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He later reported this to Churchill, adding that he had no reason to hedge his bet. The prime minister only smiled and replied, My dear General, I pray you are right. The success of Operation Overlord in June gave the Allies great confidence. Not unreasonably, even observers with acute anxieties on its eve could become cocky in the weeks after the initial landings in France.

Churchill was steadier. Just before Overlord he had warned leaders of the Dominion nations that while we are making the most intense efforts to compel an early victory, he could give no guarantee that Overlord would bring about a speedy end to the struggle. Five weeks after D-Day, the defense minister noted that planning by British chiefs of staff assumed that the Joint Intelligence Committee JIC was right and that Germany would be defeated in the remainder of In fact, Churchill persisted, if the Germans tried, they should be able to carry on well into next year.

There was a similar exchange two months later, on September 8. Allied advances eastward had been impressive, and the JIC still predicted German collapse within the year. Churchill declared to his chiefs of staff that they would be wrong to accept that. It was therefore at least as likely that Hitler will be fighting on the 1st of January [] as that he will collapse before then.

If he does collapse before then, the reasons will be political rather than purely military.


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This angered Alan Brooke, who was thinking ahead to the necessary transfers of troops to the Pacific. This was untrue and unfair. Brooke himself had erred several times in predicting the end of the war. Minutes of the War Cabinet for October 17 show the prime minister asserting that the war might last until the end of February Ten days later he cautiously told the House of Commons, We believe that we are in the last lap, but this is a race in which failure to exert the fullest effort to the end may postpone that end to periods almost unendurable to those who have the race in their hands….

The last day of the month, however, found him more daring; he gave the House of Commons a rather exact forecast, amid its discussion of when the electorate should next vote. Churchill told them the German war could end in the spring; he mentioned March, April and May of British elections should come about two months later. On September 9, when a Cabinet Demobilization Committee had already been deliberating for a year, one civil servant was told by Churchill that such matters should be deferred until the breaking of the German home army and until more could be known about the new demands of the Pacific.

The sharpest message in this vein went to Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden who, despite his heroism against appeasement in the s, sometimes had suffered rough handling, or negligence, from his boss. This subject had often been discussed, with Allies and privately. What Eden got on this occasion was the personal end of a Personal Minute: It is a mistake to try to write out on little pieces of paper what the vast emotions of an outraged and quivering world will be either immediately after the struggle is over or when the inevitable cold fit follows the hot….

PDF Lesson Plans Winston Churchill: A Penguin Life

The cause for this deferral may lie in preoccupations with , which was not beginning well. The new year came with the Battle of the Bulge, a renewal of U-boat war, German V-rocket attacks and the combat debut of jet aircraft. January found Churchill thinking war would end in six or eight months more, according to a Minute of January 4.

I think he is optimistic. Consider that Alan Brooke, the former optimist, pessimistically recorded in February that he could see no indications of Germany cracking up and it is quite impossible to estimate how long it may last. A diary entry of April 10 retained those ambiguities. Only by April 20 was he sure victory was pending. Encouraged by the Soviet movements on the Berlin-Dresden front, the general felt we shall still have several more weeks in front of us, before we finish off the war.

That suicide occurred 10 days later. Victory in Europe Day was approaching on the April airs. This imminence was felt in ways small and large. On April 14, Churchill instructed the Board of Trade to emphasize civilian clothing production by a shift of 20 percent from military uniforms. On April 29, as the Battle of Berlin raged and the Fhrer prepared to end his life, the prime minister sent a telegram to Anthony Eden, in San Francisco, where the foreign minister was expected to be a further four weeks in work on the world organization.

The message summoned him home: It seems to me most likely that electioneering will begin the moment after the end of the German war, and you will probably find it in full swing before you return. It was. On July 5, Britain held its first election for a leader since the fighting in Europe had come to an end on May 7. Three weeks later, as Churchill was meeting with Stalin and Harry S.

His very wartime success ensured that when victory finally came, the British public would search for someone whom they did not view as a war leader and who would quickly return them to a peacetime economy. It was a defeat that most, including Churchill, had never expected. It was also shaped by consistent study of both open and secret intelligence. Then it was disciplined by his capacity for concentration. Finally, it was tested in its conclusions by regular debate with professional diplomats and military men. Well before , Winston S.


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  • This is fine writing by a, dare I say, highly experienced writer who was right in the thick of things almost from the word go. What a stroke of luck it was that Churchill, like Caesar but unlike Napoleon, both lived it and wrote it. May 23, Lisa rated it really liked it Shelves: history-ww2. This second volume of Churchill's history of the Second World War is written in his wonderful style, and quite detailed. Unfortunately the maps in the ebook are, as often happens, too small to see well.

    World War II: Winston Churchill’s Vision of Victory

    Churchill does a good job of describing what they knew at the time and what they found out later from captured Nazi records. Much of the book seems to consist of long quotations of his own memoranda to others at the time, showing that he suggested successful strategies, argued against unsuccessfu This second volume of Churchill's history of the Second World War is written in his wonderful style, and quite detailed.

    Much of the book seems to consist of long quotations of his own memoranda to others at the time, showing that he suggested successful strategies, argued against unsuccessful ones, and generally was in charge. But whose insights are better? His need to justify his actions at the time seems totally unnecessary to the admiring twenty-first century reader, but one must remember that he was writing after giving his professional life to the government of Britain and steering his country well and wisely through the incredibly difficult and dangerous years of the war, and then being kicked out of the government when victory had been achieved.

    One of those books that every student of World War II should probably read--although he has been a source in many others. The right man for the time, indeed.

    Mar 22, Streator Johnson rated it it was amazing. What an extraordinary work. We are lucky to have such a mammoth document from one so close to all that happened during this period. Now I haven't read many of these types of works U. Grant's autobiography is on my list , but I am fascinated by these books only four more to go. And I know one has to take what is said with a little salt, but like I said, it is still fascinating. This one covers from about May of to January And that is pages, to give you an idea of the detail he goes into.

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    And since it covers the period of the Battle of Britain, it is quite exciting even when you know what's going to happen. I strongly recommend this series for anyone who has a history bent. Oct 06, John rated it really liked it Shelves: british.

    Churchill's first hand account of WW2. This volume covers the early war when England stood alone. France had fallen.

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    The USA was not yet in. Nazi Germany had an agreement with the Soviet Union. Italy stood with Germany. Great read. Aug 17, Daniel rated it it was amazing.