Talk:Winston Churchill/Archive 10

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The western front

Not sure if the term "commission" in the sentence "He attempted to obtain a commission as a brigade commander" is correct. He presumably already held a commission to be an army officer. Most likely "an appointment" would be more correct? Rumiton (talk) 13:32, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

In the absence of comment I shall make the change. Rumiton (talk) 15:56, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Wasn't He an American Citizen by Birth?

Given that his mother was American?? ( (talk) 20:51, 18 April 2010 (UTC))

Actually, I think I have answered my own question. Apperently, he would have been eligible to claim his American citizenship at any time, but the USA did not allow for dual citizenship as it does now, he would have had to renounce his British citizenship. ( (talk) 20:55, 18 April 2010 (UTC))


It would be nice to know more about Churchill the painter. I understand he used the pseudonym "Charles Morin" for some of his works? This should probably be discussed in the article. Drutt (talk) 05:28, 8 May 2010 (UTC)


The citation of Churchill's premiership is deficient, showing him as Prime Minister only from 1951-55. He was also Prime Minister from May 10, 1940 to July 26, 1945. This should be corrected. —Preceding unsigned comment added by James K. Fraser, M.A. (talkcontribs) 21:21, 10 May 2010 (UTC)


pardon me if i didn't find a discussion about this in the archives but why is it written in british english, the article on say scotland isn't in gaelic. (talk) 08:18, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

This is the English Wikipedia so articles are written in English. If the subject of the article is primarily related to the USA then we use American spellings, if it is primarily related to the UK then we use British spellings. If it is related to a part of the world where the American, British or another spelling type are dominant then we use the variation that matches the location. If the article is related to a non-English subject or to a region where no specific spelling variation is dominant then we use whichever variant of English was first used in the article. See the guideline at WP:ENGVAR for more information.
Winston Churchill was a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom so we use the British spellings for this article. Road Wizard (talk) 08:41, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Honorary citizen followup

Following up to an archived Talk discussion, I have updated this article and Honours of Winston Churchill to reflect the fact that Churchill, not Lafayette, was the first honorary citizen of the United States. I do not know what the sources used in this article say regarding the order, but if they erroneously say (as many do, akin to the issue regarding Stalin's birthdate) they may need replacing and/or a footnote explaining the situation may have to be added. YLee (talk) 12:07, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

External link

There is a dedicated BBC page with links to archive about Churchill - I think this would be a useful external link to add Winston Churchill in the BBC Archive —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bbc archivist (talkcontribs) 12:00, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Pending changes

This article is one of a small number (about 100) selected for the first week of the trial of the Wikipedia:Pending Changes system on the English language Wikipedia. All the articles listed at Wikipedia:Pending changes/Queue are being considered for level 1 pending changes protection.

The following request appears on that page:

However with only a few hours to go, comments have only been made on two of the pages.

Please update the Queue page as appropriate.

Note that I am not involved in this project any more than any other editor, just posting these notes since it is quite a big change, potentially.

Regards, Rich Farmbrough, 20:50, 15 June 2010 (UTC).

Disagreement - "Winston is back"

I can't at this moment check the sources at footnotes [133] and [134]; but I have just seen the ODNB article at [[1]], which says "‘Winston is back’, the Admiralty signalled to the fleet, or so tradition has it — no record of the signal has ever been found." This casts doubt on wikipedia's statement "When they were informed, the Board of the Admiralty sent a signal to the Fleet: 'Winston is back'," and shows why it was made - it is presumably a popular myth MacAuslan (talk) 15:52, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

poor student? the churchill center officially states this as a myth and refutes it. blakerboy777 10/20/08 at 9:14 AM

I've always understood that he was rather thick at school... but then a lot of great British leaders were a bit thick before their 'time' came. The Duke of Wellington was hopeless at Eton yet led the British Army to some of her greatest victories. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:36, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

The Sir prefix

Could some one elucidate the issue of his "Sir" style: he did not have knighthood (?). Thus the honorific used in his case was a courtesy title as he was a grandson of a peer (John Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough)?Axxxion (talk) 18:35, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

He was Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter which entitled him to use "Sir". MilborneOne (talk) 20:11, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
As MilborneOne said, he was invested into the Order of the Garter in 1953. We cover it in the Honours of Winston Churchill article. Road Wizard (talk) 20:34, 20 June 2010 (UTC)


When was he knighted? When did he decline the peerage? Drutt (talk) 14:10, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

I believe he was knighted just before he was dead. I just find it ironic how his enemies valued him by only £25 (WANTED poster) during the Boer War, but the Queen give him a Knighthood. Who is the more stingy, is a part for me to decide... -- (talk) 11:01, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
He was knighted in 1953 and a Knight of the Order of the Garter is in no way stingy - it (and the Order of the Thistle) is the highest honour a British sovereign can personally give one of their subjects. It's also the highest honour one can hold and still remain a member of the House of Commons.
Churchill apparently declined the peerage (which he would have been automatically entitled to and which he would have certainly have had if he wanted) because he didn't want to constrain his son's attempts at a political career which would come with a peerage (Churchill himself was once briefly the heir apparent to the Duke of Malborough and so would have been aware of the fear of being confined to the Lords). Of course given that Randolph never made it back to the Commons and died young, whilst the younger Winston Churchill's career was nothing to write home about, this does seem to have been an unnecessary fear. Timrollpickering (talk) 11:34, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I note that the pre-WWI gold standard for the pound was about 100 pounds per 22 troy ounces of gold, so it comes to about $6k today, using today's gold prices. While not exactly overwhelming, that's not a bad offer for an escaped prisoner, especially considering that the Boer Republic was a relatively poor agrarian economy. If you want to do a more comparative study, the Historical Statistics of the US put the per capita GDP of the US in 1900 at about $500/person in 1929 dollars (very rough estimate). Using the gold standard, we can convert that and realize it's about 100 pounds a year. So 25 pounds would be closer to the equivalent of a quarter of the per capita GDP, so using today for a comparison, that'd be somewhere around $10k. Again, not huge compared to the multi-million dollar bounties on major terrorists, but quite a decent reward for a fugitive, even in today's world. RayTalk 15:52, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Relations with the Soviet Union

This section seems to focus on the forced movement of Germans from Sovietised territories and one or two other issues - it doesn't have much in it about the conferences, Churchill's complex relations with Stalin, the role of Ultra in Barbarossa, Kursk, etc and other points. I wonder if it is giving a bit too much to the sufferings of German refugees for this article? Most of that was not something WSC could really do anything about, as it was Stalin's policies more that the British Govt. Looks like this section needs some more material and adjustments. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 15:07, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

He had a role in Archangel as well didn't he? Then there is the famous statement when he proposed giving Aid to the Soviet Union in the House of Commons "If Hitler invaded Hell, I would make at least a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons." It probably needs to be more balanced and more comprehensive. The German refugee issue is probably there along with the war crime of the Dresden bombings (declaring my cards there) but its all part of the brutality/necessity of war aspect of his life which is important. --Snowded TALK 15:13, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Tear Gas?

I see my edit in which I inserted the word "poison" instead of "tear" gas, has been undone. I have read the archived link on this which states that Churchill was not talking about using gas to kill but gas to disable in some form. However to say that what he was advocating was "tear" gas is not accurate, and according to the website: "It was likely that the suggested gas would permanently damage eyesight and *kill children and sickly persons, more especially as the people against whom we intend to use it have no medical knowledge with which to supply antidotes.*". I've edited it to "a disabling poison gas" which I think is the most accurate description. AMacR (talk) 06:25, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

You need a more reliable source than that web site. Lets get this sourced and agree before editing the article --Snowded TALK 06:34, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
This may be a source --Snowded TALK 06:38, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Ok but I thought this was the website being used to justify that he was advocating using tear gas rather than poison gas. Anyway the very next link on the page clearly states that the gas he advoated was mustard gas, which is obviously a posion gas. I think simply stating "mustard gas" would be the most accurate description.AMacR (talk) 06:46, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Having read the link you posted I'm unsure what to make of it. The article seems to be creating confusion between poison gas and tear gas by never actually differentiating between the two. The following passage "Churchill signed off on the request, but was forced to rescind his permission just days later when the Washington Disarmament Conference passed a resolution banning the use of tear gas. The shells, again, went unused." again mentions "tear gas" but on britannica it says the ban was actually on poison gas. So I think this website is probably being deliberately misleading on this point which may not be surprising given that its actually dedicated to Churchill. So anyway the evidence would appear to back the contention that he supported using "poison gas" and that most likely that poison gas was mustard gas, which is what I advocate changing the wording to.AMacR (talk) 07:31, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Please read WP:INDENT it helps understand the flow. A ban on poison gas might or might not be held to include tear gas we cannot draw an inference which is not in the sources per WP:OR. I agree that one web site is probably pro-Churchill as the other was anti. We still need a proper source here--Snowded TALK 07:44, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm just wondering why that particular reference is good enough for the line directly after, which is covering more or less the same material but not good enough for the claim that Churchill supported using poison gas. Also the reference used to back the "tear gas" claim does nothing of the sort. Both references back up the claim that Churchill supported using poison gas and make no mention of "tear gas" so clearly, at present "poison gas" is the most authoritative statement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by AMacR (talkcontribs) 08:31, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
forgot to sign, still learning the ropes a bit. Thanks for the welcome message btw, AMacR (talk) 08:38, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

No problem, we all have to learn the ropes, took me long enough and I'm not there yet. It does look like mustard gas, and that would make more sense given the period. However we really need it from a book or article with a bit more authority, a history text book or similar --Snowded TALK 08:40, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Just wondering why the standard of reference has to be so much higher for this particular statement, especially when there is no proper reference to support the present statement. It would seem to me that the most authoritative statement would be "poison gas" given the references available at present.AMacR (talk) 08:54, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
"I don't think its especially high. the reference you give just picks up the issue tangentially and it feels like a religious/cultural text more than history. If you want to change to mustard gas I won't revert, but I think you find other editors may. Best to get a better reference. I will have a look in the history section of my study later today to see if I can find anything if there is nothing on line. --Snowded TALK 09:02, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I think some historians get muddled with a much later, WW2 reference by Churchill [2] to General Ismay when he specifically states that he means "mustard gas" when talking about "poison gas" - this doesn't mean he meant it in the early 20s of course. When Townshend refers to Webster [3] he specifically has Webster talking about "gas bombs" as "tear gas". I think we may have to accept that the evidence is limited on this, that what is available points to tear gas from the original sources and also that it is worth mentioning that later false histories appeared (and are still widely circulated, particularly in the Arab world) that the British did use gas on Churchill's orders. Another point is that this may all have been seen (despicable though that may seem to us moderns) as very trivial and something that passed over WSC's desk with hardly a thought. The colonies were the colonies and to be treated as such. Interestingly, (I just checked) both Gilbert and Jenkins biogs treat this as a minor bit of bombing and hardly known about at the London level other than in passing. It's a different world! Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 10:21, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Yeah I see how that particular reference might be problematic alright but at the same time it wasn't considered problematic for referencing the sentence directly after it. If we are to use it at all why dismiss what it says about Churchill authorising mustard gas. However I discovered a quote attributed to him on another wikipedia page which would back up the claim that he meant tear gas rather than what we would consider "poison gas". "it is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes." However it still seems strange to me that the gas he supported using should have been banned by an international conference and that Churchill was warned against using it since it could cause permanent blindness and death to children and the ill. I suppose it's possible that what we know as "tear gas" was at that time simply known as "poison gas" and therefore had the same stigma attached to it as poison gases like mustard gas. However again it seems strange that those defending Churchill and the British actions in Iraq don't simply say he advocated using tear gas, instead they persist in trying to show that gas was never used at all. Even the Daily Telegraph repeats this claim that Churchill favoured the use of poison gas and actually bases it on the above quote I mention. There's seems to be some discrepancy between this quote and other evidence but perhaps it is simply confusion created by Churchill's repeated use of the term "poison gas". Anyway I suppose the present wording is probably the most accurate description but the reference for it would probably be best changed to the one used for the quote I mention: Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill, (London: Heinemann, 1976), companion volume 4, part 1--AMacR (talk) 19:25, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
There's always an awestruck element when discussing WSC that will see no faults. Some of the most honest and meticulous biographies or books about WW2 still gloss points that don't fit their theories well. We have an excellent opportunity in articles like this to use Wikipedia to tell the (quality-sourced - preferably from original sources) unvarnished truth, warts and all. Churchill, as anyone who has read even the more flattering biographies (and even, surprisingly, his own works) was a mix of great statesman, low cunning politician, ruthless indifferent aristocratic colonialist and empire-defender, abject monarchist, realist, sentimental emotional politician and tough-minded blunt tyro. It is perfectly possible to reflect all of these points. We do need though to strike a balance between what read today as wierd imperialistic arrogance or cruelty behaviours and the norms of the time, class and political circles that WSC moved in. Bombing is a good example - Dresden should be viewed in the light of the ferocity on all fronts of the second world war, the advanced plans for A-bombs with which Churchill was thoroughly familiar, the huge slaughters to which he and other allied leaders had become accustomed to discussing. It really was a different time. I am not making apologias, but pointing out that we need to describe these things not just from a modern, human rights-oriented perspective. The big biographies get these tones better than we do so far. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 21:09, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm not exactly sure what point you're making with reference to what I said. Maybe my point was a bit long winded but what I was basically trying to say was that given that Churchill explicitly says "lachrymatory gas" its strange that many still use this quote to show that Churchill favoured using "poison gas". However having looked into it a bit further I see that the term "lachrymatory gas" was used for many different gases used at that time, some of which were later banned. It's almost certain that the gas Churchill was referring to is not the same gas as used for riot control today and is probably one of the gases which was banned by the Washington conference, which was mentioned in this article. So Perhaps its a bit disingenuous to simply use the term "tear gas" because it implies what is used for modern riot control. Maybe the term "toxic gas" would be more suitable.--AMacR (talk) 23:12, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Sorry if I wasn't being prescise enough AMacR, I was responding in general terms to your sentence, "However again it seems strange that those defending Churchill and the British actions in Iraq don't simply say he advocated using tear gas, instead they persist in trying to show that gas was never used at all." I have to say, I always read that lachrymatory gas as used in WWI was what we now call tear gas, but if there are sources that show it's evolved or covered different gases, then why don't we say in the article that WSC was recommending "lachrymatory gas which could have been one of a number of possible gases and most likely xxxx and referenced by yyyy" just to cut through any confusion finally. I would also like to see a brief bit in the article about it being untrue that the Brits launched such an attack, as this is still regarded as common knowledge by many. Jamesinderbyshire (talk)09:17, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
The answers to these questions seem to be in this article: Boiled down, here's what I got from it:-
1. The only gas weapons there ever were in Iraq were tear gas shells, filled with "SK" (?sp. ethyl iodoacetate) gas. These were never used, though Churchill had agreed they could be if necessary (Aug./Sept 1920).
2. The RAF experimented at home with tear gas bombs, but never came up with a usable one. In Iraq, they carried out a test essentially, it seems, tossing the tear gas shells out of aeroplanes and seeing what happened. Churchill gave the thumbs-up to doing this as well (so did the Iraqi King, btw!), but once again the occasion never arose. Only a few days later he had to countermand this too when GB signed up to a convention banning all gases in warfare, lethal or not. (Jan. 1921)
3. Churchill *did* want the RAF to develop (and presumably use) mustard gas bombs. The RAF and Air Ministry were opposed, because their aircraft crashed frequently in training, etc., and they believed they'd only wind up mustard-gassing their own people. Anyway, they thought conventional explosives got you more bang for your buck, as it were.
4. The article doesn't say so in so many words, but reading between the lines, it seems that Churchill thought that mustard gas was a lot less lethal than most people nowadays would, and that it could be used in aerial bombs without causing loss of life. I'm not sure why he might have believed this, because the Air Ministry and the Colonial Office clearly didn't.
5. The WP entry in its current form says that Churchill wanted to use gas against the Kurds specifically. According to the article, Churchill proposed to use it against *any* rebels in Iraq, without distinction. (talk) 19:50, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for that! Very good academic, analytical and quotable article - full text is here. [4]. Note the interesting assertion that "The War Cabinet in October 1919 had thus resolved that while chemical weapons research should continue, Britain should continue to be bound by its commitments not to use gas in warfare except in retaliation against its first use by others".
Secondly, "To the first of the three questions posed above—whether authorization to use chemical agents was ever issued—a definite answer can therefore be given. The use of gas shells in Iraq, albeit containing tear gas rather than poison gas, was indeed sanctioned by the War Office during the emergency of 1920. The decision to do so was taken by Churchill alone, who neither consulted nor even informed his ministerial colleagues—no doubt in view of the certainty that they would have strongly opposed it. It is now necessary to turn to the second and third questions: whether gas bombs as well as shells were supplied to the expeditionary forces in Iraq and whether either was actually used."
Thirdly "...Churchill again pressed Trenchard, as noted by Martin Gilbert in 1975, to “proceed with the experimental work on gas bombs, especially mustard gas, which would inflict punishment upon recalcitrant natives without inflicting grave injury upon them.”64 The War Office liaison to the Air Ministry, Lieutenant‐Colonel H. E. R. Braine, also expressed his desire that mustard gas be adopted as an air‐dropped agent in preference to tear gas: “we do not consider this [tear gas] a very suitable filling, since it does not produce lasting casualties.”"
Fourthly that more intensive chemicals than SK were tested at Porton Down in 1921.
Fifth and finally, that "The symmetrical appeal of history faithfully repeating itself no doubt accounts for much of the public and scholarly credence accorded to claims that the British used chemical weapons in mandatory Iraq, their inconsistency and implausibility notwithstanding. And in one significant respect, history has indeed repeated itself, although not in quite the manner suggested in existing literature on the subject. That these devices were not after all employed was not the fault of the man who played the most important role in giving Iraq its modern complexion and who was to continue doggedly arguing the case for using chemical weapons even after ascending to the premiership twenty years later.114 His outspoken advocacy of them on every possible occasion, however, has done much to obscure the fact while at various moments tear gas munitions were available in Mesopotamia, circumstances seeming to call for their use existed, and official sanction to employ them had been received, at no time during the period of the mandate did all three of these conditions apply. Ironically, like those of a much more recent and ruthless arbiter of Iraq's destinies, Churchill's bellicose pronouncements on the subject have succeeded in convincing outside observers of the presence in that country of “weapons of mass destruction” that, in the interwar years no less than in 2003, transpire upon closer inspection not to have existed." Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 20:13, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Source for refs 99 and 100 in section in Indian Independence section

The fourth paragraph of the Indian independence section contains two sentences drawing on the same source (refs 99 and 100):

Some historians see his basic attitude to India as being set out in his book My Early Life (1930).[99] Some historians draw a parallel between Churchill's attitudes to India and those towards the Nazis.[100]

These reference the 1990 edition of Finest Hour at [5] - as far as I can tell, that source does not contain the quoted words. The sentences need editing anyway as they double up "some historians" and sound a bit weaselly, but we definately need sourcing for something where WSC's attitude to Indian independence is compared to his attitude to Nazism. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 21:12, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Article size

Per WP:SPLIT this article should get split as it is a whopping 144 Kb in size and at present I have a delay of around 10 seconds to view a diff. Anyone got ideas on how this could be achieved? Mo ainm~Talk 08:35, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

I have started to remove block quotes and useless information from this article to try and decrease the size, has anyone any ideas on what else could be trimmed? Mo ainm~Talk 14:34, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
For sections linking to main articles, I suggest using even tighter summary style and trimming information of lesser importance already covered in the main articles. Airplaneman 17:50, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

I believe that his WWII PM years should be a separate wiki since without those years he would be now regarded as a minor figure rather than the century's great man. ~~Timoleon212~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:26, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Current photo

The current intro photo appears to be chosen to cast WSC as a sort of 19th Century aristocrat - not the WW2 hero, but the hammer of colonials. I assume this was the guiding principle anyway. :-) I propose we have one of the many rather better known shots of him that are in the Commons, or alternatively something a little more human-looking and interesting than the stock Victorianist Exploiter that this has been chosen to exhibit. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 18:32, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Not sure I recognise the description which image are you talking about as none appear to show a Victorian Exploiter the one in the infobox shows Churchill in 1942 and not in the 19th century. MilborneOne (talk) 18:37, 19 August 2010 (UTC)


Some time ago User:Radiopathy changed Churchill's birthplace in the infobox from Blenheim Palace to Woodstock, stating that it was his actual birthplace, despite it not being. Woodstock is a town, consisting of many buildings, Blenheim Palace is a building within Woodstock. He was reverted then. Since then he has come back, again making the claim that he is making it more precise, despite doing exactly the opposite. My clarification of this was reverted with the claim that Place name goes in the infobox, palace goes in article body. I'd like to get consensus for this change before its made under WP:BRD, given that its been reverted before, and that Radiopathy's actions appear on both occasions to be not what he claims in his edit summaries. Benea (talk) 23:58, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree with Radiopathy. No need to state the building that he was born. Seems a bit much and there doesn't appear to be precident to do so. An example would be to add the hospital where others have been born. If he was born in Woodstock, then thats what it should say in the info box. Add it to the body if its still notable.--Jojhutton (talk) 00:07, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
George III of the United Kingdom, George IV of the United Kingdom, etc do state just that. Given that Blenheim Palace, one of England's largest stately homes, actually occupies its own sizeable lands and grounds independent of the town, a definite case could be made for him being born just outside or near Woodstock rather than in it. Sources like the ODNB just use 'Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire'. If it is one or the other, Blenheim Palace is more accurate and more commonly used in sources as his birthplace, and should be retained in the infobox rather than Woodstock, the town Blenheim Palace is nearest to. Benea (talk) 00:25, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
A little more to this, sources commonly use 'Blenheim Palace' as Churchill's birthplace, and if necessary, then go on to describe its location 'Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire', or 'Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire', etc.
  • Winston Churchill: British Prime Minister and Statesman - 'Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England...'
  • Winston Churchill -'He first opened his eyes in one of the many rooms of a vast mansion, Blenheim Palace, in Oxfordshire, England...'
  • Churchill and Chartwell: The Untold Story of Churchill's Houses - '...when the sun rose over Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire on...'
  • The Riverside Dictionary of Biography - 'Born in Blenheim Palace, he was...'
  • Historical Dictionary of the British Empire - 'He was born at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire on ...'
  • Architecture of England, Scotland, and Wales - 'BLENHEIM PALACE, OXFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND Style: Renaissance — Baroque...'
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - 'Churchill, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer (1874–1965), prime minister, was born at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, the family home of the dukes of Marlborough...'
As far as it goes I would be happy to keep it basic in the infobox. But Woodstock is very rarely used in sources as solely his birthplace, whereas Blenheim often is. Woodstock, the nearest sizeable settlement to the palace, can be used in the text for further context, while the infobox uses the most commonly used designation of his birthplace. Benea (talk) 01:10, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

(edit conflict)The infobox is for very rudimentary information; place of birth refers to the city, town, village, etc, where the subject was born, not to the specific domicile where the person was born. We don't list house addresses or hospital names as birth places in the infobox, and we shouldn't list Blenheim Palace. The fact that you've decided to edit war over this - not once, but twice - indicates that it's your own preference to have Blenheim Palace in the infobox, which is not where it belongs. Radiopathy •talk• 00:20, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

You were reverted several weeks back by a different user when you removed Blenheim, and then came back to do it again. Please don't escalate this without good cause, it is after all a very minor detail in the grand scheme of things. Let's keep any accusations of edit warring out of this so that we can have a decent discussion first. Benea (talk) 00:25, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
You've essentially poisoned the well by stating that my edit did not make the birthplace more precise, and suggesting that my edit and edit summary are contradictory, which they are not. I would ask you to just discuss the facts. Radiopathy •talk• 00:46, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Then in the spirit of collegial editing I apologise. Perhaps you can explain though how changing it from Blenheim Palace to Woodstock you were making his birthplace more precise? Or how with your previous move, that Blenheim Palace was not his actual birthplace, and that you needed to correct it to Woodstock? These are the facts as I see them. Benea (talk) 00:53, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps you could explain why you are going to such lengths to mis-characterise my edits? Why is it so important that the infobox be stylistically incorrect just to conform to your point of view? Myself and another editor have already very accurately explained to you what is appropriate for place of birth in the infobox and why. Radiopathy •talk• 01:03, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
There I go again, I'm sorry, I must have completely misinterpreted what you were trying to do. But can you help me understand then what you meant by making it precise and accurate, and at the same time, according to my limited understanding anyway, doing the opposite? Perhaps you can address the facts I have presented above, rather than accusing me of owning the article? And this discussion is to determine what may be stylistically appropriate and factually accurate for the article and useful for a reader. As you yourself urge, lets stay on topic. Benea (talk) 01:10, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
If Blenheim Palace is not in Woodstock, as it appears not to be, then it should be used. If it is then use the town name.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 01:29, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
The location section of the Blenheim Palace website states 'Blenheim Palace is close to the historic town of Woodstock.' On OS maps the house itself appears to be a little over half a mile from the town proper, set in its own grounds. Benea (talk) 01:37, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Radiopathy, can you explain why the infobox would be stylistically incorrect using Blenheim Palace? I note you link to a policy to suggest this is Benea's POV, but not to support that the infobox is incorrect with his version. Just like to know if there is a policy regarding this. Ranger Steve (talk) 06:34, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

For those unfamiliar with Oxfordshire or Woodstock, it may help to note that Bleinheim is, as people have said, very large and in substantial grounds - it is also clear that it's "part" of Woodstock but it could equally be said that Woodstock "is connected to" Bleinheim. Woodstock largely grew up because it served as local services/accommodation for first, Woodstock Palace and then the later Blenheim Palace which replaced it. The town centre of Woodstock, it's pub (it's really just a large village by British standards, not what we call a "town", although for various reasons it is called a town) and many buildings were constructed at the same time as Bleinheim as guest lodgings, etc. It's also a key part of the Churchill story to understand that he was born in such aristocratic surroundings as part of the Marlborough dynasty. So it's not as clear-cut as some are saying. I'm not going to get too agitated about the precise wording in the infobox, but generally nearly all sources say he was born in Blenheim, not Woodstock. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 07:43, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
To be further helpful, here's a Google Maps aerial view of Bleinheim [6] - the Bleinheim estate actually extends beyond the limits of this image. Woodstock is the built up segment at the top-right of the image. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 07:53, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Normally a specific address is probably overkill, but when the building itself is notable, and as significant as Blenheim Palace, it seems reasonable to include it. It says a lot about Churchill's privileged background too. David Underdown (talk) 08:51, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree with David. Thanks very much to previous commenters for the links and other info on the topic. RayTalk 16:21, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Even though Blenheim Palace is in Woodstock, it would have been far more notable if he'd been born in Woodstock - seen as two very different places by most people who live people in Oxfordshire! Martinevans123 (talk) 23:35, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Spliting the article

I think it should be considered to create a new article named "Life of Winston Churchill", move the biography there and write a summary to use in here. The new article would still be quite large, but it would be much better than this. Any opinions?--Mashaunix (wordsdeeds) 18:09, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

I've been thinking for a while that some new articles are needed. I think if we are going to branch off some new ones from this one, the best ones would be:
Winston Churchill (wartime prime ministership)
Winston Churchill (controversies)
Winston Churchill (literature)
The latter could include material about the many (thousands) of works about him as well as his own writings, or else could be two articles. Just some preliminary thoughts. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 18:27, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Agree absolutely that wartime PM years should be separate piece because as I say elsewhere in this talk page, without those years he would be today a somewhat minor figure, rather than the century's great man.

Unclear whether literature category is by or about him? Presumably his own books and writings? I suppose biographies of him could be assessed under controversies?

Really upon reflection, a much shorter article that summarized each of the level 2 sections would be great, and then each level two could refer readers to the "main article" on the subject of that section. With someone who led a life of this magnitude and importance, I believe that is justified. 01:40, 4 September 2010 (UTC)Timoleon212

I disagree, when readers visit this article they'll most likely want to know about Winston Churchill the Prime Minister. That information should be the last to be split from the article.--Britannicus (talk) 15:55, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
I wasn't thinking of a full split, but hiving off new articles - there might not even be any need to reduce text in this article. The quantity of sourced material on WSC's wartime activities is huge. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 15:57, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

What about starting by spinning off the separate sections as articles that can be expanded, and only later then looking to condense the main article accordingly? Or even leaving it just this length while letting the new articles grow larger than the sections for them now are? Timoleon212 (talk) 01:40, 4 September 2010 (UTC)Timoleon212

My main concerns will be (1) to make it more factual and objective; at the moment, the main article contains a lot of material from the "Churchill was an incompetent alcoholic imperialist warmongering worker-basher" type of view and whilst there's a place for that, other views are under-represented and (2) it definitely under-represents and under-reports the huge saga of his wartime policy making. So it's those I want to see addressed. Other things like his literary output and books about him are also under-written. Precisely how we get there in terms of article splits I am open to discussion on as well. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 05:21, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
I think we already have a breakout article on his career from 1900-1939, so it wouldn't be unreasonable, after checking to make sure material is included in that article, to slim down the corresponding material in this article until it presents a summary. I agree that an article on his wartime prime ministership would be a good breakout, as would be one on his later, post-WWII life. We already have articles devoted to his roles as writer and as historian, although both of these are rather minimalistic and could do with a good bit of improvement. There is, I believe, sufficient material to do a separate breakout article on Churchill's pre-1900 career as a young officer and correspondent as well, if that should be desired. I think a separate article on controversies would be problematic, as it would become an all-purpose dumping ground, decidedly non-neutral, and probably of very poor taste and quality as well. RayTalk 15:24, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Improve caption?

The caption: "Historical footage of the destruction of Dresden, February 1945" should perhaps read: "The destruction of Dresden, February 1945" as it not a film, and there is no need to mention that it is a photo.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:25, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Now  Done, although the image shows just one tiny example, of course, not the entire city. Martinevans123 (talk) 14:51, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

External links

Please include Winston Spencer Churchill: The Collection of Malcolm S. Forbes Jr. and perhaps the feature article at Christie's, Young Man In A Hurry in the external links. And if it makes sense, to maybe incorporate something like the quote from the Christie's article. I'm not associated with Christie's and the changes are suggested just in good faith. I don't have an established account to make them myself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:00, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Request for Comment

Regarding Winston Churchill's nudity [7]. Apparently, he had a penchant of exposing himself nude to other people: an American president, the son of an American president, his secretary etc. (See section Nudity). It seems that some editors involved in the debate want to dismiss all the Google Books related to the subject, as non-reliable or other. Majuru (talk) 11:45, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

That's odd and not a very charming habit but devoting a sub-section to it is overkill/UNDUE. And in his defense he was very drunk. Sol (talk) 15:55, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I think this just belongs to the category of Churchill-bashing that says "he was nuts and I have proof". It can be mentioned, but it is emphatically not notable enough to have a whole section, sub-section or possibly even a para on it. It's just one of those amusing things that came out of Churchill's typically upper-class English eccentricity coupled with a certain wartime practical disdain for polite manners that was very widespread. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 16:13, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Um, isn't one of our perennial concerns that the article is too long? So why would anyone want to include trivial anecdotes and speculation based on said anecdotes? RayTalk 16:23, 2 October 2010 (UTC)


"The empires of the future are empires of the mind." Winston Churchill —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:19, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

not 'arf, pop-pickers!!

"Winston Churchill has become the first prime minister to enter the album chart with a record marking the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Reach For The Skies, by the RAF's Central Band, featuring Churchill's rousing World War II speeches set to music, was a new entry at four... Churchill's voice also featured on Iron Maiden's 1984 hit single Aces High, which is about an RAF pilot's exploits during the Battle of Britain." [8] (talk) 19:56, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Newly uploaded images

May be of some interest/use: (Will need cropping - sorry, don't know how)

Stronach (talk) 16:57, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

I've cropped the images. --Beao 14:24, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

Mental Health

Why isn't there a section describing Churchill's mental disorders, such as the manic depression he suffered from? They are not even mentioned in this article, while the article about Adolf Hitler goes deep into his mental health.--Propaganda328 (talk) 14:35, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

His depression is mentioned briefly in the "Retirement and death" section. If you have reliable sources which provide relevant detail, then you should be able to include them. (Hohum @) 15:06, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
"Mental disorders" is quite a pejorative description of what he himself simply described as "black dog", eg, depressed moods. It would also be anachronistic, since "depression" most certainly was not regarded as a "mental disorder" at that time, even if it is nowadays, at least in the APA's drug-industry friendly version of reality. I would be against including that usage in this article as it would not be a valid interpretation. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 22:41, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I disagree. He had a bipolar mental disorder. His constant and extreme mood swings were nothing short of pure mental illness, not just depression as you point out(or as the sufferer himself would certainly deny his illness as you point out). And they were so severe he used large doses of alcohol to treat them, which also is a mental illness as alcoholism is not normal. Most psychiatrists agree that he suffered from manic depression, the same illness Hitler suffered from. He's even had a statue of him in a stray jacket erected(google it). I have to agree with the first user, why does the article of Hitler go deep into this matter while this one dodges it?-- (talk) 20:08, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
The temporary statue of Chuchill in a straight jacket was a fairly recent publicity stunt by a mental health charity to gain press coverage or as they said highlight the stigma of mental health. MilborneOne (talk) 20:33, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
The life-size, glass-fibre statue went on display in Norwich as part of an exhibition staged by the charity Rethink to promote understanding of mental health problems. Regardless of what you think of it, it's a fact he had a bi-polar disorder. I really don't see what the objection here is about making this article a little different from the BS documentaries of the History Channel.

And it's not just his mental health that is kept from this article, most negative aspects are absent. It doesn't talk about how big a fan he was of mass murder and genocide. How witnesses said there was a big smile on his drunk face everytime he read the reports of the thousands of women and children burned alive by his bombing raids. Or how he deliberately let 3 million Indians starve to death while British colonial rulers in India stockpiled India's food for soldiers and war workers, and Churchill, motivated by racial hatred of the "lesser breeds", repeatedly refused pleas for emergency food shipments. His honorable stances are widely known. In 1919, Churchill called for airborne chemical assaults on "uncooperative Arabs" (actually Kurds and Afghans, but your great men need not make such petty distinctions). "I do not understand the squeamishness about the use of gas," he declared. "I am strongly in favor of using poison gas against uncivilized tribes.." Some years later, a certain A. Hitler would apply this gaseous philosophy to another troublesome "tribe."

And we can't forget his love of the Jews, support of the creation of Israel and expulsion of the "dogs" already living there, as he put it with his customary eloquence in 1937: "I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race, has come in and taken their place." Hear! Hear! cried Hitler, as he sent his "higher-grade" hordes swarming eastward into the vast Slavic manger.-- (talk) 09:21, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Lol, nice one. I didn't know he was that much of a racist genocidal megalomaniac like Hitler. I guess this article is what it's supposed to be, Pro-US/Pro-Israel/Pro-British, just like every other historical/political article on wikipedia. There's not even one word describing him as racist! I feel sorry for whoever believes the crap he reads from this encyclopedia.--Propaganda328 (talk) 14:18, 10 December 2010 (UTC)


I think that we should have sth. on his bizarre nude incidents. To do this, I have to have some kind of consensus. What do you guys think? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Majuru (talkcontribs) 11:27, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Firstly, both incidents occured before his strokes in the 50s. Secondly, he would not have thought them bizarre. Lastly, at a time when the length of this article is a matter of discussion, I really can't see that your addition is either important or necessary. But let's see what others think before I delete it. KJP1 (talk) 15:39, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

Support removal it does not appear to be notable particularly as no context of the events are explained. MilborneOne (talk) 15:43, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
Support removal. Barely (pun unintentional) notable, and nothing to do with his strokes or mental health. (Hohum @) 16:13, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

Instead of deny, deny... embrace!Majuru (talk) 23:18, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

You haven't brought any new argument, and haven't gained consensus to add this information. Also, starting with "He smoked big cigars" severely undermines the idea that the addition was made in good faith. (Hohum @) 23:22, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry, the historical information is properly sourced. You can't have consensus on historical events. Do we have to have consensus on the Holocaust or Tibet? No. I'll remove the big cigars. Majuru (talk) 23:25, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
You need consensus for it to stay, which even you realised in your opening post to this thread three months ago. Also, why did your recent edit comment say you would ask about it at wikiproject Germany? How is Winston Churchill in scope for that wikiproject? (Hohum @) 03:01, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Personally I found the idea that he did this compelling, if true. Yet the question before us on this talk page is whether it should be mentioned in his biography. I'm not sure that it really falls into notability, even if well sourced, as it didn't seem to define his life in any major or minor way. A brief mention may be in order though, as if true, its not a fringe theory, but a well documented fact, but hardly worth its own section.--Jojhutton (talk) 03:20, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Jojhutton is right. Amicus Plato, etc. Majuru (talk) 20:52, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

I brought some more sources, viz.:

Your edit comment "Old Fart" (diff)undermines your credibility. The sources vary from completely unreliable all the way up to dubious, the last two are duplicates. None appear to be by historians or biographers, and they even contradict each other... variously: Roosevelt barges into the guest room, Roosevelt wheels himself into the guest bathroom, Churchill opens the bedroom door for Roosevelt, Roosevelt signals to be wheeled out - so someone else is pushing him. (Hohum @) 19:40, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
That doesn't mean my sources are flawed. For example, Jesus' genealogies in Matthew and Luke are kind of inconsistent, but that doesn't mean M & L are dubious or unreliable. I really do believe Churchill was an old fart, but this has nothing to do with the nudity scenes. What he did to Eastern Europe, handing it over to Stalin, well... that is another matter. Nicolas Baciu is, in my opinion one of the best researchers in this specific context. I feel kinda sorry for all the Churchill aficionados. Majuru (talk) 17:34, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
This is a biography article, it needs reliable sources, not a series of contradictory ones - which have only underlined how dubious the information is. Nor does it need your personal POV on whether he was an "old fart". Argue about sources for a "biography on Jesus" elsewhere. (Hohum @) 19:46, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
It seems as though you're trying to enforce your own agenda onto this article, Majuru, by trying to put negative and irrelevant fun facts into Winston Churchill's article. The reason that your facts are being opposed is not that they are mostly negative about him, because all notable relevant things, good or bad, should be included in this article, but because thes facts are just not notable or relevant enough to fit into this article. You should instead find other relevant facts or reasons to put these details in this article.--RayqayzaDialgaWeird2210Please respond on my talkpage, i will respond on your talkpage.    14:55, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
You said it, this is a biography of a DEAD person. These are the sources: [14]. Now, you refute everyone of them. If you don't, I'll put back the information in the article. Time Magazine especially, is very interesting [15] for reference. That is why I like WP, sometimes minority views are represented too. Majuru (talk) 08:31, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
This is competely undue weight. Roosevelt one morning bumped into Churchill who was shaving in the nude, then Churchill delivers a witticism (the fact that this witticism seems to be different in each and every source, very much suggest this story is entirely apocryphal). Totally irrelevant for the already bloated biography of this person. --Saddhiyama (talk) 09:09, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Information is too speculative to be included. Does not meet our criteria for verifiability, given the completely contradictory nature of the sources and the absence of meaningful support - even in the sources that you have found, the author had admitted that there's no concrete evidence of these incidents happening. And we cannot give undue weight on this - just to present a "minority view". Please refrain from adding the information without consensus. Thanks. —Dark 09:17, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
OK, I'll use the "according to". His secretary's writings, are reliable, by the way? Majuru (talk) 11:33, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
A BBC TV programme about his bodyguard shown a couple of years back repeated the story as a first-hand account told by the bodyguard, so it seems to be a little more credible than some are saying above. I would be in favour of it's inclusion in the article as a "well-known story" that "may or may not be factually accurate", since the tale is so widely told that it carries notability just as a popular tale about Churchill. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 11:41, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I said his wartime secretary and dictationist. Majuru (talk) 11:47, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I know you did. I was saying there are additional sources for it and there is sufficient notability to mention it. Accounts about almost any aspect of WSC's personal life, intimate details, etc, always need to be approached with caution though, since as with anyone very famous, myths and rumours abound. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 12:00, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Honorary Degrees/Leiden

Can someone correct the entry for Leiden, am pretty sure the city is no longer under German control! ;) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:50, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Thanks well spotted, corrected and ref added. MilborneOne (talk) 21:02, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

I was wondering, why there is no mentioning of his Knighting? (In April, 1953, Queen Elizabeth knighted Churchill. The queen made him a knight of the Order of the Garter, Britain’s highest order of knighthood.) Thanks (talk) 21:17, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Anti immigration, Islamophobia

His opposition towards migration and his strong fear of Islam should be mentioned —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:49, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

In what way are these of significance with respect to his notability, or the historical context of the era? RayTalk 01:57, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
They may not have been considered part of his notability in his day, since nearly every Englishman thought that way, but they are coming to be seen as significant. It seems that most biographers today touch on or focus on these qualities. Rumiton (talk) 07:11, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
The best thing for you to do is to identify relevant passages in biographies, post the references here, and they can be considered for inclusion. Details are needed. A general statement "he was anti-immigration" is no help to an encyclopedia entry, but a particular vote on a particular measure might be relevant. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:59, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

"Queen" in paragraph 5 should be identified as Queen Elizabeth II

Paragraph 5 of the article states:

"Upon his death, the Queen granted him the honour of a state funeral, which saw one of the largest assemblies of world statesmen ever."

"the Queen" here should be identified as Queen Elizabeth II with a link. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:14, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't see any poroblem with that - Done! Regards, Lynbarn (talk) 13:32, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia makes NO sense

One may find on Wikipedia a LENGTHY article titled "Western betrayal" which details at length actions of Churchill and others that completely contradict the heroic image painted of him in this particular Wikipedia article. Now, if I weren't a Wikipedian who knows that articles such as "Winston Churchill" and "Western Betrayal" are monopolised by volunteers affectively attached to one side or the other, I would think our dear Encyclopedia has gone schizophrenic. The truth is that both these article look good, it seems there is no dispute over their NPOV-ness. However, that's just because all the other people (who would have an opposing point of view) are writing the other article, which states just the opposite. This way, everyone's happy, but instead of 2 NPOV articles, we have 2 POV ones. What this particular article obviously lacks is an objective "Criticism of Churchill" section. But I don't dare add it, because I'm not courageous enough to oppose the fan base of Churchill. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Omulurimaru (talkcontribs) 12:28, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Hussar picture

See File talk:Churchhill 03.jpg. Opera hat (talk) 17:38, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

The dark side/s should be mentioned as well

I think that the dark side/s of Winston Churchill should be mentioned as well. What do you think?

Regards, (talk) 15:09, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

I liked the last paragraph of that article. "Ultimately, the words of the great and glorious Churchill who resisted dictatorship overwhelmed the works of the cruel and cramped Churchill who tried to impose it on the darker-skinned peoples of the world. The fact that we now live in a world where a free and independent India is a superpower eclipsing Britain, and a grandson of the Kikuyu "savages" is the most powerful man in the world, is a repudiation of Churchill at his ugliest – and a sweet, ironic victory for Churchill at his best.". Churchill did have some pretty nasty views, not always shared by others in his peer group. There's no harm mentioning these in appropriate contexts in the article with accurate sourcing. We do have to be cautious though - some quotes regularly attributed to him have turned out on close examination to be falsified or innacurate. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 15:06, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

the article should focus more on his white supremacist and imperialist views. his support of oppression against iraq, india, kenya, etc. the MILLIONS of indians who died because of his policy of denial during the famine of 1943 so he could divert food for british stockpiles. the kenyans and iraqis who died as his regime desperately tried to reinstate it's illegitimate colonial rule with terror tactics against civilians. the 'greatest briton ever' renowned for his chest-thumping speeches was nothing more than a bloodthirsty nationalistic tyrant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:53, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

^Absolute slanderous and undoubtebly undeserved oppugn by an ingnorant fool -- (talk) 22:24, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

I don't know if Churchill's views were as formally crystalised enough to be defined as white supremacist, but I don't think anyone would argue he was an imperialist. There are references to most of his political views here, but, under the guise that they were not controversial at the time, the fact that they would not be considered acceptable in today's society has not really been pushed. It needs to be more balanced, definitely. (Chill (talk) 11:24, 8 May 2011 (UTC))
It would be OK to mention in the article that Hari thinks so with the cite. I found a number of points in that article by Johann Hari where he either fabricates words of Churchill (for example there has been a search to find sources that back up his assertions on WSC's response to the Bengal famine and this has been discussed in many places - it appears Hari is misattributing the words of others to Churchill) or distorts them (on Gandhi for example) but the main thrust, that WSC took a Victorian British imperialist and "White Masters" view of the colonies is broadly correct. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 12:25, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
There's no reason to include it. Hari isn't a historian and his opinion on Churchill isn't authoritative or notable. Lachrie (talk) 05:31, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Mr. Churchill's Reply (8 Nov. 1938, The Times Archive has it online but you have to pay) is a pretty good example of Churchill's pro-imperial views, and in fact he extols a great virtues of the Nazi leadership in Germany. One quote taken by Karl Doenitz in his memoires (10 years and 20 days) is "I have always said that if Great Britain were defeated in war, I hoped we should find a Hitler to lead us back to our rightful place among the nations." William Manchester's biography also portrays Churchill as a bit of an imperialist but doesn't appear to cover this particular newspaper article, and also seems to whitewash over any more negative views. -- (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 17:00, 20 May 2011 (UTC).

Churchill was an imperialist who saw the British Empire as a great buttress against totaliarianism in Europe and Asia. The argument that "Churchill praised Hitler" is based on quoting Churchill selectively, and out of context, from a pre-war appeal for greater toleration and liberalisation in Germany. Lachrie (talk) 02:54, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from, 3 May 2011

Please change "left" to "right in the caption under the picture where Winston Churchill shoots a sten gun.

Specifically, change "The man in the pin-striped suit and trilby on Churchill's left is his bodyguard, Walter H. Thompson" to "The man in the pin-striped suit and trilby on Churchill's right is his bodyguard, Walter H. Thompson" as it's a self-evident mistake, and it contradicts the caption for the same picture on on Walter H. Thompson's Wikipedia page, which reads: "Winston Churchill tests a Sten Gun, 1941. Thompson is to the right of Churchill (in front of the crowd, in a pinstripe suit and tie)." (talk) 15:00, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Not done: they're both correct. In the image on this page, he's on Churchill's left and on the Thompson page, he's to the right of Churchill as you look at the picture. — Bility (talk) 15:37, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Winston S Churchill

The Article should be titled, and other Wikipedia references should be to, Winston S Churchill. See the beginning of the "Oldham" chapter of his "My Early Life". (talk) 19:49, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

As some of us may not have that work, would you like to tell us why you think this, please? The policy WP:COMMONNAME seems quite clear when it says "Wikipedia does not necessarily use the subject's "official" name as an article title; it instead uses the name that is most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources." I would say that "Winston Churchill" fits that bill quite well. Best wishes DBaK (talk) 22:23, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Lady Clementine Churchill

I am afraid the year of death of Churchill's spouse, Lady Clementine Churchill is wrongly recorded as 1965 - it should be 1977. Glemmens1940 (talk) 13:07, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

The date in the infobox is the date of Winston's marriage which ended in 1965 with his death, it is not the date of death of his wife which indeed was 1977 as per her article. Keith D (talk) 17:27, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

The Second World War

I just wanted to register my support for keeping the term "Second World War" as opposed to "World War II" in this article. It's about a UK subject and furthermore there's a template on this discussion page that clearly indicates that UK English ought not to be abandoned without broad consensus (of which I see no sign at present). Finally, I really don't see why it matters what term the other article (the World War II article) uses. It often happens on Wikipedia that the usage in one article does not conform to that of another, and there is no requirement for such conformity. Tillander 10:31, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

First Prime Ministership omitted under photo.

Is there a reason that the first Prime Ministership (1940-1945) is omitted under the introductory photo of Churchill? (talk) 13:42, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

It isn't, it is there just underneath the details of his second premiership. In each instance the most recent period of holding each particular office is placed above preceding instances. Benea (talk) 15:12, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
However couldnt find any mention of his time as first lord of the admiralty, or other sundry offices which do get a mention where the information is repeated at the bottom of the page? I think he would have been miffed.Sandpiper (talk) 19:46, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

His religion

Comments Churchill made about Christianity and religion in general is his famous scathing attack on "Mohammedanism", along with familiarity with his speeches and beliefs, lead me to believe he privately did not believe in religion at all. Of course I do not have any sources on this.

Although he was "officially" anglican and that should stay in the infobox, if anyone can find sources it might add greatly to the article to include a section discussion Churchill's religious beliefs. Naturally this section cannot make a definite claim that he was religious or irreligious, but it can discuss the evidence, point out what might lead people to believe he was irreligious, and then claim that he was "officially" at least anglican, and was buried as one.-- (talk) 01:32, 12 August 2011 (UTC) From memory there is an exchange of letters with his cousin where he says something like christianity is rubbish but it would be politically most unwise to say this in public. I think this might have been because his cousin just did. Churchill seems to have followed his own advice, however. Sandpiper (talk) 22:36, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

My view is that the article is fine without speculation on this topic, as it appears not to have been the subject of a significant interest by reliable sources. An article on a vast figure like Churchill has a lot of aspects to discuss, and only the most significant ones can make it into the article before it becomes too long. - BorisG (talk) 12:22, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Circumstances of birth

The article says that he was in a bedroom in Blenheim Palace, citing a supporting source heavily cited elsewhere in the article which is not viewable online and which I have not seen. I happened to stumble across Michael Paterson (2005), Winston Churchill: personal accounts of the great leader at war, David & Charles, p. 34, ISBN 9780715319642 , which says that his mother felt contractions begin while she was dancing, ran for her bedroom, and didn't make it -- giving birth in a cloakroom. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 02:26, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Martin Gilbert in his short biography (ie the 1000 pages not the 10000 pages) says his mother was riding in a pony carriage when labour began and she was rushed back to the palace. In the long biography he quotes several letters from relatives which are slightly contradictory. Labour seems to have begun on saturday and been completed on sunday. The local doctor was paid 25 guineas for his services. The birth was 2 months early, clearly premature since his parents marriage was only on 15 April 1874, so the intended london specialist was not present. Sandpiper (talk) 22:44, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Churchill and racism

I think there should be a separate title to dwell on the most prominent racist and hateful aspects of Winston C. For better or for worse, Wikipedia is a prominent reference for people today and it is important for people to know that Churchill, famous wartime leader, was also one of the most vile racists of the last century.

This section should contain quotes such as:

1. I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.

2. I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.

and stuff like that. In order for Wikipedia to be truly NPOV, it is important that the article mentions clearly ALL aspects of Churchill. As of now, some of this information is already scattered within this article. But, it would be better to collect this in one orderly place, which could lead readers to research this somewhat lesser known aspect of his character. Aban1313 (talk) 00:45, 10 October 2011 (UTC) aban1313

It's just a matter of seeing Churchill in historical context. His opinions were not untypical of the time. He shared them with countless millions of his contemporaries. To single out Churchill as an individual as "one of the most vile racists of the last century" would be unfair, and even a perverse reversal of the truth, as it would demonise him for merely holding received opinions which he didn't obviously and deliberately act on, and also trivialise the actual crimes of genocidal racists like the Nazis and the Japanese militarists. Churchill probably did more than anyone else to stop the worst acts of racial genocide in modern history, by defeating the Nazis and Japanese militarists in the war, thereby saving countless millions of people of different races around the world from suffering extermination because of their race. He also reluctantly but finally willingly assented to decolonisation of non-white countries, which is more than can be said for many other world leaders of his generation, and the next. Lachrie (talk) 19:06, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

I would certainly beg to differ. His actions during the Bengal famine of 1943, in particular the decision to tell America that they could not send foodgrain to Indian people on American ships makes its clear that he could not have been motivated by any desire other than to commit a very conscious genocide: a deliberate murder of Bengalis, with an estimated death toll of 1-5 million, which puts him roughly in the same category as Hitler and Stalin (and ahead of Mussolini). His comments on non-whites in general and Indians in particular fail to suggest otherwise about his motives. I do not think "context" can be used as an excuse to ignore facts. As a towering British statesman who was in charge of several key British policies, it would be a serious act of omission to mention the toll that Churchill's racist policies took on the non-white subjects of the British Empire. In fact, Madhusree Mukherjee in her book: "Churchill's Secret War" explains exactly why Churchill's racist hatred of India often appeared irrational to contemporary British figures. As such, it is fair to say that Churchill's opinions were actually somewhat untypical even by 1930s-1940s standards. The following link also describes how FDR himself found Winston C to be "18th century" in his attitude to colonised peoples (as reported by FDR's son)

Aban1313 (talk) 20:21, 10 October 2011 (UTC)Aban1313

The Bengal famine was a disaster but it was still dwarfed by a World War which left something like 55 million dead, so Churchill was playing for far higher stakes. He was trying to save the whole world. The comparison with Nazi genocide is grotesque and has been discussed before. Churchill was certainly ruthless in his pursuit of victory in the war, but a balanced discussion of the Bengal famine would have to mention the shipping shortage and the fact that a priority was being placed on food aid "to save the Greeks and liberated countries from starvation," which was believed to have a more direct bearing on the outcome of the war. Churchill wrote in March 1943: "A concession to one country encourages demands from all the others. [The Indians] must learn to look after themselves as we have done. We cannot afford to send ships merely as a gesture of goodwill." According to Jordan Bishop, those who have read the Famine Enquiry Commission report agree that the British administration was guilty not only of "incompetence" but also of "callous disregard of duty". Nevertheless, famine isn't the same as mass murder. If the British had wanted to commit genocide in India, they had already had 200 years to find the means and opportunity. If Churchill had ever actually wanted to exterminate the Indian people, as your ridiculous and malicious comparison with Hitler implies, there were much more efficient ways to do that. If Churchill had lost the war, Hitler would have had the chance to demonstrate that on the people of India as well as Eastern Europe, by wiping them out through a policy of deliberate and systematic violence. Furthermore, on the question of mass murder, it's also rather hypocritical to point fingers at Churchill when the violence in India was overwhelmingly communal and self-inflicted. And, since he wasn't in office, you can't pretend that Churchill had even an indirect role in partition, which is the conventional pretext used to smear the British by transferring responsibility for the massacres from the real Indian and Pakistani perpetrators. And, finally, Churchill's views on race may not have been typical of contemporary British Liberals, but the progressive views of British Liberals were less typical for the time than were his own. As for Franklin Roosevelt, he lived before the Civil Rights movement, and had conventionally paternalistic attitudes towards African Americans. He also approved of the continued white settlement of former Native American land in the United States. So Roosevelt wasn't really in a position to criticise Churchill when it came to race or colonialism, either. Lachrie (talk) 22:01, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

I think we should not skirt the issue. Research shows that Americans offered to send aid to India on American ships. At that moment, America was Britains No. 1 ally and Britain solicited and received help from America in numerous ways. As such, if America offered to send American aid on American ships, i.e. at ZERO cost or risk to Britain, I fail to see what other hypothesis would suffice other than to admit that Churchill wanted as many Indians to starve to death as possible. I am certainly confused as to how American aid to India at American cost and risk could possibly hurt the British war effort.

Secondly, I think you should not call my comparison with hitler malicious. Wikipedia seems to have a policy of no personal attacks.

Thirdly, I am not sure how partition of India comes into the picture.

Fourth, Churchills idea that India should have looked after itself is not justifiable because India was a subject nation at that time, not allowed to make her own decisions and hence clearly not responsible for her own fate. In fact, if you see my link, you will find FDR held Britain directly responsible for famine conditions in India.

And finally, I must mention that it is immaterial whether FDR had the moral capital to criticize Churchill. The Wikipedia community, as I understand it, does not take moral stands, defend or accuse anyone. FDR was a very important person who knew Churchill very well and played a key role in the war and hence his opinion of Churchill, justified or otherwise, should be considered a reference in its own right. Aban1313 (talk) 00:35, 11 October 2011 (UTC)Aban1313

If you feel insulted, I apologise. However, you must also try to appreciate that your argument is so unreasonable that it's very difficult not to draw a negative inference about the underlying intention. To repeat, the point is that supplying Bengal would have required a significant diversion of food aid and shipping away from other regions of the world like the Balkans more immediately relevant to the war effort. Hard choices had to be made and Churchill couldn't save everybody. When he spoke of the need for India to look after itself he was obviously also including the colonial administration which had the immediate responsibility of managing the situation on the ground. Not releasing the shipping turned out to be a serious misjudgement, and the result was a tragedy, for which Churchill must shoulder a good part of the blame. However, the fundamental causes of the famine were deep-rooted and institutional, and can be traced back to contemporary reliance on free market theory and relatively distant historical factors like the moneterisation of the economy. Comparing indirect mismanagement of famine relief with deliberate acts of mass murder like the Holocaust, or even the communal violence committed by Muslims and Hindus at Partition, is neither fair nor reasonable. Mukherjee's conspiratorial book also tries to divert blame to Churchill for Partition and the attendant communal violence, which is absurd, since he didn't incite any violence and by that time he had been out of office for years, but it's also symptomatic of Mukherjee's propagandistic method, which affects the credibility of her book as a source. If you want to talk about genocide in India, looking at the Muslim and Hindu architects of communal violence would be a better place to start than scapegoating Churchill over famine relief. And with all due respect to Roosevelt, he had his own agenda too, and his opinion of Churchill can't be taken at face value, as you would have it, but also equally has to be considered in light of the historical context in which he operated. All told, your arguments carry little weight. Lachrie (talk) 01:10, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
how could it possibly be a diversion of British war effort to supply India if Americans were ready to

supply India on their ships? What is the choice for Churchill to make here? An ally wants to dock in India and dole out free food. Churchill asks him to back off.

Also, one cannot help wonder why Churchill clearly chose to prioritise European life (even lives of hostile European countries like Italy) over Indian lives. Racism seems to be the only possible explanation.

I'm sorry, but that seems a rather naive interpretation of warfare. I have read quite a bit about Churchill and have not come across evidence of racism. He was quite a social reformer. On the other hand I have most certainly come across evidence that he understood wartime imperatives whereby some people will be chosen to die and some chosen to live in order to advance the greater good.Sandpiper (talk) 20:33, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
huh? Some people will be chosen to live and some chosen to die. And that does not sound like racism to you? Can you read? America offered to supply food to India on American ships. In that case, please tell me how it becomes a wartime imperative that Indian people should die. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:57, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Since India was a COLONY and the stated purpose of colonisation is to exploit madly and selfishly, the more NATURAL possibility is that Churchill blocked food aid specifically due to racism. India was a COLONY and hence, to Churchill, Indians were pure cannon fodder to be used in war in the same way as petrol or coal. Any starving Indians who were too weak to fight and too poor to pay taxes were excess garbage and he probably saw it as convenient and desirable for them to be cleaned up naturally by starvation.

Your contention that somewhere deep down in his heart Churchill was secretly not a racist and just made a simple choice is difficult to believe. My theory is also borne out clearly by Churchills hateful and extremely racist pronouncements about Indians.

I am not sure why you would brand Madhusree Mukherjees book as conspiratorial. It is a very detailed work with full references and the author is an ex-editor of Scientific American honoured with a guggenheim for her contributions to nuclear physics. It seems unfair to dismiss a person with such a reputable track record in cutting edge scientific fields as a conspiracy nut. Aban1313 (talk) 03:33, 11 October 2011 (UTC)Aban1313

Your repeated references to partition violence have forced me to respond. The obvious reason for partition violence (and partition itself) was the lack of a united Indian political voice in 1947. And why was there no united political voice? Perhaps because a colonial superpower had just spent 90 years using prison, lynching, massacre, execution and every possible political artifice to make sure Indians wouldnt dare to have a political voice. To make matters worse, Mountbatten suddenly advanced the date of withdrawal from 16/6/1948 to 15/8/1947. At that point there were only about 3 months left and borders had not been drawn. What else do you expect other than anarchy and violence? A mere 5 years of Nazi occupation in France and yet socially monolithic France could not decide on a stable political system until 1958 (14 years!) Could diverse and massive India be expected to magically stand up after 90-200 years of occupation? An example for you would be the conduct of America in Iraq, where America stayed the course as civil war between Shias and Sunnis broke out. It is the responsibility of the occupying party to ensure a smooth transfer of power and Britain seriously abdicated this responsibility in 1947. Aban1313 (talk) 03:54, 11 October 2011 (UTC)Aban1313

Oh, dear. Where is your evidence for any of that? Sorry, but you're still ranting and raving, rattling off vicious insinuations, filling up the talk page with a character assassination and vague ideological claptrap about colonialism. I have a feeling this is a waste of time. It's not very helpful, but it underscores the fact you don't have any evidence that Churchill was deliberately trying to kill Indians. As Max Hastings pointed out at the time in the Sunday Times, in the same book in which muckraking Mukherjee blames the famine on some kind of racist plot by Churchill and the British, Mukherjee also tries to blame the plane crash that killed Bose on a British conspiracy, without any evidence, just as she tries to blame Churchill personally for partition and the communal violence, again without evidence. Neither Churchill nor the British went around inciting communal violence. But it's the modus operandi for Indian nationalists to blame British conspiracies in general, and Churchill in particular, for the actions of Indians, and anything bad that happened in India. Accusing Churchill of genocide is part of that larger pattern. It's politically convenient. The evidence doesn't support it. It seems clear that Mukherjee has an agenda. Mukherjee wants to make political capital out of a human tragedy.
The historian Andrew Roberts points out in "Starved for Evidence“, The Wall Street Journal (9 September 2011), p. W13: 'No one denies that tardiness, incompetence and occasional negligence were shown in some British imperial famine responses in the 19th and 20th centuries, yet the idea that people like Winston Churchill deliberately adopted policies to make the situation worse is ludicrous. The perilous military situation in India in late 1942 – with the Japanese at the gates and Bengal about to be on the front-line should the Japanese invade – meant that Churchill was forced to put strategic considerations first when deciding where ships, aircraft and resources went, often to the starving Bengalis' detriment.'
Churchill did restrict Mountbatten's spare shipping capacity to military operations and he did criticise Wavell for writing to Roosevelt for extra shipping in 1944, but as Roberts points out, when the seriousness of the situation in Bengal became clear later in 1944, Churchill 'requested exactly the same thing' from Roosevelt: extra shipping for famine relief. The famine was a man-made disaster but it wasn't an act of genocide, and Mukherjee has no evidence to back that up. It makes more sense to blame the war than to vilify Churchill by equating him with Hitler because he mismanaged the relief effort. Criticism is due, but you destroy your own case through such absurd exaggeration.
Wikipedia is not a soap box. If you want to contribute constructively then make a specific suggestion as to what wording you want to include in the article, but it will have to more balanced than Mukherkee's. Lachrie (talk) 11:22, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
Not to engage in the soapboxing but just to wonder whether Mukherjee's book is a reliable source for the article. It was reviewed in the New York Review of Books. I can see that it is controversial and Amartya Sen has taken issue with some of the things she says about the Bengal famine. Perhaps if properly attributed there may be some usable material there? Itsmejudith (talk) 11:57, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
It's dubious as a source for serious history. Mukherjee is a 'writer, science journalist and former physicist' rather than an academic specialist in the area of imperial history. The book is sensationalist, and at best, it should be treated as a tertiary source, meaning that any claims Mukherjee makes would have to be examined carefully and compared with those of professional historians writing in peer-reviewed journals, whose opinions would take precedence over Mukherjee's or any non-specialist reviewer, as meeting a higher standard of evidence. Given the concerns that reviewers have raised about the uneven content, and the fact that Mukherjee's book is apparently being put to propagandistic use, I don't think it can be assumed to stand solely on its own merit, no. Lachrie (talk) 12:31, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

Excellent suggestion, my friend. I have written out concretely exactly what I intend to put in: I have detailed references for each fact: a total of six published references.

Winston Churchill believed in racial superiority of white British peoples and that the British people were morally justified in occupying and colonising nations inhabited by "inferior races", who he likened to animals. Churchill explains thus:

"I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place." (Google books ref available)

Churchill held similar views on Indians. In conversation with Leopold Amery, Secretary of State for India, Churchill declared:

I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. (Google books ref available)

Churchill also said that Hindus were a "foul race protected by their pollution from the doom that is their due". (Google books ref available) In the context of Iraqi Arabs, Churchill said:

"I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes".(Google books ref available)

Churchill's views on race and colonialism did draw disapproval from some people around him. During a meeting in August 1941 at the Bay of Argentina, President Franklin D. Roosevelt noted that Churchill's seemed to adopt "18th century methods" towards colonised peoples. (Google books ref available) Leopold Amery also notes in his diary on Aug 4, 1944 that he told Churchill that he[Amery] could see little difference between Churchill's outlook and Hitler's. (Google books ref available) Amery also observed that "I am by no means sure whether on this subject of India he [Churchill] is really quite sane". (Google books ref available)

PS: I should mention to you that first of all, Mukherjee is a scientist of high calibre honoured with a Guggenheim and in general, scientists are known for a much more neutral approach to truth than historians. Moreover, Mukherjee's book has received lavish praise from Ramachandra Guha, a historian whose credentials are about as high as they come. Aban1313 (talk) 16:56, 11 October 2011 (UTC)Aban1313

Handy edit break, section continues

Frankly, the views you've expressed of the British seem scarcely less derogatory. Quite obviously, scientists like Mukherjee and other specialists writing outside their field of expertise can only offer a lay opinion rather than an informed one. Presenting evidence outside its historical context can be misleading, an elementary error sometimes committed by non-historians. The 'poison' gas quotation is a notorious example. The 'poison' gas Churchill was referring to was non-lethal tear gas, but the quotation is often used out of context by non-historians to create a misleading impression.
Churchill opposed self-government for India. He was a Liberal Imperialist and his views on race and empire were not untypical of his time and class. He had little direct contact with Indians and his views reflected negative stereotypes of Indians prevalent at the time, emphasising caste oppression and communal violence, and these ordinary prejudices are less notable than his historic actions. The far-left anti-imperialist Tony Benn has commented: "I have a video of Winston from the 1930s, in which he talks about 600 million poor benighted Indians, who depended on the empire to preserve their society. That was his position and although it is easy now to dismiss imperialism, it was part of the whole philosophy that illuminated the thinking not just of Conservatives but of many Liberals as well." Indian partition and independence did precipitate a huge amount of bloodshed and communal violence.
Personal opinions might be notable if a strong connection could be drawn with notable actions, and this, as well as due sensitivity to historical context, is also lacking here. The amount of contextualisation required to work such misleading quotations into a balanced article would still have the effect of investing them with undue weight. Lachrie (talk) 20:57, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
Churchill's views on colonialism and race were certainly retrograd, but suggestions that they were somehow notourious or out of line of the mainstream Birtish opionion are baseless. If he was really an outlier, he would have never considered to lead the nation. America's history was very different and dictated a different perspective on colonialism. FDR's views should be seen in that context. There is nothing wrong with mentioning these views, but you need not to pass judgement. We have to mbe concious of the fact however that on a massive historical figure like Churchill, whole libraries of books exist and some choices will need to be made. BorisG (talk) 12:41, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
I have an idea Churchill's objections were to the ill effects of religion rather than the intrinsic qualities of its followers. "How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property - either as a child, a wife, or a concubine - must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.[13]" From the river war book article, where it is quoted, and I have read the two volume original. By all accounts he wasnt too keen on christianity either but thought better than to criticise it publicly.
If you want refs to be considered seriously then you will have to cite them rather better than 'google ref available'. Sandpiper (talk) 20:33, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
The quote about 'dog in manger' appears to be part of a submission to the Peel Commission on palestine in 1937. I havnt found the original context but i assume the dog in the manger would be arabs and the people who displaced them the british. However, the quote talks about a long established dog, so i presume it is implicitly referring also to the Jews previously displaced by the arabs. It would appear Churchill favoured Jews recovering their homeland. Aged 14 at school he wrote, palestine in the time of john the baptist 'lay at the feet of the Roman, who was then at the apex of his glory'... The Zealots were 'always ready for a rebellion, ready to risk their lives, their homes, their all for their country's freedom' (churchill short biography by martin gilbert, first page). I think Churchill thought in terms of heroes and villains, not in terms of race. He persistently fought to allow Jewish return to palestine and that was what he was seeking to do with this speech. As to the fitness of a race, again in 'River War' he noted the great fitness of the British army to win the battle of Omdurman on account of it having railways, gunboats and plenty of machine guns. He was in fact rather scathing about the British making poorer railway engines than the americans and various other shortcomings like an inability to provide their soldiers with boots. On the whole he saw the US empire coming in its turn to supplant the british.
The dog in manger quote is about British colonists vs Australian native people. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:52, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
Churchill had quite a bit of contact with various native peoples since in his early years he was a soldier and war correspondent. He was stationed in india. Admittedly, he had a tendency for his native contact to involve exchanging bullets but he rather respected his enemies. I think he liked the boers (at the time the british were slaughtering them), but then they too were european immigrants to africa. He said occupying afghanistan was impossible. Sandpiper (talk) 22:28, 11 November 2011 (UTC)