CHRISTOPHER M. BELL    Book Number: 83463    Product format: Hardback

Winston Churchill had a longer and closer relationship with the Royal Navy than any British statesman in modern times, but his record as naval Commander in Chief and strategist has been mired in controversy since the ill-fated Dardanelles Campaign of 1915. As First Lord of the Admiralty when Britain was drawn into WWI on 4 August 1914 he found himself in charge of an impressive naval force that was inadequately prepared for war and the given woeful failure of the navy-only Dardanelles Campaign it is only natural - rightly or wrongly - that Churchill shouldered much of the blame, and it undoubtedly exposed his then shortcomings. But is it right that Churchill is even today regarded as an inept naval strategist who interfered in naval operations and overrode his professional advisors, often with disastrous results? Christopher Bell's is the first major study of Churchill's naval record. He sets the record straight and debunks many well-entrenched myths surrounding controversial episodes in both World Wars such as the Dardanelles, the Norwegian Campaign, the Battle of the Atlantic and the loss of HMS Repulse and Prince of Wales in 1941, finding many common criticisms to be exaggerated, but also brings to light many of his mistakes that history has overlooked. We see Churchill's evolution as a maritime strategist over the course of his career and how his genuine affection for the Royal Navy was tempered by his pragmatic and unsentimental views of the effectiveness of sea power, especially as rapid technological change made it clear that air, rather than sea power was going to provide the best guarantee of Britain's security. With 19 b/w plates - we love how often his cigar appears. 445pp. Apologies for small remainder mark.
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ISBN 9780199693573
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