Truths and Heresies
By SOREN GEIGER
“It will always be a mystery why a few bombastic speeches have been enough to wash the bloodstains off Churchill’s racist hands.” This was how Shashi Tharoor, a successful and popular Indian politician, concluded his recent op-ed for The Washington Post. Tharoor began his piece with the sensational claim that Churchill was a mass murderer in the vein of Hitler and Stalin. One would expect such statements to have a mountain of evidence behind them. There is a mountain of evidence on these and similar issues, but from even the briefest expedition up the slopes one will see Tharoor’s arguments for what they are – revisionist, manufactured history.
By ANDREW ROBERTS
The allegations that Winston Churchill was unfaithful while on holiday in the South of France in the mid-1930s have been knocking around for eighty years, with nothing substantial to back them up, and, having been researching a biography of Churchill for the past four years, I do not believe it.
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By RICHARD M. LANGWORTH
Undoubtedly the constituency work of MPs has changed since Churchill’s time. Communications and awareness are vastly enhanced nowadays. But if the honorable Member is suggesting that Churchill was too much an aristocrat to concern himself with common people, she needs to further her education.
By TERRY REARDON
Churchill had valid reasons to favour the raid on Dieppe. Principally, the Prime Minister wanted to attempt to take pressure off the Russian front. But for planning and conduct of the raid he had to rely on his military and naval experts. Clearly their plan suffered from insufficient due diligence. Many disparate components needed to mesh for success. This was unrealistic. Together with shortcomings by the naval component, and communication problems, the result was inevitable.
By RICHARD M. LANGWORTH
Robert Harris, author of the famous historical novel Fatherland, has published a new novel on Munich. He says it will rehabilitate Neville Chamberlain’s decision to accept Hitler’s demands for the Czech Sudetenland. His thesis—“Chamberlain’s finest hour” as he calls it—is that Munich bought time for Britain to prepare for war. Among other things, he contends in interviews that by the summer of 1940, the Royal Air Force had ten times as many aircraft as it had had in 1938.
By CHRISTOPHER M. BELL and ROBIN BRODHURST
Churchill has long been criticized for the sinking of HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse by Japanese aircraft three days after Pearl Harbor—and for failing to realize how vulnerable warships without fighter cover were to air attack. The Churchill Project asked two eminent military historians to consider these arguments. They conclude that the decision to sail those ships into harm’s way was that of their commander, and that Churchill, who acted at the advice of naval experts, was well aware of their vulnerability.