Which was Churchill's biggest wartime blunder? - Page 10




 
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November 14th, 2008  
LeEnfield
 
 
I would not say that Churchill's judgement was clouded, it was that we were fighting on to many fronts to little equipment, and I must admit some poor military leadership
December 4th, 2008  
Del Boy
 
Well - this is Churchill's legacy now, it seems.

History teacher - 'What was Churchill famous for?'

Kid at the back shouts ' He was the last white man to be called Winston!'.
December 4th, 2008  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
Churchill had a good eye for the big plan, but unfortunately we did not have resources to carry out his ideas.
Most of the projects he proposed were very sound and a couple of times came close to pulling it off. Crete for instance the Commonwealth Troops killed so many German paratroopers that Hitler never used then as parachute troops again. Had the Generals in charge not pulled out of the main airfields to regroup, then the Germans would not have been able to land their J52 there with reinforcements which then allowed them to over run the Island. The Generals had been told that this airfield was the key to German success from information from Ultra yet they still left the Airfield to regroup.
The Cabinet and many of the General Staff also wanted to pull out from Malta and it was Churchill that said no to that one, was he right or was he wrong. Most of Churchill's ideas were spot on, what let him down many time was poor planning, and good leadership from the Generals
I realise this will probably upset a few people but in my opinion Churchill really didn't care about whole lot beyond himself.

I have always had trouble with Churchill's reputation from the time I first started reading about him but I think the one comment of his that really typified this man was one he made around the Dardanelles campaign (WW1) and the use of battleships close to shore, his comment was that it didn't matter how many old battleships were lost because they could always build more.

My opinion of Churchill is that there is little doubt he was the right man to lead Britain during WW2 but that he really didn't care how many people had to die to meet his goals, to a degree the ends justified the means.
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December 5th, 2008  
Del Boy
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
My opinion of Churchill is that there is little doubt he was the right man to lead Britain during WW2 but that he really didn't care how many people had to die to meet his goals, to a degree the ends justified the means.

'His goals' were the salvation of his country from unsurpassed evil ; the question of losses can be aimed at any war effort you care to mention, surely; his goal was to win the war.

'A man who saves a nation is guilty of nothing' - Napoleon.

It all seems a little Lilliputian to me, but I suppose everybody must get stoned.
December 5th, 2008  
MontyB
 
 
It was mentioned in the "Was General Montgomery really overrated in WW2" thread that Montgomery was prone to sacrificing Commonwealth troops to save British ones, I don't believe this for an instant as Montgomery would not have the level of support he has from Commonwealth veterans if he was.

However I am not sure I can say the same thing about Churchill given his performance in the Dardanelles and his insistence that Australian troops stay in the middle east instead of returning to defend Australia from the Japanese threat, I would also be inclined to hear what some of the Canadian members feel about him.
December 5th, 2008  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
It was mentioned in the "Was General Montgomery really overrated in WW2" thread that Montgomery was prone to sacrificing Commonwealth troops to save British ones, I don't believe this for an instant as Montgomery would not have the level of support he has from Commonwealth veterans if he was.
One of my uncles was in the 8th Army, he had nothing but praise for Monty, he cared about the lives of his men, Brits and Commonwealth. When Churchill became impatient Monty stood his ground and refused to commit his forces until a sufficient numerical superiority over Rommel was achieved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
However I am not sure I can say the same thing about Churchill given his performance in the Dardanelles and his insistence that Australian troops stay in the middle east instead of returning to defend Australia from the Japanese threat, I would also be inclined to hear what some of the Canadian members feel about him.
The Dardanelles was a good idea, badly executed by various Senior British commanders in the field.

Regarding his refusal to allow Aussies to return to defend against the Japanese. Did the Japanese have the resources to invade such a vast landscape such as Australia? What Allied forces were there in Australia at the time, could they have beaten off any attempt of an invasion? In all honesty if the Japanese had landed, the Aussies would have kicked the crap out of them. Although I think this one would be better answered by the Aussies.

Personally, I believe Churchill was the right man at the right time.
December 5th, 2008  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
The Dardanelles was a good idea, badly executed by various Senior British commanders in the field.
The Galipoli campaign was ludicrous plan from day one, while its objectives were admirable it was never realistically possible due to the inadequacies of logistics at the time.

It isn't hard to see that it never really had a chance when close to 1/3rd of the supply train was shipping water and it only allowed hospital space for 500 casualties (The Allies took 5000 casualties on the first day).
December 5th, 2008  
LeEnfield
 
 
Our family lost four uncles in North Africa so I don't think that it all the fighting fell to the Commonwealth Countries, and no I am not saying that they did not do their fair share they did it was a real good Commonwealth show some thing that we should all take pride in rather than sniping at each other on who did the most.
December 5th, 2008  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
Our family lost four uncles in North Africa so I don't think that it all the fighting fell to the Commonwealth Countries, and no I am not saying that they did not do their fair share they did it was a real good Commonwealth show some thing that we should all take pride in rather than sniping at each other on who did the most.
Damn right.

Although I don't believe anyone is saying "we did more then you." Its more of a discussion of “Did Churchill blunder with the Dardanelles .” Personally I don't think he did, it was basically a good idea which would have had dire consequences for Turkey if it had come off.
December 5th, 2008  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
Damn right.

Although I don't believe anyone is saying "we did more then you." Its more of a discussion of “Did Churchill blunder with the Dardanelles .” Personally I don't think he did, it was basically a good idea which would have had dire consequences for Turkey if it had come off.
Actually it isn't about whether Churchill blundered the Daranelles it is about his attitude and indifference to the conditions and actions he created throughout his career, for example he didn't care how many Royal Navy (not Commonwealth) ships were sunk prior to the landings on the Galipoli peninsula because "they could always build more" right through the Boer War he did little more than push his own cause at the expense of others, the deployment of the Prince of Wales and Repulse to the Asian theatre, St Nazaire raid.

Now if you would like to discuss the failings of the Galipoli campaign I would be interested but perhaps in another thread.