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Winston Churchill
Churchill
Historical Figure
Nationality: United Kingdom
Date of Birth: 1874
Date of Death: 1965
Cause of Death: Stroke
Religion: Anglicanism
Occupation: Politician, Author, Artist, Journalist, World War I
Spouse: Clementine Hozier
Children: Five
Political Office(s): Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Turtledove Appearances:
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Armistice
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
The Man With the Iron Heart
POD: May 29, 1942;
Relevant POD: May, 1945
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
Worldwar
POD: May 30, 1942
Appearance(s): In the Balance
through
Striking the Balance
Type of Appearance: Direct
"News From the Front"
POD: December 8, 1941
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
In the Presence of Mine Enemies
POD: c. 1940
Type of Appearance: Posthumous reference
Date of Death: c. 1941
Cause of Death: Executed by the Nazis
The War That Came Early
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
Appearance(s): West and East;
The Big Switch
Type of Appearance: Direct
Date of Death: 1940
Cause of Death: Hit by a Bentley
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Type of Appearance: Direct
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): The Victorious Opposition
through
In at the Death
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references (Direct via radio in TVO)
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (Can) (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician known chiefly for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a Nobel Prize-winning writer, and an artist.

Churchill was born into the aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough, a branch of the Spencer family. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a charismatic politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer; his mother, Jennie Jerome, was an American socialite. As a young army officer, he saw action in British India, the Sudan, and the Second Boer War. He gained fame as a war correspondent and wrote books about his campaigns.

He entered government prior to World War I, holding several offices, including Home Secretary and First Lord of the Admiralty. He remained the First Lord from 1911 until the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915 forced his departure from the government altogether. He served on the Western Front for a time, but was returned to government as Minister of Munitions in the closing days of the war. He remained part of the government after the war, serving first as Secretary of State for the Colonies and Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 1920s.

He was out of office again in the early 1930s, but regained some political traction as a voice warning against Nazi Germany. At the outbreak of World War II, he was again appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain on 10 May 1940, Churchill became Prime Minister. His steadfast refusal to consider surrender helped inspire British resistance, especially during the difficult early days of the war when the British Commonwealth and Empire stood alone in its active opposition to Adolf Hitler. He cultivated a good relationship with U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which secured supplies and munitions from the U.S. After Germany invaded the Soviet Union, Churchill, previously a stout anti-communist, nonetheless opened lines of communication with Joseph Stalin, and provided aide to the USSR. Churchill was particularly noted for his speeches and radio broadcasts, which helped inspire the British people. He led Britain as Prime Minister until victory over Nazi Germany had been secured.

Despite these successes, Churchill and the Conservative Party lost the general election in May 1945. Churchill became Leader of the Opposition, and publicly railed against his former ally, Joseph Stalin, popularizing the notion of the "Iron Curtain" surrounding the USSR's sphere of influence. The Conservatives won the general election in 1951, and Churchill became Prime Minister again. His second term saw numerous foreign crisis within the Commonwealth as well the Korean War and a coup in Iran. He suffered a stroke in 1953, although he did not resign until 1955. He remained in Parliament until 1964, and died in 1965.

As a writer, Churchill produced several volumes of history. He even dabbled in alternate history with the 1931 essay, "If Lee Had NOT Won the Battle of Gettysburg", which is written from the viewpoint of a historian in a world where Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia won the Battle of Gettysburg, leading to a Confederate States victory in the American Civil War, and the narration frequently asks what would happen if that were not so.

Winston Churchill in The Hot War

Winston Churchill remained head of the Conservative Party in the 1950s. A national election was scheduled for 1951, but was cancelled due to the onset of World War III. Prime Minister Clement Attlee thought it likely that Churchill would have won.[1][2]

Winston Churchill in The Man With the Iron Heart

Despite leading Great Britain to victory in World War II, Winston Churchill's Conservatives lost Parliament and the Prime Ministry to Clement Attlee's Labour Party by a landslide in 1945.[3]

In 1947, after German Freedom Front truck bombs destroyed St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, Churchill was able to regain some political traction, charging the Attlee government with failing to protect the country.[4]

Winston Churchill in Worldwar

Allies

Churchill leads the Allied Forces in World War II with Joseph Stalin and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Following the arrival of the Race's Conquest Fleet in 1942, Prime Minister Winston Churchill led Britain through an uphill fight against the Race. While he was able to preserve the United Kingdom's sovereignty, he was unable to protect the entirety of its empire.

A pragmatist, Churchill was an early advocate of uniting all of the beligerents in the late Second World War against their new alien foe. He hosted the first two Big Five meetings in London with representatives of Germany, the United States, the Soviet Union, and Japan. During the first meeting, Churchill and U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull informed the others present that their countries were already involved in a joint project to build an explosive-metal bomb.[5] During the second meeting in 1943, Churchill strongly advocated that the alliance continue on, even after the Race was defeated or at least pushed back, as the Colonization Fleet was expected to arrive in the 1960s.[6]

Despite the risk of a Race attack, Churchill continued to tour the country throughout 1943, visiting locations such as the Bruntingthorpe Aerodome. During this visit (which he made while riding a bicycle), Churchill was disappointed, although not surprised, to learn that current human science and technology would not be able to duplicate the Race's radar and killercraft technology for the foreseeable future.[7]

Later in 1943, the Race launched an invasion of the British Isles.[8] Churchill issued an ultimatum: the Race had two days to evacuate Britain, or they would be exposed to a type of warfare they had not yet seen.[9] Fleetlord Atvar believed Churchill was referring to atomic weapons, and continued the attack. Instead, Churchill ordered the use of poison gas.[10] Completely unprepared, the Race retreated when the casualties grew too high.

With the fighting reaching a stalemate, Atvar called for a cease-fire and a meeting in Cairo with the major human powers. Churchill sent the Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, although as the U.K. did not have atomic weapons, Eden was there only informally.[11] Eden, who would eventually succeed Churchill as Prime Minister,[12] ensured Britain's survival as an independent nation, though Churchill was forced to abandon claims to all the colonies of the British Empire,[13] except Canada[14] and New Zealand (which had been too small for the Race to bother with).[15]

In later years, the Race recalled Churchill's stubbornness with horror.[16]

Winston Churchill in "News From the Front"

Prime Minister Winston Churchill faced sharp criticism from the British press for his handling of World War II. British radio described Churchill's assent as a "right-wing coup".[17] His critics were particularly disgusted with Churchill's refusal to accept the sensible peace proposed by Germany early in the war.[18]

Winston Churchill in In the Presence of Mine Enemies

Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874- c. 1941) led Britain in a last desperate attempt to fight off the invading German forces during the Second World War. They failed, and Churchill was executed.[19]

In Germany in 2011, a smash-hit musical told the story of a theatre owner who booked a terrible play about Churchill and Joseph Stalin with the intent of scuttling his theatre, only to have the plan backfire when the Churchill-Stalin play became a huge success.[20]

Winston Churchill in The War That Came Early

Winston Churchill's (1874-1940) charismatic attacks on Neville Chamberlain's Prime Ministry gained him attention during the early days of the Second World War. Even after a joint Anglo-French offensive stopped the German drive on Paris in Spring 1939, Churchill remained critical of Chamberlain.[21]

Despite this criticism, Chamberlain appointed Churchill Minister of War in December 1939.[22] Churchill held the position into 1940, frequently giving fiery orations and generally keeping the spirit and the resolve of the country up during these difficult times.[23]

However, in the Spring of 1940, Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess parachuted into Scotland, where he was found by Sgt. Alistair Walsh. Walsh took Hess to the appropriate authorities. Germany called for a truce with Britain and France, and Hess began negotiations with the Chamberlain government for a new alliance among Britain, France, and Germany against the Soviet Union.[24] Churchill strongly and publicly opposed this course of action,[25] and soon after he was hit and killed by a drunk driver while crossing the street in London in July.[26] He received a hero's funeral, which simply confirmed for many that he'd been murdered.[27]

Walsh, with whom Churchill had visited shortly before his death,[28] grew disgusted with the change in alliances, and quickly concluded that some part of the government had been responsible for Churchill's death. He resigned from the army and made common cause with a group of British MPs, led by Ronald Cartland, who'd been a Churchill ally.[29]

After the 1941 British Military Coup, the government opened a new inquiry into Churchill's death.[30]

Winston Churchill in Joe Steele

Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in May 1940, a few months after the outbreak of World War II.[31] When France fell to Germany, and British forces were driven from the Continent, U.S. President Joe Steele, frightened by the possibility of Adolf Hitler completely controlling Europe with only the Atlantic Ocean between him and the U.S., began supplying Britain with weapons and money, but kept the U.S. neutral in the conflict.[32]

While Churchill was grateful for the help, he could not hide his disdain for the source of that help. He accepted the help in a speech in which he concluded that if the U.S. was "too proud" to fight, the U.K. would still take the tools and win the war. He concluded: "If the Devil opposed Adolf Hitler, I should endeavor to give him a good notice in the House of Commons. Thus I thank Joe Steele." Steele remembered the back-handed compliment.[33]

In 1941, the war in Europe seemed to stabilize, with Germany invading North Africa, Yugoslavia and Greece in order to save Italy's floundering efforts. Japan continued to advance in China, and were making advances into Indochina with Vichy France's tacit approval.[34]

This move worried both Churchill and Steele, as both the UK and US had interests in the region, and Indochina would make a viable launching pad for Japan to attack those interests.[35] In response, Steele decided to stop selling Japan scrap and oil, and to freeze Japanese assets in the U.S., a course of action that increased the tension between the two countries.[36] Five days after Steele made this decision, Germany attacked the Soviet Union.[37] However, the Soviets were still in the war six weeks later, confounding expectations.[38]

As Russia was fighting for its life, Steele met with Winston Churchill for the first time in Portland, Maine. Churchill had wanted to meet in Canada or Newfoundland, but as Churchill was the one with hat in hand, Steele demanded the Portland meeting. The two actually met aboard a Royal Navy destroyer off the coast.[39] Churchill's first request was that the U.S. extend aid to Trotsky as it had with the U.K. Steele initially refused Churchill's request, but as Churchill grew bolder, reminding Steele that the U.S. was as much a prison state as Trotsky's Soviet Union. He also argued that compared with Hitler, Trotsky was reasonable. Without committing (the U.S. still hadn't recognized the Soviet Union), Steele and his aids returned to their ship after extending a dinner invitation to Churchill.[40] That evening, after some cagey behavior, Steele acknowledged that he'd start sending aid to Trotsky, based on the advice of his speechwriter, Charlie Sullivan. Churchill was delighted.[41]

While Steele tried to keep the aid quiet, dealing through the Soviet embassy in Ottawa, Churchill announced the deal to the world. While Hitler decried the deal, he did not launch a war with the U.S.[42]

In December 1941, Japan attacked several British possessions in the Pacific Ocean, including British Malaya and Singapore. While this was devastating to the U.K., the attacks on the American holdings in the Philippines and Pearl Harbor brought the U.S. into the war.[43]

While things looked bleak at the beginning of 1942, as the year continued, things started to go the Allies' way. By 1943, Allied victory seemed almost inevitable. In October, Churchill met with Steele and Trotsky in Basra, Iraq, which was still a British protectorate. This marked the first in person meeting of Steele and Trotsky (Churchill had met Trotsky prior). As part of the conference, Churchill, on behalf of King George VI, presented Trotsky with the Sword of Valor in the name of the Russian people.[44]

The public statement coming out of the conference declared independence for the captured countries of Europe and the Far East and punishment for the German and Japanese leaders causing the war. It also promised the creation of an international organization strong enough to make a lasting peace. Private agreements were also reached where the Soviet Army would help the U.S. invade Japan when it became feasible. Trotsky also had wanted hegemony over all of Eastern Europe and the Balkans but Churchill convinced him to yield influence over Greece to Britain, threatening a naval bombardment of Red Army positions in Greece if it came to that.[45]

Churchill remained in office until after the war in Europe ended in 1945. He was succeeded by Clement Attlee, who was not invited to the Wakamatsu Conference in the late summer of 1946.[46]

Literary comment

As the broader course of British history was not affected by the POD, it is likely that Churchill returned to the Prime Ministry in 1951 as in OTL, but this is never stated and thus should not be presumed.

Winston Churchill in Southern Victory

A right-wing member of Britain's Conservative Party, Winston Churchill was chosen in 1932 as that party's leader to prevent Conservative voters from defecting to Oswald Mosley's Silver Shirts.[47] With Mosley as his war minister, Prime Minister Churchill led Britain into the Second Great War, with devastating results.

Churchill supported the Nationalist faction in the Spanish Civil War. British and French forces helped the Nationalists to a surprise victory over the German-backed Monarchists.[48] On the strength of this, Churchill was able to pass legislation for conscription in the U.K.,[49] and supported French demands for a plebiscite in Alsace and Lorraine.[50]

Churchill cooperated with President Jake Featherston of the Confederate States, King Charles XI of France, and Tsar Mikhail II of Russia to restore Entente nations to positions of military strength.

With the death of German Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1941, these rulers launched coordinated assaults on the Central Powers.[51] Churchill violated the neutrality of the Netherlands,[52] Norway,[53] and Ireland[54] in 1941, invading all three countries and driving each to join the Central Powers openly. Despite the diplomatic costs of such a belligerent course, the British did attain their short-term strategic goals in two of the three invasions, at least initially. German forces defeated the British army in Norway.

Churchill did not trust his allies and refused to share jet technology and research on the superbomb with most of them. He and Featherston cooperated in a mission to take Bermuda[55] from the United States, but Britain ultimately occupied Bermuda alone for much of the war.

In 1943, Churchill took advantage of the Royal Navy's defeat of the German High Seas Fleet to begin large-scale operations against the U.S. Navy in the North Atlantic. This proved unwise, as his navy was soundly defeated in the Battle of the North Atlantic and at Bermuda. The US Navy then began supporting the Irish resistance movement. British fortunes suffered elsewhere that year when they were betrayed by Japan, which occupied Malaya;[56] and when Central Powers forces began driving the British out of German and Dutch territory. Through all these setbacks, Churchill, who had by now become the dominant personality throughout the Entente nations of Western Europe, steadfastly refused to concede that British fortunes were suffering.

Though Churchill was able to strike at Germany in 1944 with the destruction of Hamburg[57] via the superbomb, Germany struck right back with three superbombs against London, Norwich, and Brighton.[58] The retaliatory attack promised by Churchill failed, with Germany intercepting the second British superbomb over Belgium.[59] As a result, Churchill was ousted as Prime Minister in a non-confidence vote, and his government fell.[60] A caretaker government was formed under Horace Wilson, who then asked Germany for an armistice.[61]

Before his fall, Churchill relented on his refusal to share technology with his allies, sharing Britain's research on the superbomb with the Confederate States. As a result, the C.S. was the first country to use a superbomb in North America, although it benefited neither the C.S. nor Britain in the long run.[62]

References

  1. Armistice, p. 156.
  2. See Inconsistencies in Turtledove's Work#Inconsistencies in The Hot War.
  3. The Man With the Iron Heart, pg. 56.
  4. Ibid., pg. 324.
  5. In the Balance, pgs. 220-227
  6. Tilting the Balance, pgs. 120-125.
  7. Ibid., pgs. 252-257.
  8. Upsetting the Balance, pg. 110.
  9. Ibid., pg. 145
  10. Ibid. pgs. 162-163.
  11. Striking the Balance, pg. 373.
  12. Aftershocks, pg. 301
  13. Striking the Balance, pg. 375.
  14. Ibid., pg. 397
  15. See Colonization generally.
  16. Second Contact, pg. 206.
  17. See, e.g., Atlantis and Other Places, pg. 99.
  18. Ibid., pgs. 99-100.
  19. In the Presence of Mine Enemies, pg. 65.
  20. Ibid., pg. 139.
  21. West and East, pg. 223.
  22. Ibid., pg. 378.
  23. The Big Switch, pg. 170.
  24. Ibid., pg. 150-51.
  25. Ibid., pg. 197.
  26. Ibid., pg. 214.
  27. Ibid., pg. 234.
  28. Ibid,. pg 173-74.
  29. Ibid., pg. 341.
  30. Ibid., pg. 187.
  31. Joe Steele, pg. 223.
  32. Ibid., pgs. 223-224.
  33. Ibid., pgs. 223-224.
  34. Ibid., pg. 234.
  35. Ibid.
  36. Ibid., pgs. 234-235.
  37. Ibid., pg. 235.
  38. Ibid. pg., 236.
  39. Ibid., pgs. 237-239.
  40. Ibid., pgs. 239-240.
  41. Ibid., pgs. 241-242.
  42. Ibid., pg. 242.
  43. Ibid., pgs. 244-247.
  44. Ibid., pg. 279.
  45. Ibid., pgs. 282-283, HC.
  46. Ibid., pg. 326.
  47. The Victorious Opposition, pg. 413.
  48. Ibid.
  49. Ibid.
  50. Ibid., pg. 412.
  51. Ibid., pgs. 606.
  52. Return Engagement, pg. 299
  53. Ibid.
  54. Ibid., pg. 86.
  55. Ibid. pg 95
  56. In at the Death, pg. 299.
  57. Ibid., pg. 345.
  58. Ibid., pg. 363.
  59. Ibid., pg. 365.
  60. Ibid. pg. 367.
  61. Ibid., pg. 368.
  62. Ibid., pgs. 141.143.

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