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Tuesday, 23 April 2019


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As you've (finally) come through with a, generally, WWII post I thought to bring something to your attention when you inevitably did. As I'm certain you recall I keep at least two but generally three books going on my nightstand so that, according to what I ate earlier, I can get back to sleep!

Now when I say, "bring to your attention" it isn't like this I'm calling attention to was ever so many weeks ago, in my attention either. Anyway, at the time I read the snippet I thought to myself, "I gotta tell David that the Poles going up against tanks with horses wasn't the last time such an event took place."

You'll find it under the heading of "Bataan."

Unusually (perhaps) for me I can't quite remember the book's title. A biography though I'm pretty sure. From my county library I know.

Give my best to the Missus won't you? Now lest you think I've forgot you, I haven't.

David, JK

A more detailed account of that historic event.

Thank you, Gentlemen, a fascinating footnote to history. Also, I note a commenter in one of the articles lashing out at the late and unlamented Gen. MacArthur, a commander who made our WWI Generals look competent!

Thanks Hank.

And David, I can vouch the judgement by the commenter in that the guy who was the subject of the tale so recently read I'm thinking had he, a last bullet and MacArthur sharing his foxhole the old soldier wouldn't have had the opportunity to simply fade away.

Two comments: Churchill was only involved in the Dardanelles Naval campaign. He did not envisage, plan or have any role in the British Army's failure of land invasion at Gallipoli. Secondly, MacArthur was a truly great General. He was one of the few that recognised that sacrificing your men against a strong defensive position was dumb. Instead, bypass the enemy, surround them and starve them out. Like all Pacific commanders he took time to come to terms with the aircraft carrier's power projection but once recognised he adapted to it well. Pop William Manchester's biography onto your reading pile.

"Secondly, MacArthur was a truly great General. He was one of the few that recognised that sacrificing your men against a strong defensive position was dumb. Instead, bypass the enemy, surround them and starve them out."

As at Inchon Stewart?

Churchill was not Prime Minister during the Norway invasion. Only about a month later, if I remember correctly. How could he bear any responsibility in that particular fiasco?

Paulo, welcome to D&N and sorry I am late responding to your comment - it has been "just one of those days"!

At the time of the Norwegian fiasco, Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty. For a detailed description of Churchill's bungling you could start with ch.3 of Richard Lamb's book: "Churchill as War Leader", although any detailed account from almost anyone would demonstrate that Churchill was a bungling disaster whose almost lunatic enthusiasms for various escapades made abject failure almost certain. How the hell they made him Prime Minister so soon afterwards is extraordinary.

I see...
Thank you dearly for your prompt answer. Despite his position as First Lord I was under the impression he didn't play a great role in the setup of the "no straps for the skis" campaign. A stupid and naive assumption of mine, for sure.
Allow me to trouble you with another question regarding the choices available after Chamberlain... It was all down to Churchill and Lord Halifax, right? Or were there any other options? And from what I've heard Lord Halifax wasn't that keen on getting the "job".
Thank you also for your tip regarding Richard Lamb's book. I'll put it on my list. It's my birthday today so I guess I'll treat myself!

Thank you again for your time and have a nice weekend!


Feliz aniversario para ontem, Paulo! Like most historical subjects, the Norway campaign is complicated. However, there is no doubt that Churchill was the main driving force behind the idea but, just like his behaviour as Prime Minister, he was exceptionally strong in driving people along his chosen path but,alas, his attention to detail - and common sense - was minimal.


I see David's missed the meat of your interest so, if you'll allow me?

Thank you for your troubles JK.

That link was quite enlightening.

Also I seem to remember that in an episode of the "World At War" Tv series someone (maybe Mr. Chamberlain´s private secretary?) described the whole "Silent Churchill" event: In his words Churchill thought the question was basically a trap and remained silent while staring at the Horse Guards Parade.

Have a nice week and thank you again for your time,


Paulo, for a definitive history of how Churchill took over as Prime Minister, try:

"Six Minutes in May" by Nicholas Shakespeare

Thank you David, you are most kind.

Along with "Churchill as a war leader" this one is also now on my "to read" list.
I have a bit of a backlog, or booklog should I say, but likely around June I'll get to them.

I'll keep you posted!


Ahoy Stewart!

That is, if you're still hanging out on Blogdom's premier House of Disrepute.

Ahoy AussieD, David, ... Andra?

That segment is a mere twelve minutes and fifty-two seconds.

Hope y'all can receive that "talk" (podcast). Just my opinion but I'm thinking this may be a sideways Arkansas means of handing David his birthday present.

(Should anyone request, I'll check back in here and see if all four segments are desired.)

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