Monday, January 02, 2006

Winston's back...

The newly released WW2 cabinet papers have been getting a lot of news coverage. I freely admit I have only checked out the various precis that have been bandied about on the computer interweb hypermeganet, but as far as I can tell we are supposed to get quite breathless about the following:

  • Churchill believed the top Nazi leadership should have been summarily executed.
  • He didn't much like Gandhi.
  • He didn't get on that well with the Free French leadership.
To the best of my knowledge none of this is actually terribly (or indeed in any way) revelatory, although the documents themselves will no doubt reveal interesting new details to an already known story.

For me the most interesting little nugget is this:

The documents also reveal intense debate in 1942 over possible British reprisals for Nazi atrocities in Czechoslovakia.

On 15 June, Churchill suggested that British bombers wipe out three German villages for every one Czech settlement destroyed.

This I did not know. Intriguing.


Blogger Alex said...

None of this is really surprising. I've often thought WSC rather liked the sound of being a gangster - he certainly liked the movies - and the notions of a) disproportionate heel-grinding revenge and b) a dramatic finish frying in the chair go well with it.

Think about it: what other character is he portraying in the famous photo with monster cigar, rather brash chalkstripe, and Thompson gun (itself the most gangsterish firearm ever devised)?

9:42 AM  

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