The 2nd World War
As war time Prime Minister Churchill led Britain through the hard time in the war and later when the tide turned in Britain’s favour. Churchill led the UK to victory because he made great speeches, which inspired the British people but also because of his military decisions.
The low point
Churchill became Prime Minister at a low point in the war after the allies had suffered several serious defeats and Neville Chamberlain had lost the confidence of Parliament and the people. Britain was alone without strong allies after France and most of mainland Europe had fallen to Nazi Germany. One of the best things that had happened was that very many troops had been rescued to fight on after Dunkirk.
For Churchill and for many people death was better than survival under the Nazi yoke and Churchill inspired the British people to fight as long as possible whatever happened. Britain faced continual bombardment from the German air force or Luftwaffe but Churchill successfully organised air defence. Churchill apparently thought Britain was safe from invasion while the Royal Navy and the British Air Force (the RAF) were strong so he sent the army to fight Mussolini and forced the axis to fight on two fronts. Britain’s intervention in Greece may have prevented Hitler from defeating Russia.
Churchill hated Communism but when Hitler invaded Russia he recognised that Britain desperately needed an ally and considered the Nazis worse than Communists. Churchill sent a large part of Britain’s military output to Russia with convoys through the Arctic even though naval escorts were desperately needed to protect other convoys carrying Britain’s food supplies which were regularly attacked by German U-boats.
The better time
Churchill maintained friendly relations with US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the hope that the United States would later enter the war. When imperial Japan made the mistake of attacking Pearl Harbor this happened. With the United States and Russia as important allies Britain and the other allied gradually won the war.
Churchill suffered a severe loss in the subsequent election after the war to Clement Attlee and the Labour Party. Despite his defeat he remained leader of the party and later went on to win the general election in 1951 despite being 76 at the time and a Conservative.