I’m a great admirer of Winston Churchill. The more you read about him or words written by him – he was an extremely prolific and intelligent writer – the more you have to admire him. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say he saved the 20th Century from Nazi domination. After the capitulation of France and the European lowland countries and until Hitler invaded Russia, the United Kingdom stood alone fighting Nazism and the only reason they didn’t capitulate was Winston Churchill. The UK was also fighting Japan, also alone against him. Russia was an ally of Hitler and the Nazi’s and in fact aided them by helping invade Poland and by supplying them with goods, training and military/technical personnel. America was not only against entering the war but was spectacularly ill-equipped to provide any assistance at all to the UK. In fact, Roosevelt, recognizing we would eventually have to fight, used the guise of limited assistance to the UK to initiate the draft and the conversion of our manufacturing from civilian goods to military. This edge was a tremendous advantage to us when we finally entered the war upon the Pearl Harbor attack.
January 24, 1965 was the death of Winston Churchill with his funeral was January 30, 1965, and although I didn’t understand the significance of WWII or Churchill at the time, I recall it as an event of worldwide importance, dominating the print, television and radio news. If you’re not familiar with Churchill, I urge you to begin the journey of learning. An excellent start is the biography by Sir Martin Gilbert but the important thing is start learning. It will likely become a life-long experience; Churchill was not merely an historian who recorded events or a leader who participated in events, he was an incredibly prescient individual, predicting numerous inventions and world events. Unfortunately, he had to live with those insights and sacrifices, including the acquiescence of the British Empire to the rise of the US and Russia as superpowers, the betrayals by FDR, and the replacement of Nazism with Communism.
Here, more learned observations than mine.