Churchill and the Politics of War, 1940–1941 by Sheila Lawlor

By Sheila Lawlor

It is a new exam of the politics of technique and the heritage to them in the course of Churchill's first 12 months as Britain's wartime chief. It attracts commonly either on reliable information and at the inner most papers of a few of the political and armed forces leaders. one of the person issues thought of and reinterpreted are Churchill's relatives with Chamberlain and the Conservative get together, the political repercussions of the autumn of France and the conflict of england, and the emergence of a technique for the center East and Greece that may impact the postwar payment of Europe.

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Churchill and the Politics of War, 1940–1941

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Here Dilks addressed the significance of the discussions about peace at cabinet meetings on 26-27 May 1940. Dilks's conclusion that Chamberlain and Halifax did not fundamentally disagree led to his questioning 'the traditional belief that Churchill from the moment of his accession . . was determined to fight until the whole of Europe was liberated'. What mattered to both was the preservation of British interests. In a subsequent essay Dilks maintained that instead of the irreconcilable differences implied by 'the stern strictures' passed by Churchill himself upon his predecessor in The Gathering Storm,41 relations between both Chamberlain and Churchill were characterised by mutual confidence, loyalty and affection; that they did not differ significantly in their views about the war; and that although they disagreed about Narvik, neither anticipated a German counter-strike or imminent attack.

1 The pages which follow consider the critical reaction to Churchill from his own side. Much of the criticism reflected long-standing views of 1 Colville diary, 1 June 1940; Davidson to Baldwin, 14 May 1940, SB 174: 275-7. 33 34 Churchill, the conservative party and the war Churchill. Some of it came from those, like Halifax and Chamberlain, on whose support he counted for his own survival. Some of it came from backbenchers with a more important past than the future which Churchill envisaged for them.

Carlton contends that Churchill and Eden not only differed, but reversed roles on the Greek question. Churchill was at first an enthusiast for intervention, but by March 1941 he had become more cautious. Eden, reluctant at first, became eager for military intervention. Behind policy towards Spain there also lay uncertainty, the result of differences between the foreign office and others, hesitation, doubt and a residue of 1930s sentiment. Denis Smyth's study of the first months of 44 45 David Reynolds, The Creation of the Anglo-American Alliance, 1937-1941: A Study in Competitive Co-operation, London, 1981, pp.

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