Churchill in WWI
By FRED GLUECKSTEIN
HMS Enchantress was Churchill’s personal transport as First Lord of the Admiralty, 1911-14. Like most of his luxuries, it served also as a focus for work. During his time aboard the vessel, Churchill would visit hundreds of naval establishments and ships in the British Isles and the Mediterranean.
By MAX E. HERTWIG
Churchill’s faith in personal diplomacy—solving intractable problems by meetings at the highest level—was famously expressed during his World War II meetings with Stalin and Roosevelt. It surfaced again in 1953-55, when he strove unsuccessfully to promote what he called “a meeting at the summit” with Eisenhower and Stalin’s successors. Less widely known, however, is Churchill’s 1914 proposal for a “conference of sovereigns” or heads of state (including, it seems, French President Raymond Poincaré) in an effort to head-off World War I. The scheme failed, but certainly not for Churchill’s lack of trying.
By RICHARD M. LANGWORTH
Judgments on history are all too easy in hindsight. Manfred Weidhorn has suggested that if Hitler had been assassinated in 1938 he would have gone down as the restorer of German greatness. If in 1941, the inevitable result of his policies in 1942-45 would have left loyal Nazis pining, "Ach, if only der Fuehrer were still alive." I suppose that if Churchill had been killed on the Western Front, where he went to fight in 1916, we would still have these inaccurate views of his attitude toward war, spread about by everyone from pot-stirrers to serious and admirable historians. I am sorry about that.