Churchill and the Politics of War, 1940-1941

Churchill and the Politics of War, 1940-1941

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This book offers a reappraisal of Churchill's role as Britain's wartime leader, and in particular reconsiders his response to the dominant strategic challenges of his first year as prime minister. Based on a detailed examination of the public and private records of both political and military leaders, Dr Lawlor analyses what were often conflicting views and reactions to events. She suggests that Churchill's own position reflected the uncertainties, differences and vacillations of his colleagues, and that he was a far more sophisticated and astute politician than he allowed himself to appear. The first part of the book considers the various reactions among the British leadership to the fall of France and the Battle of Britain. The second and third parts analyse the discussions and decisions which led to British action in the Middle East and to sending military support to Greece.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139240781
  • 9781139240789

Review quote

"What Lawlor offers is a meticulous description of high politics in the crisis of 1940, based on first-hand accounts by political and military leaders, including Churchill himself." Albion "It is from this tradition of serious scholarship that Sheila Lawlor's excellent monograph comes...she meticulously describes the debates within the Government between the fall of France and the decision to support Greece...This is the kind of stuff we need." Niall Ferguson, The Sunday Telegraph " intelligent and completely comprehensive account of how the top-level decisions were taken during that vital year. Every statement of opinion is backed up by evidence." The Times (UK) " unbiased, well-written and highly intelligent analysis of the high politics of the period when Britain 'stood alone.'" Times Literary Supplement "This is an ambitious book, based on meticuous research upon formidable range of documentary sources." The International History Review "Lawlor's case, closely argued and well documented, is that novel thing: a revisionist view that elevates rather than denigrates Churchill's skill and judgement." Max Schoenfeld, Journal of Military History
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Table of contents

Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction; Retrospect; Part I. Churchill, The Conservative Party and the War: 1. The opposition to Churchill and its causes; 2. Events and reactions - (I) the German attack on France and its aftermath; 3. Events and reactions - (II) the Battle of Britain; 4. Chamberlain, Churchill and the conservative party; Part II. The Middle East, Imperial Defence and The Balkans (October to December, 1940): 5. Churchill and the Middle East; 6. Eden and the Middle East; 7. Halifax and the Middle East; 8. The military and the Middle East; Part III. The Greek Decision (January to March, 1941): 9. The Greek decision: the background; 10. Churchill, Eden and the Greek decision, January to February 1941; 11. The military command at home and the Greek decision, January to February 1941; 12. The Middle East command and the Greek decision; 13. The Greek decision, 10th February to early March 1941; General conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
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