GENARAL ARTICLES

Churchil

oil fuel, avaton, tanks -Churchill's "follies" :Of yesteryear are the prime essentials of war today

JOHN COULTER June 15 1941
GENARAL ARTICLES

Churchil

oil fuel, avaton, tanks -Churchill's "follies" :Of yesteryear are the prime essentials of war today

JOHN COULTER June 15 1941

Churchil

PART FIVE

oil fuel, avaton, tanks -Churchill's "follies" :Of yesteryear are the prime essentials of war today

JOHN COULTER

GENARAL ARTICLES

WINSTON CHURCHILL on the outbreak of hostilities in August, 1914:

“Three separate times in three different centuries had the British people rescued Europe from a military domination . . . Always at the outset the strength of the enemy had seemed overwhelming, always the struggle had been prolonged through many years and across awful hazards, always the victory had at last been won: and the last of all the victories had been the greatest of all, gained after the most ruinous struggle and over the most formidable foe . . .

“It seemed inconceivable that the same series of tremendous events should be repeated—a fourth time— and on an immensely larger scale. Yet that is . . . what we have lived to see.”

Churchill’s first—1914—war job was to transport the British Expeditionary Force safely to France. By August 23 the Channel had been crossed by 240 troopships without the loss of a single ship or man. At the same time the British Navy was busy clearing the Germans from the seven seas; and though in those first weeks the Goeben and Breslau escaped through the Dardanelles and there were grievous British losses, such as the sinking of the Amphion off the Essex coast and the three old cruisers Aboukir, 11 ou ge and Cressy off the Dutch coast, these sinkings were offset by the brilliant exploit of Admiral Beatty—one of those officers of “enterprising initiative and consummate dash” riskily promoted by Churchill—who boldly sailed into Heligoland Bight and wiped out three German cruisers and a destroyer and 700 men for the British loss of 35 men. But the Emden and Königsberg were destroying Allied merchantmen in the Indian Ocean, and the Gneisenau and Scharnhorst were raiding in the Pacific off South America. Then, late in October, the British Audacious was unluckily sunk by a mine—and the blame for all this trouble was laid by the public on Churchill.

One of the leaders of the attack on Winston ivas that old friend, Mr. Thomas Gibson Bowles, from whom Winston had borrowed the first phrase of his first speech in Parliament.

Churchill’s reply was to dare the fury of his own Party by calling to the Admiralty as First Sea Lord, his beloved Admiral (Old Jackie) Fisher. Fisher was now seventy-four, but in Winston’s opinion still the greatest seaman of the day.

On September 6, Churchill pressed for reinforcements to be sent to Antiverp to shield the Channel ports from the German battering-ram. Weeks pass. No reinforcements havebeenseni. Thegreatfort of Antwerp seems about to fall.

OCTOBER 2. It is near midnight in London. In Carlton House Gardens British ministers have gathered in the house of Lord Kitchener, who sombrely tells them that if this threatened collapse of Antwerp cannot somehow be prevented or at least delayed, the left flank of the Allies will be penetrated and the whole line may be rolled up in swift and total defeat. It is a moment of crisis. To help cope with it, urgent messages have been sent along the railway to intercept the train in which Winston is travelling on his way to Dunkirk and bring him back.

The door opens. Winston walks in. He looks round, sensing dismay. -He learns that adequate reinforcements for Antwerp cannot be ready for several days. What’s to be done? Rapid thinking and swift decision are imperative. Well, the only force available is the Royal Naval Division. It is utterly inadequate, but at least Winston could rush with it to Antwerp, explain the situation to de Broqueville, the Belgian premier, use every means to buttress resistance and somehow try to hang on till reinforcements can arrive. Churchill is eager. He’ll start at once. Kitchener wants him to go, but Foreign Secretary Grey and other doubtful ministers must first be convinced. Churchill, curbing impatience, argues, appeals. By one o’clock he has consent. Through the uneasy silence of sleeping London he dashes off once more to Victoria Station and in half an hour is speeding through the night on his desperate enterprise.

At lunch time next day a big touring car filled with naval officers screams down the Place de Mer in Antwerp, swings abruptly into the March-aux-Souliers and jerks to a stop at a hotel. An impetuous sandy-haired young man in a sort of semi-naval uniform leaps out and darts through the foyer, flinging out his arms in an impatient clear-the-way gesture. It’s Churchill, in the undress uniform of Trinity House.

Swiftly consultations with de Broqueville and the Belgian commander are held and are over. Churchill has learned that the garrison is in sore straits, water cut off, ammunition running short, appalling artillery fire pounding the forts to powder. Tired troops grimly and grimily fighting rear-guard actions are being mercilessly battered and flung back on their bewildered comrades, a milling mass of soldiers and refugees and wounded in confused retreat.

Churchill assumes command. With his marines he somehow galvanizes the defense into a last stubborn

stand. Night and day, unceasingly the sullen hordes of Germans in assaulting waves surge forward and are broken and hurled back. Three nadir days of anguished grappling with death, drag slowly by. Then reinforcements arrive— two British divisions of cavalry and infantry under General Rawlinson. The Germans, believing this must surely be but the advance guard of an army corps, pause for reconnaissance.

Churchill’s immediate job once more is done. But his fighting blood is up and he wants to stay and see the struggle through as permanent commander of the British force. He offers his resignation to the Admiralty. Kitchener would agree and make him a lieutenant-general. But Premier Asquith, preferring to keep him at the Admiralty post, and fearing perhaps a storm of jealous protest from Winston’s political enemies and from senior officers anxious themselves for such a command, refuses. And Winston remains at Antwerp.

The Germans by now, with overwhelming masses of infantry, have launched a new and crushing attack. The Belgian Division and the Naval Brigade hold on for three more days then, slowly, retreat. Two days later Antwerp has fallen. But the British Commander-in-Chief has been given the needed respite of eight crucial days. It has cost much—1,500 of the Naval Brigade are interned in Holland, 1,000 are missing. The Belgians have suffered 20,000 casualties. But the Channel ports are saved. Knowing what this means—that the Allied flank has not been turned; that the German wedge has not been thrust between the British and the French ; that the Expeditionary Force has not been isolated from its bases on the sea; that the war, in short, has not been lost—knowing all this, Winston returns to London.

And to what a welcome ! No thankful jubilant throngs greet the national hero. His reward is the anger and ridicule of a public who in ignorance believe the Antwerp adventure to have been merely another “Winnie show,” a melodramatic military gaffe in which he wantonly rushed the Naval Brigade into a hopeless cul de sac with consequent disaster—“a pitiful waste of brave men’s lives,” in “an eccentric expedition.”

Graphic overstatement by Sir Ian Hamilton: “Churchill handles his men as though he were Napoleon and they the old Guard. He flings them right into the enemies opening jaws.” N.B. It is an acknowledged truth that in the last war, as in this one, Churchill's strategy ivas consistently planned to avoid “mass massacres.”

Cautious understatement by Premier Asquith: “This

last week, which has delayed the fall of Antwerp by at least seven days and has prevented the Germans linking up their forces, has not been thrown away.”

Rueful statement by Winston Churchill: “I ought never to have gone to Antwerp. I ought to have remained in London and endeavored to force the Cabinet and Lord Kitchener to lake more effective action.”

Consolation for Mr. Churchill: On the day of the fall of Antwerp, his daughter Sarah was born.

rT'HE MOMENT which should be one of shining glory for -*• Winston has often been one of sombre gloom. The return from Antwerp was such a moment, though lightened by that tender consolation. For soon he was in serious disagreement with Admiral Fisher who, as First Sea Lord, resented Winston’s claim to say the last word on major questions of strategy and disposition of the Fleet, properly the business, not of the Navy’s civil head but of the Admirals. Fisher’s dominant passion was for spectacular flank attack on Germany’s Baltic coast. For this, and this alone, he had through long years built up “his fleet”—his fleet, regarded by him as his own child, conceived and brought to being solely by his creative genius. In this fierce emphatic possessiveness Churchill at first humored the old man and ardently backed the Baltic enterprise. Later, he was persuaded to abandon that scheme and instead to press with almost fanatic insistence Sir Maurice Hankey’s plan of sudden whirling attack upon the Dardanelles, the enemy’s “back door.”

Fisher sulked and would not support this plan. Neither would he decisively oppose it. And this was the attitude of too many others, in the Cabinet and the military and naval staffs. A spirited dash to and through the Dardanelles was a splendid possibility. A dawdling progress to and through them was merely an invitation to massacre. Winston, understanding this, frenziedly darted to and fro striving to stir the dubious, dilatory, divided councils from their indecision, lethargy, and long delays. It was beyond his strength. The crucial early days were frittered away, and the ace strategic advantage of mobile sea power, which is the ability swiftly to reach and strike at any selected vulnerable point of an enemy’s coastal front, was sacrificed.

The strategic point of the scheme sprang from the fact that the German lines on the Western Front extended all the way northward from Switzerland to the sea, and the flank could not be turned without terrific losses. Churchill had therefore urged the Government to turn from the West and make a sudden attack through the eastern back door. “Undertake no operation in the West,” he advised, “which

is more costly to us in life than to the enemy. In the East, take Constantinople; take it by ships if you can; take it by soldiers if you.must; take it by whatever plan, military or naval, commends itself to your military experts; but take it, and take it soon, and take it while time remains.”

In February, as he afterward said, three divisions might have occupied Gallipoli; in March, five divisions; in April, nine divisions; in July, eleven divisions; in August— fourteen divisions were not enough. The War Office had at first declared that no troops were available for attacking Gallipoli. Whereupon a naval plan to force the Straits, chiefly by old ships, had been worked out by the technical experts of the Admiralty and urged upon the Cabinet by Churchill, “not as a certainty, but as a legitimate war gamble, with stakes—the old ships—that we could afford to lose, for a prize of inestimable value; a prize which, in the opinion of the highest experts, there was a reasonable chance of winning; a prize which . . . could be won by no other means.”

Against Churchill’s pleas, the naval attack had been held up till an army in support could be assembled—and that was long enough to allow the Turks also to bring up troops in numbers sufficient to jeopardize the whole scheme. Churchill’s idea of lightning attack had been frustrated in spite of all his efforts. Yet now, most unjustly, he was blamed for the debacle. As for Admiral Fisher, he sullenly held himself self-absolved from all responsibility although, as Churchill complained, “at no time did I receive from Lord Fisher any criticism of the definite method of attack proposed. On the principle he had doubts and objections; but on the special technical points involved I received from him at no time any expression of adverse criticism.” By the end of 1915, Gallipoli had to be evacuated—and so, once more, through no fault of his own, the bright, victorious vision of a dynamic man of genius faded out in the squalid murk of public recriminations at home and in the field, costly defeat.

After the signing of the Armistice, German war historians revealed that there had been critical moments when, had the Allied attack been pressed with the vigor advocated by Churchill, the defensive lines of Gallipoli must have been penetrated. Had that occurred, the war might have ended two years earlier, with the consequent saving of millions of lives and of incalculable treasure.

A judicial opinion: The Lord Chancellor of England {Lord Birkenhead, formerly Mr. F. E. Smith): Had Mr. Churchill himself been Prime Minister, it is as certain as anything in war can be that he would have won through the Dardanelles.

THUS, crabbed age and youth, Churchill and Fisher, two Titans who, more than any others, “got the Navy ready,” disagreeing on how to use the Navy, pulled each other down. Extracts from letters:

Churchill to Asquith concerning Fisher: "... I cannot consent to be paralyzed by the veto of a friend who, whatever the result, will always say, T was against the Dardanelles.’ ”

Fisher to Churchill : “. . . First Lord . . . I am unable to remain any longer as your colleague. ... I am off to Scotland at once so as to avoid all questionings.”

Asquith to Fisher: “Lord Fisher—in the King’s Name I order you to remain at your post.”

On this order, Fisher pulled down the blinds of his house at the Admiralty and spent the day seeking peace for his perturbed spirit in the dim seclusion of Westminster Abbey.

Churchill, in a final effort, to Fisher: “. . . You promised to stand by me and see me through. If you now go, at this bad moment . . . and therefore let loose on me the spite and malice of enemies ...”

Fisher to Churchill: “. . . You are bent on forcing the Dardanelles and nothing will turn you from it NOTHING. You will remain and I SHALL GO.”

He was wrong. The spite and malice of enemies, with other serious political contingencies, including the scandal about the shortage of munitions, forced Asquith to form a Coalition Government—and the Tories were still seeking vengeance on turncoat Churchill.

Asquith, quoting Gladstone: “The first essential for a Prime Minister is to be a good butcher.” He added, “There are several who must be poleaxed now.”

Churchill: “Any public man, who at this moment

nourishes any thought except that of waging war against the enemy by the most effective means, should never be forgiven by his countrymen.”

And Winston and Fisher were poleaxed. It was May, 1915, just ten months since these two at the zero hour, in spite of every obstacle, had the Navy ready and thus had put the nation forever in their debt. For Fisher it was the end. For Winston, it was heartbreak. In Lloyd George’s phrase, he had been “flung from the masthead,” and was offered the post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster “reserved either for beginners in the Cabinet or for distinguished politicians who had reached the first stages of unmistakable decrepitude.” It was indeed humiliation,

bleak and bitter. Winston grieved. To ease his wound the loyalty of friends and family was not wanting, yet what touched him most was the sympathy of one who had in former years been his grimmest adversary.

At seven o’clock in the morning, as Winston tells, there walked into his bedroom at the Admiralty, bowler hat in hand, the Sirdar, Lord Kitchener of Khartoum. The revolting spectacle of “the Mahdi’s head in a kerosene can” no longer rose between them. There Kitchener stood, looking at Winston, an enormous man, shy, inarticulate. Suddenly he said what his heart felt in one generous phrase, “There is one thing at least they can never take from you. When the war began, you had the Fleet ready.”

CHURCHILL, on the change from “intense executive activities” to the “utterly unwanted leisure” of “four thousand pounds a year for doing nothing”: My “veins threatened to burst from the pressure ... I had great anxiety . . . vehement convictions ... I had to watch the unhappy casting away of great opportunities and the feeble execution of plans which I had launched and in which I heartily believed.”

To end this disintegrating futile unhappiness, Winston,

having endured it for six months, May-November, 1915, sent his resignation to the Premier and added, “. . .1 am an officer, and I place myself unreservedly at the disposal of the military authorities, observing that my regiment is in France ...” And to France he went. But before leaving he made a farewell speech in the House of Commons, and the crowded benches were soon listening in the hush of deep attention. This was the utterance, not of a petulant, disappointed braggadocio, but of a statesman, magnanimous and wise, risen clear beyond personal buffetings to speak disinterested far-sighted words on national affairs. Some say it was, and remains, his greatest speech. Parts of it might have been spoken for today :

“There is no reason to be disheartened about the progress of the war. We are passing through a bad time now, and it will probably be worse before it is better, but that it will be better, if we only endure and persevere, I have no doubt whatever. The old wars were decided by their episodes rather than by their tendencies. In this war the tendencies are far more important than the episodes. Without winning any sensational victory we may win this war.

“It is not necessary in order to win the war to push the German lines back over all the territory absorbed, or to pierce them. While the German lines extend far beyond her own frontiers, and while her flag flies over great capitals and subjected provinces, while all the circumstances of military success attend her armies, Germany may be defeated more fatally in the second or third year of the war than if the Allied armies had entered Berlin in the first.

“Some of these small States are hypnotized by German military pomp and precision. They see the glitter, they see the episode; but what they do not see or realize is the capacity of the ancient and mighty nations against whom Germany is warring to endure adversity, to put up with disappointment and mismanagement, to renew their strength, to toil on with boundless suffering to the achievement of the greatest cause for which men have ever fought.”

When he sat down a tumult of applause swept the House. Afterward members chattered excitedly in the corridors and smoking rooms. Then, as the first elation waned, they looked at each other, apprehending the significance of what had happened. Churchill was off to France, to be but one other gallant fighting man among so many; yet his gifts of statesmanship in some respects were his alone, now and for times to come a precious, irreplaceable asset of the nation. They had called him rash and improvident. Of what rashness and improvidence were they themselves, the trustees of the nation’s assets, now guilty in exposing him to the hazard of death through any stray German bullet !

On Winston’s departure to the Front, the Prime Minister said: “. . . A wise councillor, a brilliant

colleague, a faithful friend.” Mr. Bonar Law, politically at daggers drawn with Winston: “I say deliberately that in mental power and vital force he is one of the foremost men in the country.”

IN A DUGOUT in the firing line in France two officers of the Grenadier Guards sit chatting together. A telegram arrives for one of them, Major Churchill. It is from a general of his acquaintance, ordering him, frivolously as Winston thinks, to an interview. At the appointed place, a crossroads, the two miss each other, and Churchill, informed that the matter was of little importance anyway, trudges back, incensed, to his dugout. The Continued on page 37

Continued on page 37

Continued from page 17—Starts on page 16

dugout isn’t there any more. A few minutes after he had so reluctantly left, a direct hit had blown both dugout and the other officer to bits. Winston reflects, once more, on that “averting hand” miraculously preserving him for “some great purpose . . . only half disclosed as yet.”

Spring, 1916, Ploegsteert, Flanders. (Plug Street, to British Tommies.) About a thousand yards from the German trenches the 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers are holding this section of the Allied line. They have come to like their new Colonel —Churchill, transferred to this command from the Grenadiers. He had at first been suspect as but a “damned politician.” Now, they have learned what sort of bloke he is. On raids and on the fire-step, in listening posts and under bombardment, wherever Jerry’s bullets were, there too was the Colonel in the midst of his men to cheer them up and do them good. He had been funny with his lecture on lice, but the lice had ’opped it. He’d been a toff about his men all round, taking no ehd of trouble. Sicks, blighty cases—you’d have thought they were his own family folks. And for the poor divils that went West—honest, the letters he didn’t write home to their ma’s and da’s and sweethearts and old women, and all in his own hand! ’Course, he didn’t stand for no nonsense either. Whew! If a soldier forgot what he was out here for. . . ! Aye, the Duke o’ Churchill does all right for Colonel !

A gramophone is playing in Colonel Churchill’s quarters. It is playing record after record. No high-brow stuff, but, “What’s the matter, with Satur — dayatturday — aft-er-noon !” That kind of thing. The Colonel doesn’t seem to be listening. There’s a pile of blue books lying beside him. Hansards and the like. He has been reading and writing incessantly in every moment free from duty— memorandum on the war. At the moment, he’s reading Shakespeare:

“Oh pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth

That I am meek and gentle with these butchers.

Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood.

Over thy wounds now do I prophesy

And the frivolous gramophone scrapes on.

The other night there was a how-d’youdo. As usual, a crowd cf officers blew along

for Churchill’s open-house Mess: dinner, cigars and wine! Afterward, Colonel Seely and a couple of Canadian officers led the singsong. Sometimes it isn’t singing but talk—a terrific talking bee; settling all the problems of the war and the universe with the Colonel himself going top speed and his second-in-command, Sir Archibald Sinclair, panting along with him, hell-forleather.

From a letter once written by Admiral Fisher to Churchill: “The Apostle is right. The tongue is the very devil! N.B. Yours is slung amidships and wags at both ends.”

One night a prisoner was brought in. A suspected spy. No passport. No proper papers. Refusing to answer questions. When Colonel Churchill saw him he jumped up with a shout and waving of hands, and laughed and welcomed the fellow and ordered the fatted calf. The spy was F. E. Smith, Lord Birkenhead. Soon they were talking politics. The sum of it was that Winston was wanted back at Westminster. Even former enemies urged him to return. At the Front he was being wasted. He might have been a great commander in the field, but the brass hats, backed by politicians at home, ran no risk of letting him prove himself a second Marlborough. On some reshuffling of regiments and commands he bade farewell to his Fusiliers and returned to Parliament.

MR. LLOYD GEORGE had replaced Mr. Asquith as Prime Minister of the Coalition Government, and he wanted Winston in office. But he had to bide his time. Spring and early summer passed before the powerful anti-Churchill set, led by Lord Northcliffe, were so dispersed —Northcliffe was in America—that the Premier could act. Then he snapped Churchill into office as the Minister of Munitions in the famous Cabinet of “first class brains.” It was July, 1917. This new responsibility for Winston was again one of prodigious proportions. Equipment had to be provided not only for the British and Allied forces but for the enormous armies about to arrive from the U.S.A. There had been set up, after the “shell shortage” scandal which had driven Mr. Asquith out of office, a colossal and cumberous organization of twenty thousand civil servants through fifty departments administering countless munition factories and foundries throughout the

length and breadth of Britain. Churchill got to work and slashed the fifty departments to less than twelve and placed them under the general direction of a sort of General Staff of businessmen—Lloyd George’s “men of push and go.”

These men may not have needed the combustious contagion of Winston’s eager spirit, but with him they certainly did push and go. And to such purpose that by the spring of 1918 tens of thousands of tanks and caterpillar trucks and tractors, with guns of all calibres, and shells, were ready to grind and blast their way Eastward in a frightful mechanical offensive to the final victory planned and foretold by Marshal Foch.

“Tanks.” That was then a new name in the dictionary of arms. It was the hush-hush name given to the first of Winston’s secret experiments with “armored steam rollers.” “Landships” they were originally called. They were not invented by Churchill; but his quick, receptive mind instantly saw the revolutionary possibilities in the rough idea put before him by Admirals Sueter and Swinton and Bacon. In Winston’s bedroom at the Admiralty, on February, 1915, the first “Landship Committee” had been secretly formed. Secretly, not telling even the Board of Admiralty or the Army Council who might well have doubted, quibbled, retarded, vetoed the idea, Winston once more took jjersonal responsibility and riskily ordered, without sanction of the Treasury, eighteen landships at a cost of £70,000. Before they were built, the crash had come in which Winston had been “flung from the masthead.” His successor, Mr. Balfour, promptly cancelled the order for all but one of the ships.

That one landship was “Big Willie,” the world’s first tank. It was tested in great secrecy at Hatfield, the private park of the Cecil family, in February, 1916. The King was present, with Lloyd George, Lord Kitchener and representatives of the Army Headquarters Staff. The monster was capable of a top speed of two miles an hour on engines generating 105 horse power. The King’s opinion of the performance is not recorded; but of the others present only Lloyd George could see much of interest in Winston’s latest “folly.” A few, and then some more, of these landships were ordered. Churchill pleaded against letting units of “a mystery weapon” of such potentialities go into action until they could be employed in great numbers and on a tactical plan of attack conceived especially for them. He saw in proper use of the tank the chance of shattering surprise for the enemy, with perhaps ultimate revolutionary effects on the whole strategic conception of field warfare. To his dismay, instead of a first shock of hundreds of tanks, the inadequate number of forty-nine of them was shown to the enemy in the battle of Thiepval, .September, 1916. They created a sensation.

Yet the German soldiers of the High Command were no less obtuse than the British in sensing at first the significance of this singular fighting machine. Actually, it was twelve months before tanks were used again. Then, Churchill was back in office, and saw that, in “a battle made for them”—Cambrai, November, 1917—an effective number went into action. Without the warning of a preliminary bombardment, out of an artificial fog, a terrifying steel wall of 378 fighting tanks and 98 auxiliary tanks moved forward, followed by Canadian infantry, and were “a stupendous success ... the enemy completely lost his balance, and those who did not fly panic-stricken from the field, surrendered.” The German lines were broken on a front of six miles and 10,000 prisoners were taken with 200 guns. The British loss was only 1,500 men.

Ludendorff, on why Germany asked for an armistice: “Two factors had a decisive influence . . . tanks and our reserves! Our men were completely unnerved. The tanks broke our foremost lines, making a

way for their infantry, wrecking our rear, and causing local panics which entirely upset our battle control.”

Oil. Avialion. Tanks: Churchill’s

imaginative vision had seen Die shape of military things to come. His “follies” of yesteryear are the prime essentials of orthodox war today.

Ironic comment: Churchill’s tanks and tank-tactics surprised and shattered the Germans in 1917-1918. The Germans, industriously exploiting Churchill’s tanks and lank-tactics, with them surprised and shattered the Allies in 1940.

/CHURCHILL at the Ministry of Muni-

tions: Two hours by air from Hendon aerodrome took him to the Chateau Verchocq, provided for Ins use by the French Government. His day - morning, Ministry of Munitions; afternoon, to France by air to witness fight in progress, sometimes from a battle plane flying between the lines; evening, back to London by air to dine, and talk, and work.

Churchill as airman: First flew, 1912. During the war he sometimes piloted his own machine, frequently broke down, and once barely made land after losing control over the Channel. Through his insistent demands the R.A.F. was at last founded. He is self-confessed as never having achieved the “air sense of a good pilot.”

Forenoon of St. Martin’s Day, November, 1918. At a window of his room in the Metropole Hotel, Mr. Churchill stands with Mrs. Churchill looking up Northumberland Avenue toward Trafalgar Square. Once more, people wait to hear the fateful booming of Big Ben, tolling eleven, this time for Peace. The hour strikes. Chimes ring and sirens scream. The crowds in the streets dance and embrace and shout and sing. For Winston and Mrs. Churchill, as they drive to congratulate Mr. Lloyd George in Downing Street, there is a frenzied ovation. Mr. Churchill is touched “with feelings that do not lend themselves to words ” as he hears “the cheers of those brave people who had borne so much and given all, who had never wavered, who had never lost faith in their country or its destiny, and who could be indulgent to the faults of their servants when the hour of deliverance had come.”

In that hour of deliverance he was true to his instinct and his motto, “In Victory, Magnanimity.” On Armistice Night he dined with the Prime Minister, and while people in the streets were crying “Hang the Kaiser,” Churchill was pleading that “a dozen great liners” filled with food should be rushed to Hamburg “as a gesture of humanity.” And, in time, he “took a great deal of personal responsibility in sending home, months before they would other otherwise have been liberated, about one hundred thousand German prisoners who were caged up in the Pas de Calais.”

Vichy, Paris, Berlin papers please copy\

But had it come, that “hour of deliverance?” Or, as Churchill asked, “had a new generation in its turn to be immolated to square the black accounts of Teuton and Gaul?”

Soon he was again watching anxiously the darkening sky on the horizon.

To Be Concluded

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