Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 (The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume 3)
William Manchester, Paul Reid
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Spanning the years of 1940-1965, The Last Lion picks up shortly after Winston Churchill became Prime Minister-when his tiny island nation stood alone against the overwhelming might of Nazi Germany. The Churchill conjured up by William Manchester and Paul Reid is a man of indomitable courage, lightning fast intellect, and an irresistible will to action. The Last Lion brilliantly recounts how Churchill organized his nation's military response and defense; compelled FDR into supporting America's beleaguered cousins, and personified the "never surrender" ethos that helped the Allies win the war, while at the same time adapting himself and his country to the inevitable shift of world power from the British Empire to the United States.
More than twenty years in the making, The Last Lion presents a revelatory and unparalleled portrait of this brilliant, flawed, and dynamic leader. This is popular history at its most stirring.
Remote West England village and educated in secondary (public) schools, he dropped his “h’s” and “g’s” in the west country fashion. Bevin would have said “G’ ta ’ell man.” Thus, someone other than Bevin must have told the constable where to go. Colville was too junior, Pug Ismay too polite. Only one suspect remained. In any event, the group motored onward to the park, where they found the big guns silent. It was raining, and, with no German aircraft overhead, Churchill stopped by the officers’.
Had opposed) is understood not to wish to send for Winston.” Nevertheless, an all-party government was essential, and Labour had been adamant: they would not serve under Chamberlain.1 Defending Britain and her Empire would be the new prime minister’s responsibility for the next five years, or until he was hurled from office by Parliament or Hitler. Yet, as he rode back from Buckingham Palace, neither he nor anyone else in London felt unduly alarmed over the course of the war. Little was known.
Not a law but a loose confederation of words upholding the “right of all people to choose the form of government under which they will live” and pledging the “restoration of sovereign rights and self-government to those people who have been forcibly deprived of them by the aggressor nations.” Two weeks later, Churchill explained it all to the House. First, he placed blame for the need to even conduct such negotiations squarely at the feet of the London Poles: Let me remind the House, and those.
Of his people; in his diary he wrote: “How can we talk of peace with Germany now after they have overrun and demoralized the peoples of so many countries in Europe? Until Germany is prepared to live peaceably with her neighbors in Europe, she will always be a menace. We have got to get rid of her aggressive spirit, her engines of war & the people who have been taught to use them.”148 Afterward, Englishmen as skeptical of politicians as Bernard Shaw and Malcolm Muggeridge agreed that had anyone.
Between searchlights and anti-aircraft guns held promise, but the technology—code-named Elsie—had entered the testing stage only weeks earlier. Not until early 1941 would the first AA guns (Churchill always called them “cannons”) be outfitted with fire-control radar. Barrage balloons (used to support wires or nets as protection against air attacks) kept enemy planes high, making German targeting more difficult and reducing bomb accuracy, but the Germans were more intent on causing terror than.