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© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Interpretation Was Churchill the right person to be Britain’s war leader?
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Interpretation Objectives In this activity you will: Decide whether Churchill was a good ‘war leader’. Discuss why opinions differ.
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Interpretation Why did Churchill become leader? On the 1 September, Germany invaded Poland. Two days later, Britain and France declared war on Germany. Although British troops were sent to the continent, there was little fighting in Western Europe to begin with. Then in April 1940, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway.
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Interpretation Why did Churchill become leader? British efforts to help failed, and both countries were conquered. In Britain, dissatisfaction with Neville Chamberlain’s leadership of the war effort led to Winston Churchill being made Prime Minister on 10 May, He was to lead a coalition government.
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Interpretation Was Churchill the right person? Churchill is seen by many people as a national hero who oversaw a glorious victory in World War Two. His iconic ‘two-fingered’ victory solute and cigar pose are recognised all over the world. His famous speeches, such as ‘We shall fight them on the beaches’, and phrases such as ‘Never before has so much been owed by so many to so few’, helped to boost morale and reassure the country.
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Interpretation To get you thinking… What makes a good leader? Are there any differences in your view between a good war leader and a good peacetime leader? What qualities made Churchill a good war leader?
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Interpretation Was Churchill the right person? Historian one Winston Churchill was the best man for the job as leader of Britain in World War II. Neville Chamberlain was simply not up to the job and early defeats in WW II showed this. Churchill used alliteration, strong vocabulary and repetition to get his messages across. These messages kept morale high in Britain during the war and reassured the public that victory was in sight. He managed to unite the country behind him.
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Interpretation Was Churchill the right person? Historian two Everyone seems to think the guy was a hero. In my view, he is far from a hero – Churchill was usually drunk and spent most of the day asleep. He was outspoken and sexist and easily got people’s backs up. He had little concern for his soldiers and seemed to want to take all the glory for himself. Chamberlain would have done a good job if given time. At the start of the war, British troops were hugely outnumbered by the Nazis and early defeats were to be expected.
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Interpretation Over to you… Which of the historians do you agree with? Why do you agree with them? Do the ‘failings’ of Churchill highlighted by Historian two really affect Churchill’s ability to be the ‘best person for the job’?
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Interpretation Was Churchill the right person? The cartoonist David Low seemed to think that Churchill was the best person for the job of war leader. This cartoon was published in the Evening Standard in May What is its message? How does it get its message across?
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Interpretation Was Churchill the right person? What is your overall judgement of Churchill? How do you think he should be remembered?
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