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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

World War II in Europe

On 1 September 1939 World War II broke out in Europe, with the German invasion of Poland (followed by the Soviet invasion of Poland on 17 September 1939).

Here is an appreciation of Britian's wartime leader, Prime Minister Winston Churchill.  The author is well respected historian Max Hastings.

I don't believe Max Hastings is far short of the mark when he says:
It was a war that, without him, could not even have been fought.  It was his inspiration that prevented Britain from joining the rest of Europe in surrendering to the might of Nazi Germany.
Maybe it was the fact that his Mother was an American; from Brooklyn.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Winston became Prime Minister on 10 May 1940, replacing Neville Chamberlain, whose time in office was overcome by the defeat of the Allies in the Battle of France.

2 comments:

The New Englander said...

Cliff,

An amazing but perhaps underappreciated example of Mr. Churchill sending a message to Nazi Germany was in 1940 when he ordered the sinking of the French fleet near Algeria.

Even though the decision still leads to criticism of Churchill, he deserves credit for seeing ahead down the road (German seizure of the ships), and for first offering the sail to USA, sail to Britain, or scuttle options...only when all those three were refused was the skirmish begun in which the French lost three battleships and nearly 1300 men..

That's a gutsy call by any standard or time period..

best,
gp

C R Krieger said...

GP is right about the British attack on the French Fleet at Mers-el-K├ębir.  And the importance of naval power to eventually defeating the Italians and Germans in North Africa (Remember General Erwin Rommel?).

Regards  —  Cliff