In 1932 Churchill was visiting battlefields in Germany as part of his research for writing a biography of his great ancestor John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. In November, he visited Munich and saw for himself the brown-shirted Nazis marching through the streets.
Shortly after this trip, in January of 1933, Hitler had realised the culmination of his rise to power and became Chancellor of Germany.
Churchill began to speak out in the House and write articles in the press about the potential dangers of a rearmed Germany and the vital need to rebuild Britain’s air defences.
‘The House was enraged in an ugly mood towards Mr Churchill’, declared the Daily Despatch, following Churchill’s 14 March speech on Europe. He was called a warmonger for speaking out.
This anti-Churchill sentiment continued through the 1930s, though public opinion began to swing behind him after the Munich Crisis and the occupation of Czechoslovakia, and in September 1939 he was called back as First Lord of the Admiralty at the outbreak of the Second World War.
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