Winston Churchill in World War II
Winston Churchill was made Prime Minster of Great Britain on May 10, 1940. Historians have analyzed Churchill’s impact on the Second World War, especially from his appointment in 1940 until 1941. This period of the war is seen as being a crucial time for Britain, a time when they had to fight the war alone against Germany. Churchill’s appointment was not well received by everyone, as many people were unsure of his ability. However, for Churchill, he was waiting for this moment. Churchill’s first test was a peace offer from Hitler. Unlike Chamberlain, Churchill wanted absolutely nothing to do with this peace offer. He believed fully in never surrendering and his main war aim was complete victory. This was seen by many to be the wrong choice and that appeasement should be chosen before war. Churchill was adamant and believed, rightfully, that the only way to stop Hitler was by completely beating him at his own game. During the early years of World War II, Winston Churchill was leading Great Britain into a headlong battle against Adolph Hitler and the Germans. In analyzing his leadership during the years 1940-41 it will be found that Churchill would not succumb to peace treaties, but fought Hitler and the Nazis at their own war. He had to make tough decisions and fight for the freedom, liberty and life of the western societies, and in effect was an important aspect in the out come of the war.
In the Fall of France, Churchill was able to show his true leadership skills. France wanted Britain to contribute aid, especially in the form of the air force. Churchill was quite happy to support France in the defense of their country.
He was deviant toward Germany and even helped with a counter offensive plan DAKAR, which ended up not working at all. DAKAR was an operation that proposed to counter German influence in West Africa. Petain sent naval reinforcements, but because of delays and a bad landing the operation was stopped. Churchill’s involvement has been speculated, but he denounced the operation, stating that it was not a British endeavor. Churchill knew when and where to draw the line, even for an ally like France. When Petain wanted further air support, Churchill firmly said they were going to be needed soon in Britain. Churchill’s main concern was with the French fleet. France had a capable navy; that if in German hands could overwhelm the British on the seas. Also, Churchill believed the problem lay with the artillery of France, which was unable to stop penetrating German Panzers. Churchill wanted to support and encourage France so that Britain would have more time to gather its military, before the inevitable Battle of Britain. Lastly, Churchill showed how serious he was about the overall protection of Britain when Petain had signed the agreement with Hitler, forming Vichy France. Now Britain could not rely on France to help them, as they were supporting Germany. Churchill was very concerned about this, and particularly about the French ships. He asked that these ships be given to Britain, and upon Vichy’s refusal to do so, Churchill ‘disarmed’ them, with approval from Roosevelt. This action proved that Churchill held his country’s safety in the highest regard and was not willing to take a chance with Vichy.
The Fall of France directly led to the Battle of Britain. This battle was expected. According to Churchill, the only way they would win was through the Royal Air Force’s (R.A.F.) defense of the island. The R.A.F was a very important component and its strengths were in its leaders and planners, with help from inventions like the radar. The R.A.F. had 704 serviceable planes ready, and 620 of them were the small Hurricane and Spitfire fighters. Dowding and Parks were in charge of the R.A.F. tactics and defensive strategy. This system of defense relied on the rotation of squadrons and the logistics to keep these planes in the air until they had enough gas to land refuel and take...
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