“Bitirdim. * ”
Takvimler 1970’leri gösterdiğinde, dünyanın en büyük komutanlarından biri çoktan ölmüştü. Şimdiye kadar, o adamın hayatı bilgilendirildi ve tartışıldı. Ancak, yalnızca Churchill’in mezhepçi olmayan Sir Martin Gilbert, Churchill’in tüm hayatını anlatan böyle ilahi bir projeyi başardı. Diğer tarihçiler, Gilbert’in başyapıtına şiddetle karşı çıksalar da, kitabı tüm edebiyat döneminin kilometre taşlarından biri olmayı başardı. Ayrıca Sir Martin Gilbert, Churchill’in kendisi tarafından onaylanan yetkili biyografi yazarıydı. Bu nedenle, Churchill hakkında bir makale çıkacaksa, birincil kaynak Churchill’in Gilbert tarafından yazılan kitabı olmalıdır. Bu makalede, Gilbert’in kitabından ve çevrimiçi kaynaklarından derlenmiş bilgileri göreceksiniz.
Winston Churchill, 30 Kasım 1874’te Oxfordshire’daki Blenheim Sarayı’nda aristokrat ve zengin bir ailenin üyesi olarak dünyaya geldi. Annesi bağımsız fikirli New York sosyetelerinden biriydi. Babası, Marlborough Dükünün oğlu. Churchill, iki yaşından yedi yaşına kadar hemşiresi Bayan Everest tarafından bakıldı. Churchill ona çok derin bir minnettarlık duydu ve o da vardı. Churchill, daha önceki hayatında okula gitmeyi sevmiyordu. Kötü notlar alıyordu ve kitaplarından birinde şu noktayı vurguluyordu:
“… o okuldan nasıl nefret ettim ve hangi yaşam kaygısını yaşadım 1 …”
İki okulda kötü performans gösterdikten sonra, Londra yakınlarındaki bir yatılı okul olan Harrow School’a gönderildi. Kaydından sonraki haftalarda Harrow Rifle Corps’a katıldı ve askeri kariyerinin yolunu açtı. 18’e kadar orada kaldı ve History of English’de mükemmeldi. 1895’te Kraliyet Süvarisine katılmayı başardı.
Churchill orduya ikinci teğmen olarak katıldı. O ve subayı, İspanyol Ordusu’nun konuğu olarak Küba’ya gitti. İlk görevi, İngiliz istihbaratı tarafından verilen İspanyolların yeni delici mermisi hakkında bilgi toplar. Bu görevden sonra Hindistan’a gitti. Hindistan’da zamanının çoğunu kitap okuyarak geçirdi. Ayrıca annesinden bazı kitaplarını Hindistan’a göndermesini istedi. 1898’de Sudan’daki Müslüman dervişlere karşı savaşmak için Hindistan’dan ayrıldı (Omdurman Savaşı)
Churchill ordudayken, gazete sayısı için askeri raporlar yazmıştı. 1899’da ordudan vazgeçti ve Muhafazakar olarak Parlamento’nun yanında yer aldı. Yenildi. Ancak bir sonraki seçimlere katılmaya karar verdi. Aynı yılın Eylül ayında, Morning Post’un İkinci Anglo-Boer Savaşı hakkında haber yapması için Güney Afrika’ya savaş muhabiri olarak gitmesi istendi. Boer’in pusuya düşmesi nedeniyle esir alındı.
Esaret altında geçen yirmi yedi günden sonra kaçmayı başardı. Daha sonra, başına gelenleri bilgilendirmek için Londra’ya bir günlük gönderdi:
“… çok zayıfım, ama özgürüm 2 …
Londra’ya giderken pek çok makale yazdı ve deneyimleriyle ilgili bir kitap yazdı. Bunlar onu ünlü yaptı.
On 1 October 1900, he became a member of to British Parliament in the Conservative Party for Oldham, a place in Manchester. After then, he embarked on a tour to the USA and Canada to talk about his experiences while he was in South Africa. When he was in Washington D.C., he was invited to the White House to meet President McKinley.
*[On losing his position at the Admiralty in 1915. Churchill said to Lord Riddell, as cited in Maxims and Reflections, Chapter I (On Himself), Churchill, Houghton Mifflin Company (1947)].
1 Gilbert,M 2012, Churchill: The Power of Words – His Remarkable Life Recounted Through His Writings and Speeches,pp.4-5
2 Gilbert,M 2012, Churchill: The Power of Words – His Remarkable Life Recounted Through His Writings and Speeches,pp30-31
By his congressman period, he gave speeches to various places in Britain about his new ideas and ongoing wars. Because of changing their policies, Churchill decided to switch to the Liberal Party. In 1906, he was elected as a member of the Liberal Party and took place in the House of Commons. In 1908, Churchill entered the cabinet as the President of the Board and Table, responsible for social policy.
He introduced several reforms for the prison system, introduced the first minimum wage, helped labor exchanges and unemployment insurance. Amidst his newly reforms, he was married to Clementine Hoizer who would be Churchill’s supporter at his speeches.
In 1909, he was invited to Germany as a guest of the German Kaiser. With that visitation, his mind created a vision of the German military. He had participated in the bills against Noble’s power and changed the taxation system.
In 1911, he was appointed First Lord of Admiralty. As well as being in charge of the Royal Navy and newly founded Royal Naval Air Service. He asked the pilots to teach him how to fly. He told his flying adventures in his “Thoughts and Adventures” book.
On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his pregnant wife were assassinated by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo. The Austro-Hungarian government sent an ultimatum to the Serbian government and demanded unacceptable privilege and trying to intervene in the Serbian judicial system. Meanwhile, Britain was at the shore of a civil war.
Due to German advance through Belgium, Great Britain declared war on Germany. For the time being, Churchill was giving vigorously speeches to an anxious society. In 1914, he left London for Antwerp. And he shared his experiences in Antwerp to the House of Commons to emphasize the fact that things were going well.
In 1914, the Ottoman Empire joined the war on the side of Germany. Churchill favored a naval attack to the Dardanelles to push Ottomans back. Nevertheless, this idea was not approved by January 1915. The Anglo-French squadron took to attempt to push through the Dardanelles to the Sea of Marmara took place on 18 March 1915. The attack was unsuccessful. A French battleship, three British battleships were sunk. With his fearsome anger, Churchill wanted to attempt again. However, he was rejected.
Following the unsuccessful naval operation at Dardanelles, the landings begun on Gallipoli Peninsula. The landings were started amidst the political crisis. The political crisis was happening because of shell shortage happening in Flanders which led to comprise of the coalition government. One of the Conservative Party’s demands was Churchill’s resignation. On 21 May 1915, Churchill learned that he was no longer to be First Lord of the Admiralty.
He was offered, and accepted, the post of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. In this way, he retained his seat both cabinet and the war council.
For a short time of period, he joined the war himself to experience “no man’s land”. In the final years of the battle, he was designated to the minister of munitions. Meanwhile, things were not going well in Russia, a Bolshevik rebellion took over the government and changed the system. Churchill warned his country about feedbacks on this dreadful event in his speeches.
He had to change his party again because his party had been drastically reduced in strength. He rejoined the Conservative Party. He served as a Chancellor of the Exchequer.
When the calendars showed the year 1929, the Liberal Party came to power. Churchill, having retained his parliamentary seat, set off an extended visit to Canada and the USA, studying the political systems in both countries. He lectured and gave speeches. Until late-1932’s he had visited lots of countries and he foresaw the destruction capability of Nazis and warned people and politicians in his articles3.
3 Gilbert,M 2012, Churchill: The Power of Words – His Remarkable Life Recounted Through His Writings and Speeches,pp.188-189
He vigorously supported the rearmament of the British. Churchill’s fears that Britain would not be properly prepared if war suddenly started. He offered tothe Ministry of Supply, firstly it was rejected by the Prime Minister. However, Churchill gave a speech to illustrate the prominence of such a ministry, the idea was accepted.
Churchill hated the idea of “defeatism”. He could not take more when he heard “defeat” word. He illustrated the fact by saying these:
“….No, the Ambassador should not have spoken so, Mr. Lippmann; he should not have said that dreadful word4….”
On 1 September 1939, Germany, without an ultimatum or warning, invaded Poland. Two days later, Britain and France to honor their treaties with Poland, they declared war on Germany. Two days later, Churchill was appointed to the First Lord of Admiralty. After the destruction number of Britain passenger ships and battleships by Nazi U-Boats, Churchill gave a speech about the war on the sea. After that speech, even supporters of the current prime minister, people said that they found their leaders. Invasion of Norway led to turmoil in the British council, this chaotic situation paved the way of resignation of current prime minister.
On May 10, 1941, King George V appointed Churchill as prime minister and minister of defense. His first two days as prime minister passed creating a new cabinet which he called “the Grand Coalition” When Churchill summoned the new ministers to Admiralty house, he said:
“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat5.”
He did his best to convince France not to surrender but improving pressure and unbearable war conditions by Germans led to their surrender.
The hearth of Britain was bombarded day by day. War was resuming on air not only land. People were getting more worried that Britain would be invaded by the Nazis. Churchill kept speaking. He believed that Britain would prevail. Churchill renewed his relationship between U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. POTUS6 signed the Lend-Lease Act which enabled Britain to buy everything whatever she needs with credit which would be paid after the war. Notwithstanding, America remained natural.
With the attack of Pearl Harbor conducted by Japan, The United States of America joined the war. Churchill said:
“We had won the war7.”
For Britain’s sake, the declaration of war to Germany by the USA, was a good thing however Churchill worried about if the USA focuses on the Pacific than the Mediterranean and Europe. Churchill went to the USA. He managed to convince US President Franklin D. Roosevelt about the war in Europe should their priority.
After visiting Washington, he went to Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, and there he addressed the Canadian Parliament.
Meanwhile, the war was going on, he went everywhere he could to convince people to support the Allies. By Yalta and Potsdam Conference he collaborated with the two leaders to develop a mutual strategy against the Axis.
Despite the surrender of Germany, he was defeated in the general elections by Labor Party. After his defeat, he kept giving speeches about Britain.
In 1946, he gave one of the most important speeches as known, the Iron Curtain speech. He warned the expansion of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe. He also supported the idea of not joining European alliances.
On 25 October 1951, the Conservative Party won the elections and Churchill became prime minister. As prime minister, he went to Washington to address the US Congress about the Korean War and any possibility of third world war must be averted.
4 Gilbert,M 2012, Churchill: The Power of Words – His Remarkable Life Recounted Through His Writings and Speeches,pp.215
5 Gilbert,M 2012, Churchill: The Power of Words – His Remarkable Life Recounted Through His Writings and Speeches,pp.242
6 PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
7 Gilbert,M 2012, Churchill: The Power of Words – His Remarkable Life Recounted Through His Writings and Speeches,pp.289
Churchill introduced new reforms such as the Mines and Quarries Act of 1954 which improved working conditions in mines.
On 5 April 1955, Churchill, after suffering a series of strokes, resigned as Prime Minister. He was eighty years old. On the previous evening Churchill and his wife gave their farewell dinner at 10 Downing Street for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
He spent his last years by finishing last volume of his book; “ A History of English-Speaking Peoples” In his last paragraph, he wrote:
“Here is set out a long story of the English-Speaking Peoples. They are now to become Allies in terrible but victorious wars. And that is not the end. Another phase looms before us, in which alliance will once more be tested and in which its formidable virtues may be to preserve Peace and Freedom. The future is unknowable, but the past should give us hope. Nor should we now seek to define precisely the exact terms of ultimate union8.”
On 9 October 1959, the Conservatives returned to power. Churchill retained his seat and was once more Member of the Parliament where he was elected fifty-nine years earlier. He never spoke to the Parliament again.
He spoke his last public speech at constituency in Woodford.
“…In all this we in Britain have a great part to play, a leading part. By our courage, our endurance, and our brains we have made our way in the world to the lasting benefit of mankind. Let us not lose heart. Our future is one of high hope9…”
Churchill died on January 24, 1965, at age 90 in his home in London after suffering a severe stroke.
He wrote forty-three10 books in his entire life. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. He won the Nobel Prize for literature for “his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values,” according to the Nobel Prize committee.
8 Gilbert, M 2012, Churchill: Kelimelerin Gücü – Yazıları ve Konuşmalarıyla Anlatılan Olağanüstü Hayatı, s. 424
9 Gilbert, M 2012, Churchill: Kelimelerin Gücü – Yazıları ve Konuşmalarıyla Anlatılan Olağanüstü Hayatı, s. .428-429
Winston Churchill üretken bir yazar ve yazardı ve 1953’te Nobel Edebiyat Ödülü’nü kazandı.
Churchill, İngiliz devlet adamı bir babanın ve Amerikalı sosyetik bir annenin oğluydu.
1963’te Başkan JFK, Churchill’e fahri ABD vatandaşlığı verdi, ilk kez bir başkan yabancı bir uyrukluya böyle bir ödül verdi.