DO MAKE USE of LINKS,
>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
The Top Bar >PAGES<

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.
Was Neville Chamberlain just as set on war as Churchill? …
.
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail:
Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

The BLOG:
https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

The Main Web Site:
www.InfoWebSite.UK

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.

Hi,

unlike Peter Hitchens I would incline to the opinion that far from an ambition for war, which Churchill would seem to have had, it is far more likely that Chamberlain was well aware of the inevitability of war and as we were without a viable fighter command in the RAF at the time his action in delaying war provided the time to arm for war, which led to the outcome whereby eventually we won!

Had Churchill had his way there is little doubt that for all his ability as a Wartime Leader his utter ineptitude as a Prime Minister would have lost us the war within 10 days! Few at the time saw in him the abilities required of a Prime Minister, hence despite his success and popularity as a War Leader he was soon removed by the electorate after the war!

Was Neville Chamberlain just as set on war as Churchill?

telegraph - booker - greg - 06-jan-2019 01

I’d like to share this fascinating story told in last weekend’s ‘Sunday Telegraph’ by my friend Christopher Booker.  It has many enjoyable elements, being one of these doorways into the recent past which illuminate , for a brief moment, the truth about the present.

‘My friend Greg Lance-Watkins recalled how, in 1967, as a young officer cadet at Sandhurst, he boarded a packed train from London to Inverness, on which the only unoccupied seat was in the dining car. Seeing his uniform, the chap in the seat opposite invited him to sit down, and Greg recognised him as the former Prime Minister Alec Douglas-Home.’ 

It is rather wonderful to recall that there was a time when a former Prime Minister could travel unaccompanied on a train, and when members of the armed forces were still allowed to wear their uniforms in public,  not to mention a time when there were still dining cars on trains from London to Scotland.

Mr Lance-Watkins knew his history. He knew that Home had, long ago, been Neville Chamberlain’s Parliamentary Private Secretary and so present at one of the most important events of modern history, the Munich talks.

 

 Christopher Booker writes: ‘Greg quizzed him about the moment when Chamberlain, after leaving the aircraft at Heston Aerodrome, waved a piece of paper (which no one was allowed to see) and was greeted with cheers from the waiting crowd.

‘After hours without food in the unheated aircraft, the party then rushed back to Downing Street where, according to Home’s account, as Chamberlain was still taking off his coat, he said to senior colleagues who had gathered to greet him: “Gentlemen, prepare for war.” According to this story at least, far from being fooled by Hitler, Chamberlain had become just as aware of his true intentions as Churchill. By pretending otherwise, he bought another year for Britain to step up preparations for a war he now realised was inevitable.’

 

Well, that’s the way Christopher Booker puts it. I would go further. If Mr Lance-Watkins recollection was accurate, and if Home’s account is true, it tends to confirm my view, expressed in my book ‘The Phoney Victory’, that Chamberlain planned for and in fact sought war with Germany, and that our promise to come to Poland’s aid was a deliberate trigger to bring such a war about, and a device to prevent Poland from making a deal with Hitler over Danzig.

 

What it completely explodes is the view commonly held ( and one which I used to hold myself) that Chamberlain was fooled by Hitler at Munich. Though of course it makes perfect sense, if Chamberlain (rightly) grasped that Britain was in no state to fight any sort of war in September 1938, and nor was France, that he would be wise to keep his warlike ambitions as secret as possible.

 

What I would really like is some further confirmation of this.  

To view the original article CLICK HERE

 

I’m not a Churchill hater-but-it always seemed to me very unfair that after bringing in huge cuts, especially to the navy as chancellor of the exchequer he was the one criticising the government just as the full consequences of the cuts were becoming apparent. It’s time to end the guilty men interpretation of Chamberlain.

Credible though this is, it still doesn’t explain why they ultimately embroiled us in a fight we couldn’t win alone, and as Churchill later described, “…at the worst possible time and on the least favourable grounds” (I may have accidentally paraphrased that quote slightly as I don’t have it to hand). Surely even Chamberlain and his cabinet understood this at the time themselves? Therefore why make the pledge, when staying out as long as possible would’ve been the best course of action for the time being?

“Chamberlain had known form the start that the Polish guarantee left the timing of war in the hands of Warsaw, but that didn’t matter to him because its main aim was to stop a Polish-German pact, and in any case he thought the war would be, like WW1, a war of stalemate and blockade in which Poland would hold out for a good deal longer than it did, and the USSR could be persuaded to join our side.”

The Deputy Chiefs of Staff (Tom Phillips, Henry Pownall (for DCIGS) and John Slessor (for DCAS), writing on 16 August 1939, were very clear that without immediate Soviet assistance, which the Polish gvt did not want, Poland would go down in a very brief time, and the DCoS advocated that HMG apply heavy pressure on Polish gvt to persuade them to accept Soviet assistance. Admiral Sir Reginald Drax, then in Moscow, estimated that Poland would last 2 weeks without Soviet assistance. In view of this, where did Chamberlain get the idea that Poland could hold out longer than it did (and as long as Drax estimated)?

It would be no surprise to confirm that Chamberlain had decided well before the Polish Guarantee that Hitlerism needed to be confronted. Chamberlain may even have been aware at Munich that if Britain was militarily weak, Germany’s forces were also weak. But he put off the confrontation because he sensed there was little public support for war, and also that France might fail to support a war in 1938. Despite PH’s snide sniping at Chamberlain, his attempt to paint him as a warmonger doesn’t convince me.

@Frank Finch:
***I dispute your choice of words and the slant of your argument when you refer to Chamberlain’s “warlike ambitions”. It’s perhaps a bit subtle but you imply that war was something he wanted. “Resignation to the necessity of war” is a better way to put it.***

I think at that point he was fervently hoping that serving up Czechoslovakia to Hitler would satisfy Hitler’s ambitions, but somehow suspected that it wouldn’t … like a failing businessman who buys into the Nigerian scam, knowing full well that it’s a fraud, but overcome by desperation. Similarly, the guarantee to Poland was hoped to be a final deterrent, although even that was dubious; a long-shot to be sure, but at that time, virtually his only chance. And at the time, no one knew how weak France really was; perhaps not even the French.

As to world war 2 there seems to have been many sub plots. Hitlers main objective was to go east and overthrown the Communits in Russia, and take lots of land,. The UK seems to have been very concerned with protecting her Empire. Which may have been why we were re-arming.

And then you have the US who didn’t declare war on Germany after Hitler invaded Poland, or France, or even after Dunkirk, and we had retreated out of main land Europe. A lot of FDRs moves seem now to be about removing the British Empire from the map and replacing it with new US interests/empire.

The words Chamberlain used, peace in our time are reminiscent of Lord Beaconsfield in 1878.The Balkans crisis of that year threatened a world war. Beaconsfield, Bismark and a number of world leaders met at the Berlin congress.War was averted.
Beaconsfield described it as peace with honour. I like to think that Chamberlain was an honourable man who had experienced the horrors of war and wanted to avoid it as his esteemed predecessor had done sixty years earlier.

I believe it to have been common knowledge that Neville Chamberlain was simply buying time in his meeting with Adolf Hitler. Several years ago, I heard first hand accounts of war preparations being made months before the summit at Munich was even conceived ; I can’t imagine that the Prime Minister wasn’t aware of the preparations.

PH asks “What I would really like is some further confirmation of this [that Britain was in no state to fight any sort of war in September 1938]”.***PH No. That is not what I asked for. Nobody disputes that., What I want confirmed is that Chamberlain said ‘Gentlemen , prepare for war’ on the night he returned from Munich.***

At the time of Munich the RAF had just five squadrons of Hurricanes, and no Spitfires at all: if the Battle of Britain had been fought then instead of in 1940 it would have been a walkover – for Hitler.

Further, those few Hurricanes all had fixed-pitch propellors, which were upgraded to variable-pitch by the time the BoB started. (An aircraft with a fixed-pitch propellor is somewhat like a car stuck in 3rd gear: it won’t pull at low speed and it over-revs at high speed.)

Consider that all of the Spitfires and most of the Hurricanes which took part in the Battle of Britain were manufactured AFTER Munich. If Chamberlain had truly believed that he had secured “peace in our time” why would he have bothered to spend good money on these aircraft?

Except – Chamberlain was forced into honouring the Poland pact, which he had barely meant. See Volume 2 of Manchester’s Churchill biography. It was the threat of a confidence vote which led to him declaring war on the 3rd, having delayed since the 1st.

***PH: I’d need some chapter and verse on that. My understanding is that the supposed delay was caused by an attempt to co-ordinate declarations of war with Paris. There was no possibility of a diplomatic way out after the Germans crossed the Polish border. Chamberlain had known form the start that the Polish guarantee left the timing of war in the hands of Warsaw, but that didn’t matter to him because its main aim was to stop a Polish-German pact, and in any case he thought the war would be, like WW1, a war of stalemate and blockade in which Poland would hold out for a good deal longer than it did, and the USSR could be persuaded to join our side. ****

I cannot offer you further evidence but… as indicated by Techno… there is more than sufficient evidence that much was being done to prepare the country for war while Chamberlain was prime minister. I have never subscribed to the view that Chamberlain was weak, stupid or easily fooled. There is more than sufficient evidence that he was none of these things.

I dispute your choice of words and the slant of your argument when you refer to Chamberlain’s “warlike ambitions”. It’s perhaps a bit subtle but you imply that war was something he wanted. “Resignation to the necessity of war” is a better way to put it.

From the essential book “The Great Deception” (2005) by the same Mr Booker and Richard North, concerning the parliamentary debates in October 1971 about “going into Europe” (p184):

“Addressing fears of a ‘federal Europe’, [Douglas-Home, then foreign secretary] acknowledged that ‘some people might still like to pursue this idea’, but claimed that ‘political change’ in the Community had to be unanimous, and that there was no way any country could be ‘dragooned or coerced into a pattern of political association’ it did not like. There was no mention of economic and monetary union, or of the Luxembourg agreement committing the Six [founder countries] to work for a common foreign policy. Instead Douglas-Home offered the prospect that, once she was in, Britain could play a part in shaping a new regional policy, which could bring lavish subsidies to boost the poorer areas of the country.”

Plainly, Douglas-Home did not always tell the truth. However, it is much likelier he was telling the truth on that train rather than in the House four years later.

There are bunkers in the suburbs of Leeds that local historians say are ammunition bunkers, and that they were built in 1938. If this is correct, then war preparations were being made a year in advance of September 1939.

I think I read that on the Secret Leeds 2 group on Facebook.

.

.

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
.
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337
Calls from ‘Number Withheld’ phones Are Blocked

All unanswered messages are recorded.
Leave your name & a UK land line number & I will return your call.

‘e’Mail Address: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

Skype: GregL-W

TWITTER: @Greg_LW

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,
>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
The Top Bar >PAGES<
I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual
.

Please Be Sure To
.Follow Greg_LW on Twitter.

Re-TWEET my Twitterings
https://twitter.com/Greg_LW

& Publicise

My MainWebSite & Blogs

To Spread The Facts World Wide


eMail:
Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

The BLOG:
https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

The Main Web Site:
www.InfoWebSite.UK

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~