Regular readers will be aware that over recent months I have expressed some exceedingly critical thoughts concerning Winston Churchill which has irritated some of my readers. However, I would like to re-emphasise that my criticisms were centred on several decisions he took as a minister in a WWI government and as the Prime Minister in WWII. Others, such as those who were 'outraged, I tell you, outraged' when an American astronaut quoted Churchill and was well and truly pounded on the internet, dragged up the other, and more famous, accusations held against him. I have never raised these because I simply do not know the facts - but I know a man who does - Mr. Andrew Roberts, the historian who has just published his biography of the Great Man which must bring the total number up to near a million biographies!
I will not try to paraphrase Mr. Roberts retaliation to these accusers, as published in The Telegraph, but merely cut and paste the essence of it:
There [in my biography] he would find that the gas Churchill wanted to use in Iraq was tear gas, not the lethal mustard or chlorine gas. He would find that Churchill insisted on cashiering the general responsible for the Amritsar Massacre, and risked his career in the House of Commons defending that decision. Mr Kelly would also discover that the Irish Churchill wanted to attack were armed IRA terror-gangs, not innocent protesters. And so on, and so endlessly on.
Nor was he in any way responsible for the Bengal Famine, which began after a terrible cyclone hit Bengal in October 1942, destroying the rice crop on which the inhabitants depended, as well as many of the roads and railways needed to bring in supplies. […] When one goes to the original documents, one reads letter after letter from Churchill to the Viceroy and the Secretary of State for India suggesting measures to alleviate the suffering, and asking for grain shipments from President Roosevelt. […] The distinguished American historian Arthur Herman is not alone among historians in believing that ‘‘absent Churchill, India’s 1943 Famine would have been worse.”
Read the whole thing. Happily, none of it crosses my criticisms of the old boy!