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10 Things You May Not Know About Winston Churchill

10 Things You May Not Know About Winston Churchill


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1. Winston Churchill’s mother was an American.

In the late 19th century, it was rather common for British aristocrats to marry U.S. heiresses. One such relationship matched Lord Randolph Churchill, the third son of the seventh Duke of Marlborough, with Jennie Jerome, the Brooklyn-born daughter of a wealthy financier. The couple had two children together: Winston in 1874 and Jack in 1880. Yet the relationship purportedly soured, and Jennie was frequently absent. She remained in England following Lord Randolph’s death in 1895 and would marry twice more, in both instances to men two decades her junior.

READ MORE: Meet the Woman Behind Winston Churchill

2. Churchill almost didn’t make it into military school.

As a student, Churchill performed poorly in virtually every subject except history and English composition. He was particularly inept at foreign languages. In a memoir, he described taking a two-hour-long Latin test that he left completely blank apart from his name and the number of the first question, along with “a blot and several smudges.” His plan to attend the Royal Military College at Sandhurst suffered a setback when he twice failed the entrance examinations. With the help of a military tutor, he finally qualified the third time around, but only for the cavalry class, which had lower standards than the infantry.

3. A daring escape from prison camp earned him instant fame.

After graduating from Sandhurst, Churchill took leave from the army and traveled to Cuba, where he reported on an uprising for a London newspaper. He subsequently served as a war correspondent and military officer, a dual role then permitted, in India, Sudan and South Africa. Upon arriving in South Africa in 1899, his armored train was ambushed by Boers, the descendants of Dutch settlers who were fighting the British at the time. Churchill was captured and marched to a prison camp, which he soon escaped from by scaling a wall at night, even as two of his fellow prisoners turned back. With no precise plan, Churchill luckily stumbled upon the house of a British coal mine manager, who hid him in a mineshaft for three days and then sent him on a wool-filled rail truck into Mozambique. From there, Churchill caught a ship back to South Africa and rushed to the front a newfound hero.

4. He organized a massive World War I attack that failed spectacularly.

Churchill’s political career began in 1900 when he was elected to Parliament, a position he would hold for more than 60 years. He secured his first cabinet post in 1908, and by 1911 had advanced to become First Lord of the Admiralty (the British equivalent of U.S. Secretary of the Navy). In this capacity, he prepared an amphibious assault during World War I against the crumbling Ottoman Empire. Churchill believed such action would allow the British to link up with their Russian allies, put added pressure on Germany’s eastern front and possibly even tip the balance of the entire conflict. But when Allied battleships entered the Dardanelles strait, located near present-day Istanbul, in March 1915, Ottoman fire sank three of them, severely damaged three others and sent the remainder into retreat. Allied troops similarly failed to gain ground during months of fighting on the adjacent Gallipoli Peninsula, suffering over 250,000 casualties in the process. Although Churchill lost his admiralty post as a result of the failure, he was eventually able to rehabilitate his reputation.

READ MORE: Winston Churchill's World War Disaster

5. Churchill was no fan of Gandhi.

Throughout much of his life, Churchill opposed any form of autonomy for India. He reserved particular dislike for nonviolent independence leader Mohandas Gandhi, at one point calling him “a seditious Middle Temple lawyer now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the East,” and he even favored letting Gandhi die during a hunger strike. Churchill’s imperialist attitude came through with regards to other British colonies as well. He once asserted, for example, that Zulus, Afghans and Dervishes were “savages and barbarous peoples.”

6. Most of his famous speeches came within a few months of each other.

Churchill took over as prime minister in May 1940 after a disastrous start to World War II in which Nazi Germany conquered much of Europe. A master orator, he did his best to rally the nation in the face of near-certain attack, giving six major speeches in four months. During the first of those, he told Parliament that he had “nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” On June 4, he similarly declared, “We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.” And on June 18, as France prepared to submit to the Nazis, he told his countrymen to “brace ourselves to our duties and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.’”

7. Churchill was voted out of office before World War II’s end.

In July 1945, after Germany had surrendered but not Japan, Britain held its first general election in a decade. To the surprise of many, Churchill’s Conservative Party lost in a landslide, having been successfully portrayed by the Labour Party as anti-worker and anti-welfare. “They have a perfect right to kick us out,” he purportedly said upon hearing the news. “That is democracy. That is what we have been fighting for.” He returned to the premiership in 1951, remaining there until ill health induced him to resign three-and-a-half years later.

8. Churchill popularized the term “iron curtain.”

Despite his misgivings about communism, Churchill gladly allied himself with the Soviet Union during World War II. Afterwards, however, he began to harbor serious misgivings about the Soviet Union’s aims. In a March 1946 speech, he spoke of “an iron curtain [that] has descended across the continent.” “Behind that line,” he said, countries are subject “to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow.” From that point forward, Western officials continuously mentioned the “iron curtain” when talking about the USSR.

WATCH NOW: Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech

9. He was an award-winning author.

Churchill wrote volumes of books over the course of his life, the first of which detailed his army experiences in India, Sudan and South Africa. He later penned a biography of his father, a biography of the first Duke of Marlborough, numerous volumes on World War I and World War II, a history of English-speaking peoples and one novel that he urged his friends not to read. In 1953, while serving his second term as prime minister, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature for “his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values.”

10. Churchill was extremely accident-prone.

As a youth, Churchill once suffered a concussion and ruptured a kidney while playfully throwing himself off a bridge. Later on, he nearly drowned in a Swiss lake, fell several times from horses, dislocated his shoulder while disembarking from a ship in India, crashed a plane while learning to fly and was hit by a car when he looked the wrong way to cross New York’s Fifth Avenue. None of these incidents left him debilitated. He lived until age 90 before finally succumbing to a stroke.

Watch full episodes of World War II: Race to Victory.


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Winston Churchill

WW2 British PM Winston Churchill is, arguably, one of the most respected leaders of the 20th century [which is a feat considering all the political figures this century had] and because of that, there is no shortage of historians who are devoted at telling everything about the life of the WW2 British PM. Even so, WHO has made up a list of 10 things you may not know about the WW2 British PM.

If you know them then, fine but if you don’t, at least you have something to brag about the next time you see your history enthusiast friends!

1. The WW2 British PM and His Love for Silk Undies

We all care about what’s underneath our pants [and skirts for the women] and we splurge on underwear that are not on sale from time to time. WW2 British PM Winston Churchill was no different.

However, his love for comfortable undies go more than that — he preferred them to be made out of “very fine woven silk [said to be in pale pink color]” from the Army and navy stores. During the Second World War, silk must have been a highly restricted commodity as Mrs. Churchill divulged that her husband’s undies “cost the eyes out of his head”.

So, it could be said that the WW2 British PM rallied the whole United Kingdom into winning the Second World War with a cigar, a snifter of whisky and a pair of pale pink silk undies.

2. The WW2 British PM, His Love for Whisky and India

Churchill’s love for something with alcohol is a common knowledge. It is even said that one time he commented on how he had made it a rule in his life never to drink nonalcoholic drinks between meals.

But did you know that the WW2 British PM used to hate whisky? But a trip in India changed that.

It was in the subcontinent where he learned to drink it the right way and thus, developing an “acquired taste” for it. Soon, he deviated into Johnny Walker which he drank with soda.

3. The WW2 British PM and His Fondness for Cats [or Animals for that Matter]

While most history buffs see the WW2 British Prime Minister as akin to the British bulldog for very obvious reasons, Churchill in real life was very fond of cats.

As a matter of fact, there was one cat he really loved — his marmalade-hued with white bib and socks feline friend, Jock. The cat was named after his private secretary, Sir John “Jock” Colville and had left a legacy that even after the death of the WW2 British PM, it was put into writing that a marmalade cat named Jock should be Chartwell’s [now run by the National Trust] resident feline.

And that has been carried on until today.

4. The WW2 British PM “Flashing” the WW2 American President

Winston Churchill didn’t give a fig about what others thought about him. One time, he flashed WW2 American President Franklin D.Roosevelt. He slipped a bath towel off all the while declaring that he “had nothing to hide”.

5. The WW2 British PM and His Fondness for Cats [or Animals for that Matter] Part II

The WW2 British PM was not only known for his unwavering will during the war. He was also known to take on a number of animals as pets. If that doesn’t convince you that Churchill was an animal lover, then this anecdote will.

One time, the WW2 British PM asked his wife, Clementine, to carve the goose they were having for dinner.

“You’ll have to carve it, Clemmie. He was my friend,” he said.

6. Bribing the WW2 British PM to Quit Smoking

Imagine Winston Churchill without his signature cigar? Well, that would be difficult as Churchill and cigars seem to go hand in hand.

But there was one time the British political leader’s mother tried to bribe him to quit smoking and she succeeded . . . well, almost.

When the future WW2 British PM was just 15, his mum convinced him to put off his cigar for six months in exchange for a pony and a gun. Churchill did just that!

He got his pony and his gun and went back to smoking after six months.

7. Clear or Creamy Soup?

The WW2 British PM preferred clear soup as a meal starter compared to cream soup. He detested the latter. And speaking of meals, Churchill also loved to go on picnics.

8. The WW2 British PM and His Love for Musicals

Yes, mighty Winston Churchill loved musicals. Well, that fact is really implied as based on what the historians found in his record cabinet — Gilbert and Sullivan [a theatrical partnership way back in the Victorian-era] as well as Marie Lloyd and Harry Lauder, Music Hall veterans.

9. Winston Churchill’s Love for Movies

Aside from his implied love for musicals, the WW2 British PM was also fond of movies. He was known to watch them with his family, staff and even guests regularly in his home. Furthermore, like his love for everything fine [including underwear], he had an exceptional taste in his film choice.

For one, his favorite movie was That Hamilton Woman which starred Vivien Leigh and Sir Lawrence Olivier.

10. The WW2 British PM and His Value for Time

Winston Churchill believe time to be a precious commodity that he never wore lace-up shoes. His reason was he “liked to slip in and out of things”.


Ten Things About Churchill You May Not Know

Winston Churchill was one of the greatest leaders of the twentieth century. He was a colorful and controversial figure. At times during his life, he was a politician, journalist, writer, and soldier. Churchill was a true Renaissance Man and he led a life of adventure and drama, even before he became a leading politician. Today, he is one of the most revered and beloved figures in British History and is admired throughout the world. He is a symbol of freedom and the willingness to fight for what is right. Churchill is rightly seen as the champion of democracy

His ancestor was the famous Duke Of Marlborough, one of England&rsquos greatest diplomats and generals. Churchill was very much inspired by his great ancestor and revered his memory.

His father was one of the leading politicians of his time. At one stage it seemed that he would become Prime Minister. Winston&rsquos mother was American and she was a renowned beauty. The fact that his mother was American meant that he was also very interested in all things American and had a particular fondness for the country.

Churchill visiting a bombed out Cathedral during WW II

He was involved in intelligence gathering during the Boer War. Churchill was very lucky to escape with his life during this war and he showed conspicuous bravery during this conflict.

During WW I Churchill was in charge of the British Navy. He was one of the main instigators of the Gallipoli campaign. The invasion was a costly failure and resulted in the loss of many lives. Churchill was forced to resign from his office and at the time it seemed that his political career was finished.

Churchill after he resigned from the British War Cabinet, volunteered as an officer and served with distinction on the Frontline in France.

Winston was often short of money and he had to depend on his journalism and writings. He was a very popular writer and he made a large fortune from his writings. However, he was also a great spendthrift!

Churchill was one of the first to see the dangers in Nazism and Fascism in the 1930s.He believed that these ideologies threatened world peace and especially Britain. In speeches in the House of Commons and in his journalism, he denounced Hitler and he condemned all of those British politicians who wanted to appease Hitler in order to prevent another war.

Winston Churchill had an enormous appetite and he would regularly consume vast amounts of food and had a particular liking for chocolate.

Winston Churchill is acknowledged to be a master of the English language and he received the Nobel Prize for Literature for his historical writings, especially his history of the English-speaking peoples.

Churchill loved the South of France and he would regularly holiday there. In later years he would spent a great deal of time there.


10 Things You May Not Know About Winston Churchill - HISTORY

2. Even though he was known for his remarkable ability to make stirring speeches, he actually suffered from a speech impediment which he made a great effort to hide.

3. At his house in Kent, England, he stocked between 3,000 and 4,000 Cuban cigars at a time.

4. Churchill acquired his taste for cigars during his visit to Cuba in 1895. He traveled there because the Cuban uprising against the Spanish empire was, to him, the only interesting war going on at the time.

5. While fighting in the Anglo-Boer war in 1899, he was captured by the Boers and thrown into a POW camp. One night, he was able to make a dramatic escape by vaulting the prison walls. Once out, he stole food and hitched rides until he finally reached safety in Mozambique.

6. In 1904, during his first term in the British Parliament, Churchill helped draft a piece of legislation that mandated the sterilization of those who were referred to at the time as “feeble minded.” He was acting on what he had said years earlier to his cousin: “The improvement of the British breed is my aim in life.”

7. He suffered from intense bouts of depression which he called his “Black Dog” periods. It is now believed that he had bipolar disorder.

8. When justifying his support of the Soviet Union, Churchill famously said, “If Hitler invaded hell, I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.” He was expressing his belief that the enemy of your enemy is your friend.

9. In 1953, Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II to become Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill. During the same year, he had a stroke. Funeral plans were made and called Operation Hope Not.

10. Upon Churchill’s death in 1965, his funeral saw the largest gathering of members of the public and statesmen since 1852, when the Duke of Wellington was buried.


Never Surrender: Ten Things You May Not Know about Sir Winston Churchill

Perhaps one of the most highly regarded figures in British history, Sir Winston Churchill was born into a noble family and saw much time in military service and politics. Despite falling out of favour after the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign during World War I, Churchill came back as Chancellor of the Exchequer, the same post his father had held in the government. Prior to World War II, he was one of a minority of members in the government opposed to the appeasement of Adolf Hitler, and as a result, he quickly rose to the position of party leader and Prime Minister following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain. He then led Britain through the war, and after a brief time out of power again, he came back to lead Britain through the beginnings of the Cold War with Soviet Russia. So what don’t you know about Sir Winston Churchill?

There’s just 48 Hours left to buy our exclusive Churchill T-shirt: Never Surrender. Available on stunning Royal Blue in men’s, women’s, v-neck, long sleeve, hoodie and sweatshirt starting at $16.99 and shipping worldwide. $1 from the sale of each shirt will be donated to the Churchill Centre, which maintains his legacy.

Half-American

Perhaps part of the reason he got on so well with American President Franklin D. Roosevelt was that the “British Bulldog” was himself half-American. Churchill’s mother, Jeanette Jerome, was born in Brooklyn and married Lord Randolph Churchill in 1874. According to legend, she’s responsible for the invention of the Manhattan cocktail. Churchill was also named a “Honorary Citizen of the United States” in 1963 and was the first person to be so honoured.

He Has a Nobel Prize—in Literature

Churchill won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 “for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values.” His works included a novel, two biographies, three memoirs, and several historical accounts many of which are still in print today.

Colourful Language

There are any number of quotes attributed to Churchill, some true, others not. One example of a true quote was that, after the United States passed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibiting the sale of alcohol, Churchill stated that Prohibition was “an affront to the whole history of mankind.” Another quote attributed to him concerned Labour Party rival Clement Atlee and said, “An empty taxi cab pulled up to Parliament and Clement Atlee got out.” Churchill vehemently denied making this quote since he had a great respect for Atlee as Atlee served under Churchill as part of the coalition government during World War II. One of the most famous quotes attributed to him states that either Lady Astor or Bessie Braddock approached him at a party to deride his drunkenness and Churchill allegedly responded, “Madam, in the morning I will be sober, but you will still be ugly.”

The Great Escape

At one point in his military career, Churchill was a Prisoner of War during the Boer War. As a young war correspondent in 1899, Churchill managed to escape from prison and incurred a bounty of £25. With no real escape plan, he managed to find a British mine owner who hid him for three days and then he returned home a hero.

Charlie the Parrot

In 2004, Peter Oram claimed that his pet macaw was 105 years old and was once owned by Churchill. He claimed that the bird’s perchance to curse about the Nazis (and Hitler in particular) was a habit picked up from the Prime Minister. The administrators of Churchill’s home, Chartwell, have rejected Mr. Oram’s claims, though it is unclear whether that’s because Churchill never owned Charlie or they administrators would rather not own up to a cursing parrot.

Iron Curtain

Churchill actually invented the term “Iron Curtain” to describe the rise of Communism in several Eastern European Countries following World War II. In a speech at Westminster College in March 1946, he stated that “an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.” The phrase was picked up on as a reference to the Soviet nations and is thought of as one of the beginning points of the Cold War.

The First SMS Abbreviation was Sent to Him

More specifically, he’s associated with the creation of OMG, which stands for “Oh my God!” Admiral John Arbuthnot “Jacky” Fisher sent Churchill a letter in which Fisher stated that he had heard about a new order of Knighthood known as the “O.M.G. (Oh! My God!)” and suggested it be given to the Admiralty.

War of Words

With Lady Astor, anyway. In addition to the alleged drunkenness comment, Lady Astor once supposedly told Churchill that, were he her husband, she would poison his tea. Churchill’s response was “Madam, if I was your husband, I would drink it.” When Lady Astor joined Parliament after taking over her husband’s seat (as he’d been promoted to the House of Lords), becoming the first woman to sit in the legislative body, Churchill stated that having a woman in Parliament was akin to having one “intrude” on you in the bathroom. Lady Astor responded, “You’re not handsome enough to have such fears.”

Special Relationship

Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt are credited with responsibility for the “very special relationship” between the United Kingdom and the United States formed in response to the threat of Nazi Germany. Speaking of walking in on one in the bathroom, at one point when Churchill was staying at the White House, Roosevelt entered his bedroom excitedly to discuss something as Churchill was getting out of the bath. Though Roosevelt was obviously embarrassed, Churchill allegedly responded, “You see, Mr. President, I have nothing to hide from you.”

Six Monarchs

During his time in Parliament, Churchill had the distinction of serving under six different royals. His career began in 1900 when Queen Victoria still reigned and lasted for fifty-five years, meaning that he served under not only her, but also: Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI, and Elizabeth II.

There’s just 48 Hours left to buy our exclusive Churchill T-shirt: Never Surrender. Available in men’s, women’s, v-neck, long sleeve, hoodie and sweatshirt starting at $16.99 and shipping worldwide. $1 from the sale of each shirt will be donated to the Churchill Centre, which maintains his legacy.


Winston Churchill: 10 things you probably didn't know about Britain's wartime leader

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Sir Winston Churchill is most famous for his inspiring speeches and legendary leadership as Britain battled for survival against the military might of Nazi Germany during WWII.

With his trademark bowler hat, bow tie and cigar - Churchill came to symbolise the &aposbulldog spirit&apos of the British people, during the Battle of Britain in 1940 through to eventual victory in 1945.

But it is his lesser known quirks - from his love of pink silk underwear to his fondness for bricklaying - which prove that the man voted the &aposGreatest Briton&apos of all time was as enigmatic as he was brilliant.

As Britain commemorates the 50th anniversary of his death, we have compiled a list of the top ten things you may not known about Sir Winston Churchill:

1. Accident prone

As a young man, Churchill was continually having bizarre accidents.

These ranged from suffering concussion and rupturing a kidney after playfully hurling himself off a bridge to crashing a plane while learning to fly.

He also nearly drowned in a Swiss lake and was hit by a car during a visit to New York.


10 Things You May Not Know About Winston Churchill

Lt Col Charlie Brown

1. Winston Churchill’s mother was an American.
In the late 19th century, it was rather common for British aristocrats to marry U.S. heiresses. One such relationship matched Lord Randolph Churchill, the third son of the seventh Duke of Marlborough, with Jennie Jerome, the Brooklyn-born daughter of a wealthy financier. The couple had two children together: Winston in 1874 and Jack in 1880. Yet the relationship purportedly soured, and Jennie was frequently absent. She remained in England following Lord Randolph’s death in 1895 and would marry twice more, in both instances to men two decades her junior.

READ MORE: Meet the Woman Behind Winston Churchill

2. Churchill almost didn’t make it into military school.
As a student, Churchill performed poorly in virtually every subject except history and English composition. He was particularly inept at foreign languages. In a memoir, he described taking a two-hour-long Latin test that he left completely blank apart from his name and the number of the first question, along with “a blot and several smudges.” His plan to attend the Royal Military College at Sandhurst suffered a setback when he twice failed the entrance examinations. With the help of a military tutor, he finally qualified the third time around, but only for the cavalry class, which had lower standards than the infantry.

3. A daring escape from prison camp earned him instant fame.
After graduating from Sandhurst, Churchill took leave from the army and traveled to Cuba, where he reported on an uprising for a London newspaper. He subsequently served as a war correspondent and military officer, a dual role then permitted, in India, Sudan and South Africa. Upon arriving in South Africa in 1899, his armored train was ambushed by Boers, the descendants of Dutch settlers who were fighting the British at the time. Churchill was captured and marched to a prison camp, which he soon escaped from by scaling a wall at night, even as two of his fellow prisoners turned back. With no precise plan, Churchill luckily stumbled upon the house of a British coal mine manager, who hid him in a mineshaft for three days and then sent him on a wool-filled rail truck into Mozambique. From there, Churchill caught a ship back to South Africa and rushed to the front a newfound hero.

4. He organized a massive World War I attack that failed spectacularly.
Churchill’s political career began in 1900 when he was elected to Parliament, a position he would hold for more than 60 years. He secured his first cabinet post in 1908, and by 1911 had advanced to become First Lord of the Admiralty (the British equivalent of U.S. Secretary of the Navy). In this capacity, he prepared an amphibious assault during World War I against the crumbling Ottoman Empire. Churchill believed such action would allow the British to link up with their Russian allies, put added pressure on Germany’s eastern front and possibly even tip the balance of the entire conflict. But when Allied battleships entered the Dardanelles strait, located near present-day Istanbul, in March 1915, Ottoman fire sank three of them, severely damaged three others and sent the remainder into retreat. Allied troops similarly failed to gain ground during months of fighting on the adjacent Gallipoli Peninsula, suffering over 250,000 casualties in the process. Although Churchill lost his admiralty post as a result of the failure, he was eventually able to rehabilitate his reputation.

READ MORE: Winston Churchill's World War Disaster

5. Churchill was no fan of Gandhi.
Throughout much of his life, Churchill opposed any form of autonomy for India. He reserved particular dislike for nonviolent independence leader Mohandas Gandhi, at one point calling him “a seditious Middle Temple lawyer now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the East,” and he even favored letting Gandhi die during a hunger strike. Churchill’s imperialist attitude came through with regards to other British colonies as well. He once asserted, for example, that Zulus, Afghans and Dervishes were “savages and barbarous peoples.”

6. Most of his famous speeches came within a few months of each other.
Churchill took over as prime minister in May 1940 after a disastrous start to World War II in which Nazi Germany conquered much of Europe. A master orator, he did his best to rally the nation in the face of near-certain attack, giving six major speeches in four months. During the first of those, he told Parliament that he had “nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” On June 4, he similarly declared, “We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.” And on June 18, as France prepared to submit to the Nazis, he told his countrymen to “brace ourselves to our duties and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.’”

7. Churchill was voted out of office before World War II’s end.
In July 1945, after Germany had surrendered but not Japan, Britain held its first general election in a decade. To the surprise of many, Churchill’s Conservative Party lost in a landslide, having been successfully portrayed by the Labour Party as anti-worker and anti-welfare. “They have a perfect right to kick us out,” he purportedly said upon hearing the news. “That is democracy. That is what we have been fighting for.” He returned to the premiership in 1951, remaining there until ill health induced him to resign three-and-a-half years later.

8. Churchill popularized the term “iron curtain.”
Despite his misgivings about communism, Churchill gladly allied himself with the Soviet Union during World War II. Afterwards, however, he began to harbor serious misgivings about the Soviet Union’s aims. In a March 1946 speech, he spoke of “an iron curtain [that] has descended across the continent.” “Behind that line,” he said, countries are subject “to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow.” From that point forward, Western officials continuously mentioned the “iron curtain” when talking about the USSR.

WATCH NOW: Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech

9. He was an award-winning author.
Churchill wrote volumes of books over the course of his life, the first of which detailed his army experiences in India, Sudan and South Africa. He later penned a biography of his father, a biography of the first Duke of Marlborough, numerous volumes on World War I and World War II, a history of English-speaking peoples and one novel that he urged his friends not to read. In 1953, while serving his second term as prime minister, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature for “his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values.”

10. Churchill was extremely accident-prone.
As a youth, Churchill once suffered a concussion and ruptured a kidney while playfully throwing himself off a bridge. Later on, he nearly drowned in a Swiss lake, fell several times from horses, dislocated his shoulder while disembarking from a ship in India, crashed a plane while learning to fly and was hit by a car when he looked the wrong way to cross New York’s Fifth Avenue. None of these incidents left him debilitated. He lived until age 90 before finally succumbing to a stroke.


How effective was Churchill as a war time leader?

On the same day, Winston Churchill became prime minister on 10 May 1940, German forces poured into Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and France. By 21 May, encircled British and French troops had fallen back to the beaches near the port of Dunkirk. All seemed lost as the bulk of the British Army lay at the mercy of the German Army. However, Hitler ordered his troops not to attack and a fleet of boats and ships was able to ferry 338,000 soldiers back to Britain and safety. Victory of a sort was snatched from the jaws of defeat. It was an event that would help cement Winston Churchill’s reputation as an extremely effective war leader. Indeed, the first few months of his premiership allowed the prime minister to display many of the qualities that singled him out as one of the greatest war leaders of all time.

The seven longest-serving British Prime Ministers

Luck was very much on Churchill’s side when it came to Dunkirk. Indeed, catching a lucky break played a significant part throughout Churchill’s years as leader. He had the good luck to have at his disposal the brave pilots of the RAF, and he would need them when the Battle of Britain began. Luck was very much on his side when Hitler gave up on the idea of invading England and turned his attention to the Soviet Union instead. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor may have been terrible news for the Americans, but it was a stroke of luck for a prime minister who had been trying to turn the United States away from isolationism ever since he took up office. And, of course, Churchill also had the very good fortune of leading an island nation. Islands are devilishly hard places to invade and much easier to defend.

But luck can only get you so far in war and it was Dunkirk that allowed Churchill to bring another of his great qualities into play, one that singled him out as such an effective war leader – the power of his oratory. As the little ships whisked British and French troops away from danger, Churchill arrived in the Commons to deliver a speech that would become one of the most famous pieces of oratory of all time.

Read more about: Colonialism

If it wasn't for WW2, how would we remember Churchill's legacy?

'We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills we shall never surrender.'

The speech was just the sort of inspiring, sabre-rattling stuff that put a spring in the nation’s step – especially a nation that liked to see itself as being at its best when it was up against it. The speech also helped turn Dunkirk from a disaster into a triumph in the public’s imagination. Inspiring the nation through the extraordinary power of his words would be something Churchill could rely on throughout his war leadership.

French resistance to the Nazis would last a further twenty-one more days after Churchill made his rousing speech in the House of Commons on 4 June 1940. Great Britain would soon find itself alone in Europe with no hope its vast overseas empire would ride to the rescue anytime soon.

Read more about: WW2

How the Battle of Britain was won

With the bulk of the British Army’s armaments lying abandoned on the beaches of Normandy, only the RAF and the Home Fleet stood in the way of a full-scale invasion. The country truly had its back to the wall. To stand any hope of success, Britain would need a combination of strong leadership and incredible bravery to see it through the challenge ahead. Luckily, the country would prove to have both in spades.

'The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us.' Churchill told the Commons on the 18th of June. '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 free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if 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 duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour”.'

Read more about: British History

10 things you didn't know about Winston Churchill

Above the skies of southern England during that long hot summer of 1940, fighter aircraft of the Royal Air Force fought off wave after wave of Luftwaffe attacks. At stake were air supremacy and the fate of the nation. Against tremendous odds, Britain emerged victoriously and Operation Sealion – the plan to invade Britain – was put on permanent hiatus. On summing up the Battle of Britain, Churchill yet again rose to the occasion.
'The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.'

Churchill had been in office just five months when he delivered that speech, and in that short period, he had already displayed many of the characteristics that would single him out as a great war leader – courage, defiance, determination, luck and an ability to inspire others. To that tally would be added a workaholic’s energy, an optimist’s unshakable belief in victory, a diplomat’s ability to butter up his allies, a populist’s persuasive skills and an old warhorse’s empathy for what civilians and soldiers were going through. Though it has to be noted that that empathy was in pretty short supply when it came to the unfortunate subjects of Bengal in 1943.

Read more about: Colonialism

Churchill and Gandhi's epic rivalry

Through bad times and good, Churchill steered his nation towards victory armed with a set of traits that made him uniquely suited to the job. Of course, he also had his flaws. He could also be difficult, infuriating, impulsive and even reckless, but the worst aspects of his character were, for the most part, reined in by his War Cabinet, by his military and civilian advisors and by his ferociously loyal wife Clementine. She was always on hand to knock her egotistical husband down a peg or two when the need arose – something that could not be said for Churchill’s opposite number in Berlin. They say that behind every great man is a great woman, and this was most certainly the case when it came to Clementine Churchill.

The U-Boat commander who almost killed Churchill

By the end of the war, Britain had been reduced to a junior partner to the United States. The country would never again be a big hitter on the world stage in the same way it had been in its imperial heyday. His country may have been diminished, but Churchill would emerge from the war a colossus. Through a combination of courage, luck, tenacity, determination, defiance, empathy, energy and an ability to inspire others, he had gained a global reputation as one of the greatest war leaders of all time. He had, to borrow an American phrase, 'the right stuff', and he had all the characteristics to be a great war leader at the exact moment his nation needed him the most. Whatever his faults – and there were many – there is simply no denying that without Winston Churchill the world would now be a very different place.


Facts You May Not Know About Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill is one of those historical figures who had a long list of accomplishments over decades yet is mostly known for just one specific time period, and Winston's time will forever be World War II.

But prior to the World Wars Churchill was already on the road to becoming a larger-than-life figure, having escaped from a Boer prison camp in South Africa in 1899:

After graduating from Sandhurst, Churchill took leave from the army and traveled to Cuba, where he reported on an uprising for a London newspaper. He subsequently served as a war correspondent and military officer, a dual role then permitted, in India, Sudan and South Africa. Upon arriving in South Africa in 1899, his armored train was ambushed by Boers, the descendants of Dutch settlers who were fighting the British at the time. Churchill was captured and marched to a prison camp, which he soon escaped from by scaling a wall at night, even as two of his fellow prisoners turned back. With no precise plan, Churchill luckily stumbled upon the house of a British coal mine manager, who hid him in a mineshaft for three days and then sent him on a wool-filled rail truck into Mozambique. From there, Churchill caught a ship back to South Africa and rushed to the front a newfound hero.

However, Winston's star almost fell instead of rising when he organized an amphibious assault during World War I that failed spectacularly:


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In his 90 years as a soldier, journalist, prolific author, politician and statesman during the first half of the 20th century, Winston Churchill had many opportunities to influence world events, and while opinions on his various successes and failures can be steeply divided, his was a hard-won wisdom, which he expressed with great pith and wit.

Being a natural statesman, and a great writer to boot, he was very good at putting that wisdom to use, and there are so many quotable examples from his various speeches and public comments that it’s easy to compile a list of his most inspirational thoughts, the ones that would apply to a multitude of situations, to be issued on Winston Churchill Day (which is April 9).

In fact, the tricky bit is choosing which ones to leave out. Although this first one is almost too apt:

• “It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.”

• “There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true.”

• “To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.”

• “To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to change often.”

• “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”

• “The price of greatness is responsibility.”

• “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.”

• “Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.”

• “One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half.”

• “Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.”

• “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

• “Broadly speaking short words are best and the old words when short, are best of all.”

• “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it has been said, it is the quality which guarantees all others.”

• “Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.”

• “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”

• “Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference.”

• “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”

• “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

• “Everyone has his day, and some days last longer than others.”

• “You have enemies? Good. It means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

• “Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.”

• “Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy then an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then it becomes a tyrant and, in the last stage, just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.”

• “Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace, and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war.”

• “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

• “Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.”

• “We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us.”

• “We shall not fail or falter. We shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job.”

• “What is adequacy? Adequacy is no standard at all.”

• “There is always much to be said for not attempting more than you can do and for making a certainty of what you try. But this principle, like others in life and war, has it exceptions.”

• “There is only one duty, only one safe course, and that is to try to be right and not to fear to do or say what you believe to be right.”

Sir Winston Churchill in 1929 (Pic: Fox Photos/Getty Images)

• “In the course of my life I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.”

• “Every man should ask himself each day whether he is not too readily accepting negative solutions.”

• “It is wonderful what great strides can be made when there is a resolute purpose behind them.”

• “The first duty of the university is to teach wisdom, not a trade character, not technicalities. We want a lot of engineers in the modern world, but we do not want a world of engineers.”

• “In finance, everything that is agreeable is unsound and everything that is sound is disagreeable.”

• “All I can say is that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.”

• “This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

• “The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.”

• “All the greatest things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom justice honour duty mercy hope.”

• “The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that when nations are strong they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are often no longer strong.”

• “I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”

• “If we open a quarrel between the past and the present we shall find that we have lost the future.”

• “It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time.”

• “It’s not enough that we do our best sometimes we have to do what’s required.”

• “The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult.”

• “When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.”

• “Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge.”

• “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, it’s also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

• “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”

• “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time-a tremendous whack.”


50 Sir Winston Churchill Quotes to Live By

In his 90 years as a soldier, journalist, prolific author, politician and statesman during the first half of the 20th century, Winston Churchill had many opportunities to influence world events, and while opinions on his various successes and failures can be steeply divided, his was a hard-won wisdom, which he expressed with great pith and wit.

Being a natural statesman, and a great writer to boot, he was very good at putting that wisdom to use, and there are so many quotable examples from his various speeches and public comments that it's easy to compile a list of his most inspirational thoughts, the ones that would apply to a multitude of situations, to be issued on Winston Churchill Day (which is April 9).

In fact, the tricky bit is choosing which ones to leave out. Although this first one is almost too apt:

• "It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations."

• "There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true."

• "To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day."

• "To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to change often."

• "The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see."

• "The price of greatness is responsibility."

• "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."

• "Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room."

• "One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half."

• "Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught."

• "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."

• "Broadly speaking short words are best and the old words when short, are best of all."

• "Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it has been said, it is the quality which guarantees all others."

• "Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb."

• "History will be kind to me for I intend to write it."

• “Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference.”

• “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”

• “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

• "Everyone has his day, and some days last longer than others."

• “You have enemies? Good. It means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

• "Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn't happen."

• "Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy then an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then it becomes a tyrant and, in the last stage, just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public."

• "Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace, and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war."

• "If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."

• "Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events."

• "We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us."

• "We shall not fail or falter. We shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job."

• "What is adequacy? Adequacy is no standard at all."

• "There is always much to be said for not attempting more than you can do and for making a certainty of what you try. But this principle, like others in life and war, has it exceptions."

• "There is only one duty, only one safe course, and that is to try to be right and not to fear to do or say what you believe to be right."

• "In the course of my life I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet."

• "Every man should ask himself each day whether he is not too readily accepting negative solutions."

• "It is wonderful what great strides can be made when there is a resolute purpose behind them."

• "The first duty of the university is to teach wisdom, not a trade character, not technicalities. We want a lot of engineers in the modern world, but we do not want a world of engineers."

• "In finance, everything that is agreeable is unsound and everything that is sound is disagreeable."

• "All I can say is that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me."

• "This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."

• "The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes."

• "All the greatest things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom justice honour duty mercy hope."

• "The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that when nations are strong they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are often no longer strong."

• "I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals."

• "If we open a quarrel between the past and the present we shall find that we have lost the future."

• "It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time."

• "It's not enough that we do our best sometimes we have to do what's required."

• "The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult."

• “When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.”

• “Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge.”

• “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, it’s also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

• “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”

• “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time-a tremendous whack.”


Watch the video: 10 Things You Didnt Know The Use For (July 2022).


Comments:

  1. Frayne

    I absolutely agree with the previous sentence

  2. Aescford

    You, casually, not the expert?

  3. Daguenet

    with interest, and the analog is?



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