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Greatest Leaders of All Time

Winston Churchill

winston churchill

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The most crucial and the most important time for a leader to show their true worth is in the face of adversity and Winston Churchill managed to shine at the task. He was the British Prime Minister and the leader during the World War II. He was an able leader, an emotional man but his greatest victory was in his motivation for others to defend themselves against the Nazis. His determination, perseverance and patriotic devotion towards the nation motivated the British to go forward and win the war with the help of the Allies. ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ he said, and won the war and the hearts.

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British statesman who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a non-academic historian, a writer (as Winston S. Churchill), and an artist. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States.

Churchill was born into the family of the Dukes of Marlborough, a branch of the Spencer family. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a charismatic politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer; his mother, Jennie Jerome, was an American socialite. As a young army officer, he saw action in British India, the Anglo–Sudan War, and the Second Boer War. He gained fame as a war correspondent and wrote books about his campaigns.

Winston Churchill and World War I

In 1911, Churchill turned his attention away from domestic politics when he became the First Lord of the Admiralty (akin to the Secretary of the Navy in the U.S.). Noting that Germany was growing more and more bellicose, Churchill began to prepare Great Britain for war: He established the Royal Naval Air Service, modernized the British fleet and invented one of the earliest tanks.

Despite Churchill’s prescience and preparation, World War I was a stalemate from the start. In an attempt to shake things up, Churchill proposed a military campaign that soon dissolved into disaster: the 1915 invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey. Churchill hoped that this offensive would drive Turkey out of the war and encourage the Balkan states to join the Allies, but Turkish resistance was much stiffer than he had anticipated. After nine months and 250,000 casualties, the Allies withdrew in disgrace. After the debacle at Gallipoli, Churchill left the Admiralty.



Churchill: Between the Wars

During the 1920s and 1930s, Churchill bounced from government job to government job, and in 1924 he rejoined the Conservatives. Especially after the Nazis came to power in 1933, Churchill spent a great deal of time warning his countrymen about the perils of German nationalism, but Britons were weary of war and reluctant to get involved in international affairs again. Likewise, the British government ignored Churchill’s warnings and did all it could to stay out of Hitler’s way. In 1938, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain even signed an agreement giving Germany a chunk of Czechoslovakia–“throwing a small state to the wolves,” Churchill scolded–in exchange for a promise of peace.

A year later, however, Hitler broke his promise and invaded Poland. Britain and France declared war. Chamberlain was pushed out of office, and Winston Churchill took his place as prime minister in May 1940.

His speeches and radio broadcasts helped inspire British resistance, especially during the difficult days of 1940–41 when the British Commonwealth and Empire stood almost alone in its active opposition to Adolf Hitler. He led Britain as Prime Minister until victory over Nazi Germany had been secured.

After the Conservative Party lost the 1945 election, he became Leader of the Opposition to the Labour Government. He publicly warned of an "Iron Curtain" of Soviet influence in Europe and promoted European unity. After winning the 1951 election, Churchill again became Prime Minister. His second term was preoccupied by foreign affairs, including the Malayan Emergency, Mau Mau Uprising, Korean War, and a UK-backed coup d'état in Iran. Domestically his government laid great emphasis on house-building. Churchill suffered a serious stroke in 1953 and retired as Prime Minister in 1955, although he remained a Member of Parliament until 1964. Upon his death aged ninety in 1965, Elizabeth II granted him the honour of a state funeral, which saw one of the largest assemblies of world statesmen in history.

Quotes

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.-Winston Churchill

If you're going through hell, keep going. -Winston Churchill

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life-Winston Churchill.