Spring 1918 (Age 43)

Churchill was in France where he spent much time with French Premier Clemenceau. Although very impressed with the old man, he was also cautious. To Clementine he wrote: “He makes the same impression on me as Fisher: but much more efficient, and just as ready to turn round and bite! I shall be vy wary.”

From France Churchill successfully conveyed the need for additional military support, first to Lloyd George and then to Woodrow Wilson. Soon 480,000 more U.S. troops would be sent to Europe.

After the surrender of Russia, the Germans had launched a massive assault in the west. In response, Sir Douglas Haig issued an ’order of the day’ to his troops: “There is no other course open to us but to fight it out! Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement.’ Churchill never doubted the end result. He wrote to his friend the Duke of Westminster: “… the English-speaking world is settling down to war and becoming more fiercely devoted to it month by month. Presently the British will be more bitter than the French. Later on, the Americans will be more bitter even than the English. In the end we shall beat the heart out of Prussian militarism.”

Churchill had established munitions factories in France and in order to be nearer to them he established continental offices at Chateau Verchocq. The biggest problem, however, was manpower, and the Ministry of Munitions was releasing 1,000 men per day to serve in the army.

Early in June the German advance reached the Marne, from which they had been expelled nearly four years ago. Churchill wrote Clementine: “The fate of the capital hangs in the balance – only 45 miles away.” With the help of the newly arrived Americans, British, French and Canadians held the line. The German attack did not progress beyond Chateau Thierry.

In The World Crisis, Churchill analyzes why he thought that victory was inevitable: For forty days “the main strength of Germany had been ceaselessly devoted to the battery and destruction of the British Army … Doggedly and dauntlessly [the men) fought with out a doubt that, whatever their own fate, Britain would come Victoriously through as she had always done before … the British inflicted upon the Germans losses even greater than those they themselves endured, losses irreparable at this period in the war, losses which broke the supreme German effort for victory at the outset, and range the knell of doom in the cars of the overwrought German people.”

On 1 June sixty-four-year-old Lady Randolph married Montagu Porch, a member of the Nigerian Civil Service, who was three years younger than Winston.

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