis control of europe in
return for a promise from hitler that he would leave britain and it's empire alone. eventually chamberlain. i'm sorry eventually churchill was able to convince his colleagues that you couldn't trust any of hitler's promises and when the crunch came crucially chamberlain had come to believe this true. this is well and he through his support not behind his foreign secretary, but behind the new prime minister. in the meantime. well churchill was battling halifax in the cabinet in the war cabinet, british french and belgian forces were being forced back to the port of dunkirk. in late may the british concluded that they're only option was to evacuate what forces they could from france to britain.
and at the time it was believed that they would be lucky to evacuate 30,000 men from the beaches of dunkirk. as you can see from this photograph the situation was dire these men were under constant aerial attack from the liftoff. there's no cover to be had and it seemed as if a little could be done to save them nevertheless. thanks to this man admiral birch bertram ramsey. between the 28th of may and the fourth of june the british managed to evacuate 338,000 british french and belgian soldiers. they're not their equipment. almost immediately the story of dunkirk became a national myth. it is true that during the evacuation during this constant aerial bombardment. there was a fleet of small
private ships that went from ports around england around southern england to help evacuate the soldiers, but the truth is that this was at best symbolic. the real heroes of the story where the raf who kept the luftwaffe at bay and the world navy that evacuated these sailors from these ships onto the larger warships. they got the majority home churchill made it clear that dunkirk was anything but a victory as he said wars are not one by evacuations. nevertheless the story of dunkirk at the time um gave heart to the british people when they needed it. most churchill called it a deliverance and that deliverance was engineered and no small part by ramsey, but with churchill's
backing during the same time as i think i said during the questions earlier churchill made at least five trips to try to keep the french in the war to paris to confer with the french government. but by that time a sense of defeatism i was beginning to infect the french armies and people as the germans began to sweep across the entire country and large numbers of french soldiers, uh gave up in june 1940 mussolini looking to pick up some cheap spoils also declared war on the french and british and took control of parts of south of the south of france. um in response churchill launched over the british army to launch an attack on italian controlled libya and this began the war in north africa.
even at this time churchill, especially at this time churchill himself was not immune to moments of despair when after the last of his conferences with the french government, he and his military aid general sir hastings is made were alone. uh ismays it's made confidently predicted that the british could do for themselves. what the british i went with the french had not they could win this war churchill is made later recall shot him and look and replied you and i will be dead in three months. for the french the end came when that man on the right field marshal phillip catan the hero of verdun in the great war was brought back from uh madrid where he had been ambassador to the new fascist government in spain and over as premier.
the bodies time patan was a defeatist and he negotiated a ceasefire with the with the germans. and as a result as you can see from this map a good part of france was occupied by the germans other parts were taken back into germany itself a rump government centered on the city of vishi was allowed to continue under pattan vc friend vichy. france was then quickly aligned with hitler new order. a few french men and women refused to accept this situation and fled to britain where they where they rallied around a brigadier general unknown to
most of the world charles de gaulle and it was from this that the free french reform, but they were very small numbers despite the fall of france churchill announced that britain at least with carry on the war against nazism alone. at 9pm on the 18th of june 1940 listeners tuning into the bbc her churchill deliver. what is perhaps his most famous speech it certainly is best known address over the war. it's uh, his name is given from the final words of the speech. i like to play that last minute or so so for you right here.
what general vagon has called the battle of france is over? the battle of britain is about to begin. upon this battle depends the survival of christian civilization. upon it depends our own british life. and the long continuity of our institutions and our empire. so fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. if we can stand up to him all europe may be freed and the life of the world may move forward into broad sunlight a plan. we fail. then the whole world including the united states. including all that we have known
and cared for. will sink into the abyss. of a new dark age made more sinister and perhaps more protracted by the lights of perverted science let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty. so bear ourselves. but if the british empire and its commonwealth last for a thousand years manuel still say this was their finest hour. by sheer coincidence on the very same day that churchill delivered that speech london's evening standard published this david lowe cartoon, which in many ways encapsulates what that speech delivered that evening was going to tell the british people. it's wonderfully.
i wonderful cartoon wonderful illustration is become iconic showing the crashing waves and the threatening skies turning into warplanes and it it gave the british people heart in the same way that the churchill speech did that speech and others like it from 1940 to 1942 are the bedrock of churchill's reputation. as a speaker. now you may have heard a several stories about his speeches among them that. that they were delivered by an actor, which is not true. i and other people will claim that they heard speeches or of her recordings of a speeches from radio broadcasts that were not given the problem here. is that many of these speeches were delivered in the house of
commons, and we're never broadcast. the reason for that was that at the start of churchill's premiership. it was suggested that microphones be brought into the house of commons so that these speeches could be recorded and then later played on the bbc that evening but traditionalists would have nothing of it and so in some cases these speeches were never heard by the broader public that was true for instance of churchill's tribute to the royal air force when he said never has so much been owed by so many to so few. what you sometimes did get were broadcasters read long portions of these speeches during new newscasts that evening, but none of them ever pretended to be churchill and self churchill also when he did deliver these speeches on radio found that he was delivering the speeches twice once in the commons and
then later that evening on the bbc. this helps explain also why some people reported that he seemed tired in these speeches and a few others wondered if he might have even been drunk, but that wasn't true either. however, the overwhelming reaction to churchill speeches. the criticisms aside can probably be best summed up by the novelist naomi roy smith after she heard one of these speeches in september 1940. is what she wrote in her diary? the statement of facts are made. the dangerous presented long successions of monosyllables beat on the ear like the sound of an army marching to drums. sounds simple enough. how few men can do it? put another way churchill's defiant speeches gave voice to
equally defiance spirits. and when you look at this period what shines through is that this one man made the difference there are times when you can say that one person is truly indispensable. the american president john f kennedy, uh agreed years later kennedy remarked a churchill mobilized the english language sent it into battle. in 1939 britain was still the world's dominant naval power. it still the world's largest navy. the world's fourth largest fleet and the second largest in europe belong to france. despite assurances by french commanders that they would never allow hitler to get his hands on their ships after they surrendered churchill was not convinced rightly as it turned out. he believed that hitler was going to force the french to
hand over these ships after a convenient period of time. with these ships the germans could overwhelm the royal navy and invade britain itself. the main force of the french fleet was located not in france, but and what was then french algeria at a port near or on called mirrors, el kabir? in early, july determined to keep the these worships out of nazi hands churchill despite. this dispatched a a royal naval task force and once it arrived at mirrors el cabeer, it's commander gave the french is french opposite for options. join britain to carry on the battle against nazism. a sale under british escort to the french west indies where the
ships would be immobilized for the duration of the war. scuttle your own worships or be destroyed when no reply was forthcoming the commander of the british task force james somerville ordered his ships to let loose on the french crippling the french fleet. and in the process killing 1,299 french sailors the french as you might imagine were deeply in bittered by this attack and as you can see in this poster of this drowning french sailor shouting the words, never forget or all. for his part churchill. deeply regretted the necessity of this action. he called it. he's called his order a hateful decision the most unnatural and painful in which i have ever
been concerned. the next day when he calling in his sad duty reported the attacks to parliament what happened next stunned him and those around him there was a long silence. no, one can quite believe the ruthlessness of this attack. and then suddenly the entire house of commons not just labor and liberal mps, but for the first time conservative mps stood up cheering their prime minister. the churchill took no joy in what had happened one of those presents said he sat with tears streaming down his face. what churchill could not know was that this attack had an unexpected effect on the other side of the world in washington at the time franklin roosevelt's advisors had been telling him that the war was a lost cause
that britain could not possibly win and there was no use giving any assistance to the british nation. mirzell kabir proved that the war was far from over among those who noticed was franklin roosevelt. after the fall of france the british people faced the very real danger. of a nazi invasion there's long been a debate on how seriously hitler contemplated such a move. it is true. he delayed for a long time, but that's probably because he always thought that a peace initiative would be coming from london same piece initiative that lord halifax wanted to send but it didn't. in the aftermath of the dunkirk evacuation a german invasion would have been possible in southern england. there was only one fully equipped army division, which was canadian, by the way.
in may the war department had set up a local defense force a last line of defense if britain was invaded. these men which churchill remained the home guard. what he couldn't give them at the time were actual weapons with which to fight. those weapons did come along with uniforms giving rise to the popular nickname for these units dad's army. uh, it would be a mistake to dismiss nazi plans for invasion of britain as simply a pipe dream these plans were drawn up. and what was called operation sea lion? the problem was that the german forces had to contend with what what when with what one french general one's called the world's
biggest tank trap namely the english channel. that also meant contending with the royal navy and it meant contending with the raf. gaining control the channel and the sky's over it. we're necessary before any invasion could be launched and this proved to be the case when the allies invaded in the opera the opposite direction in 1944. churchill's reputation largely rests on what's called the battle of britain and the blitz that followed that is the liftwaffe's nightly bombing of all of britain's major cities between night september 1940 in may 1941 many historians say this was the high point of churchill's career. it was also an epic moment in british history as he recounted in his sixth volume account of the war the second world war as
it's called. critics have attacked churchill's portrayal of the british during the battle of britain as being entirely on their own. which is true? at the same time it is not. british pilots follow alongside men from the nations of occupied europe like these men from czechoslovakia. there were a few and i want to emphasize very few pilots from neutral countries such as these americans who flew with the raf before the united states was in the war. more importantly the raf included pilots from the empire from canada from australia from new zealand, but also from places we tend to forget like these men from what was then called british india today india, pakistan and bangladesh. yet even with this help from the
empire and the commonwealth britain was on its own in 1940. the british one the battle of britain because of these pilots as you might gather from this newsreel. while the public takes shelter our fighter pilots take off to destroy the enemy. nice dramatic, isn't it? i love those little newsreels. the british also had one other advantage during the battle of britain and that was radar. it was technology that the
british had developed by this time, but the germans had not and as you can see radar allowed the british to uh, located direction of a tax coming towards them from the low countries and from as well as from france itself. um often overlooked in this battle are the women of the raf. these were those these women worked at the radar stations and without whom this technology would have been all that worthless. they deserve a great deal of credit, which as i say is is often forgotten today. throughout the summer the luftwaffe targeted airfields and radar stations and by early september they had the rf on its knees. the battle of britain was a close one thing. then on the 7th of september
unexpectedly the germans turned their attention to london itself and launched a daylight attack on the docklands in the east the fires from the docklands were still burning that night when the lift waffle returned so that all they had to do was fly along the thames to the the side of the flames on the horizon and bomb the city a second time in one day. however, when they return the following day when they return to land what they thought was going to be the knockout blow. the raf was waiting for them. this battle climax the following week on the 15th of september and by that time it became clear that the raf controlled the skies over britain during daytime at least. and two days later operation sea lion only then was indefinitely
postponed. put another way the raf had won the battle of britain. it's become fashionable. in some quarters to downplay the importance of the battle of britain of britain's role in the war more generally indeed of the anglo-american contribution to the defeat of fascism in europe. it is true that the soviet people bore the brunt of the struggle throughout the war from june 1941 to may of 1945. but you can go too far in the opposite direction, and i'd like to show a clip from a documentary made as a cobreduction by the americans and the british at the end of the war for review from germany itself. which you might find worth hearing. yeah, it seems to disappeared.
well, isn't that typical? i'm so sorry. let me go on up the clip showed the allies entering hamburg and a german woman walking up to a british officer surveying the damage. and she turned to the british officer and she said if only you had given up in 1940. just need never have happened in other words 1940 was a crucial attorney point whether historians today like to think so or not the next phase of the battle of uh of the war was what's called the blitz which lasted from september 1940 till may 1941 when hitler turned his attention is only then from the british isles to the soviet union. all of the nations major cities
were attacked during the nightly raids, and it's here. it's certainly true that the british people did stand alone and they suffer a great deal for it. during the blitz during the battle of britain earlier churchill seemed to be everywhere. in parliament inspecting military units in the newspapers and on radio and not least in the streets. the historian richard ovary has set of 1940 that is one of those instances when the hour found the man. churchill made the british people believe they could win the war and this is backed up by a canadian eyewitness who was in london at the time and said that he recorded he recorded a connection between the people and their prime minister. he wrote that churchill makes them feel they are living their history. and they were indeed.
seems like this are something that i think few a few of us can imagine. um despite help from the empire despite the fact that they had warned it off invasion at least for the time being the british people were then on the front line for that long year with no end in sight to the war and little hope of victory londoners in many cases did find shelter in the london underground to at night only to wake up the next morning to scenes like this. one in itself was bob for 76 nights in a row. during one of the worst rays on the 29th of december london's fire brigades literally ran out of water fighting all the blazers around the city. including around the famous cathedrals paul's which makes i think this photograph all the
more compelling and why is one of the iconic images of the second world war. certainly lens credence to churchill's statement that this was their finest hour. that's not to say churchill was always well received during his walkabouts that the reception was always a warm reception. well visiting one bombed out neighborhood as residents were digging to find what was left of their belongings. churchill looked around and said we can take it. the women in the crowd turn on him and according to one eyewitness told him exactly what he could take in no uncertain terms. um that said churchill did have the ability to inspire britons to inspire people throughout occupied europe. that was undeniable not least. he understood the importance of symbols. it was churchill who inspired
the v for victory sign and this a symbol v for victory became a tool in the allied propaganda campaign, especially with the use of beethoven's the opening notes of beethoven's 5th symphony symphony, which happened to coincide with the morse coast signal for the letter v dot dot dash as you can hear here. this irritated the nazis no end joseph gerbils tried to turn the campaign around but by that time the v for victory was an allied tool not an access one. so his effort did no good some of you may know however that the
reverse for the fee for victory josh and gesture with the palm of your hand facing in as here has a quite different meaning in some parts of the world including in britain. a recent film about churchill starring gary oldham one of the secretaries has to inform his churchill character about this being a rude gesture, but it's hard to believe that churchill didn't know this he had served in the army after all if you indulge me i'd like to show you a very brief clip from a documentary about the bbc during world war two. well this took place when churchill visited the eighth army in north africa to show you that churchill knew exactly what he was doing and so so did the soldiers i have seen it. written on half a sheet in her paper can be done and it will be done.
in august 1942 churchill went to the desert to visit the eighth army. churchill was standing up there there under the african sun wearing one of those siren suits one of those romper suits that he used to wear during the blitzerland. i have seen it. vietnam harbor sheet an earth paper can be done and it will be done. in august 1942 churchill went to the desert to visit the eighth army. churchill was standing up there there under the african sun wearing one of those siren suits on those romper suits that he used to wear during the blitzers out at home. he must have been rather hot in egypt in it. yes, well sort of that glitch. i don't if you caught that but the the side of those soldiers returning the favorites to him. i think his priceless especially as men staying on the tank. i don't know if you caught it, but earlier than men standing by the artillery piece and the one
soldier looking at all the others with the expression on his face. are we really going to do this the prime minister? and they did um churchill of course could not have carried on the war without a cabinet to back him men such as antony eden who was seated third from our left with as his foreign secretary. we also tend to overlook the man who was in fact if not in name churchill's deputy prime minister and the leader of the labor party clement atley who is seated at churchill's, right? um, these two mechan could not have been more different but during the war well churchill concentrated on the broader war itself and on the alliance, especially it was left to aptly to conduct the government's day business including sharing the war cabinet with churchill was
overseas and leading the house of commons. one other member who should be mentioned the man seated at the far left earnest. bevin was the minister of labor. uh, bevin was the dominating figure of the trade unions in britain and he and churchill genuinely admired each other churchill set of bevin that he had the right stuff in him churchill needed to recreate a war economy and that job mainly fell to bevin during the nightly raids and later in the war during the v1 and v2 attacks on southern england. it was bevin who mobilized not just all men but women to wage the war women were conscripted in world war two under churchill's government. they can either sir in the land army. they could work in the war factories or they could join the
forces. as it was called and it worked. and that was largely down to bevin himself which churchill rightly gave credit to for that feat. from january 1941 until the us entered the war really in december that year churchill's war strategy boiled down to three words keep buggering on. the best that he could expect was to keep the war against hitler alive until the americans somehow joined the struggle that included bombing german cities. but there's no really foreseeable or realistic. hope that the british could take the war back into europe in any foreseeable future. churchill did create the commandos as i mentioned this morning to mount raids on occupied europe like these men
in norway, but while a commando's kept the war going they were really no more than pinpricks in in hitler's europe at the stage the only place where the british could take on the access powers in any large numbers was in north africa. um the western desert as it was called by the british was a war that began from the summer of 1940 when mussolini entered the war thinking he was going to get some cheap spoils not just against france but also against the british in north africa. when the battle started in north africa the british handed the italians a right good thrashing, but this was just the beginning of a sea salt struggle that would continue all the way back
and forth across north africa for the next three years. the number of the amount of surrenders of forces during this war sometimes is overlooked. it was often the tens and by the end hundreds of thousands. the initially the british almost ended the war in north africa early 1941 when they were on the verge of taking the italian or sorry the libyan port of tripoli. but it was just at this moment that hitler began his assault on the balkans. first slicing through the slavia and then moving into grease itself. churchill feeling that he had to keep a promise to help the greeks if if they were invaded did just that when hitler launched an assault on greece
with the italians it did nothing stop the germans from taking greece putting their flag atop the acropolis having lost greece the british then retreated to the island of crete. where german paratroopers help to force the british forces from crete itself and another huge surrender of forces who could not be evacuated by this time. you could add the names of greece and crete to norway and dunkirk. to a string of evacuations and defeats at the time one width said that bef for did not stand for british expeditionary force it stood for back every friday. this group debacle forced a new confidence vote against churchill for his handling of the war. this was not the first vote of no confidence he had to deal with he wanted but it was not a
good sign more immediately in north africa itself hitler had dispatched one of his best generals heroin rommel and a new force called the africa corps. churchill himself had great respect for ronald. he even called him a a great general and this led to another round of the war in north africa one bright spot being for the british being the defense of the port of to brook as you can see in that map just across the red line there in libya. by australian and british and later polish forces this defensive to brooke ensure that for the time being. anyway, hitler's forces could not take this to us. canal could not go into the middle of middle middle eastern oil fields, but even so the war was far from over and and churchill was no closer to
coming to grips in europe itself with hitler's forces in europe. i believe is 1:30, and i think i'm supposed to stop. when churchill became prime minister in may 1940, uh, he was informed by the chiefs of staff. that any kind of victory that they could hook to gain would only come about through support from the united states. and this became one of churchill's primary war aims and that was that was to woo america in general and itsre
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