Churchill on the Far East in The Second World War: Hiding by C. Wilson

By C. Wilson

Cat Wilson brings jointly strands of historic scholarship: Churchill's paintings as a historian and the heritage of WWII within the a ways East. reading Churchill's portrayal of the British Empire's struggle opposed to Japan, as set down in his memoirs, it ascertains no matter if he mythologised wartime Anglo-American kin to offer a 'special relationship'.

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This chapter examines Churchill’s multifaceted, and at times contradictory, notion of the British Empire, and the elements of his imperialism which he brought to 10 Downing Street on 10 May 1940. Influenced by the attitudes of those around him, and by his own experience as a subaltern in the Queen’s 4th Hussars from 1896 to 1899, Churchill’s 24 Churchill’s British Empire 25 concept of all that the British Empire stood for had been discernible throughout the first three decades of his political career.

Churchill’s experience and assumptions about the British Empire and India informed his reactions to the wartime imperial crises which confronted him, and his post-war and post-independence portrayal of the war in the Far East. Three days later after he accepted King George VI’s invitation to form a wartime government, Churchill made it clear to the Commons that before them lay ‘an ordeal of the most grievous kind’. 123 In essence, Churchill was prepared to sacrifice the furthest outreaches of the empire for victory in Europe.

64 In what can be described as a Machiavellian manoeuvre, Churchill highlighted how au fait he was with the possible consequences of the Agadir Crisis. 66 Indeed he was, as Churchill could finally concentrate on the mainstay of his imperial holy trinity – a superior navy. Before Churchill’s appointment to the Admiralty, Edwardian concerns regarding the longevity of the Empire had begun to be murmured within the corridors of Whitehall. When he had been Under-Secretary for the Colonies, Churchill had been aware of these barely-audible fears but hoped that such a disparaging view of the empire would melt away.

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