November 10, 2015

Finest Hour 169, Summer 2015

Page 04

By David Freeman, August 2015


A full century has now elapsed since one of the darkest, most controversial, and most written-about episodes in Churchill’s career. What more is there to say about the Dardanelles? Much. This year’s International Churchill Conference included a full panel on the topic. The three excellent papers presented are published here.

Little has ever been written about the French involvement at the Dardanelles. Antoine Capet closes the gap and explains why. Much has been written about Australian troops on Gallipoli, and Harry Atkinson explores this sensitive topic. W. Mark Hamilton surveys what has been written about the whole operation in recent times, and John C. McKay compares Churchill’s Eastern Strategy in the First World War with his Mediterranean strategy in the Second.

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As First Lord of the Admiralty for a time in both World Wars, Churchill had responsibilities around the world. Terry Reardon looks at the importance of the naval base at Scapa Flow in both conflicts, while Fred Glueckstein examines the ill fate of the base at Singapore.

Beginning with this issue, we introduce a new department, “Churchill’s World.” The articles placed here will illustrate the world in which Churchill lived and worked. Staying with our themes of the Royal Navy and the First World War, we launch this column with an enthralling account by Keith Dovkants of the use of sailing vessels to decoy German U-Boats, a plan supported by the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill.

We are very pleased to have our first contribution from Jeremy Wilson, the authorized biographer of T. E. Lawrence. Indeed Wilson is to Lawrence what the late Sir Martin Gilbert was to Churchill, having produced not the only the definitive biography but several monographs and many volumes of documents. He writes here about Churchill defending the memory of his enigmatic friend.

A recent inquiry to The Churchill Centre led to an investigation of primary documents that disclosed rather irregular behavior by a well-known and influential historian. Ronald I. Cohen exposes a flagrant case of misquoting Churchill for dubious purposes.

Finally, we have another generous helping of book reviews and an analysis of a not-so-good television documentary proving that the magic name of Churchill can always sell books and attract viewers. We also welcome three distinguished scholars to our review pages for the first time: John Campbell, Alonzo Hamby, and Catherine Katz.

A tribute, join us

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