Keep Calm and Carry On: Winston Churchill, born 1874 November 30th

For 57 consecutive nights in 1940, Nazi Germany tried to bring England to its knees. Waves of planes pummeled cities with high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices as part of a campaign to break the English spirit and destroy the country’s capacity to make war. One man stood strong against the onslaught: Winston Churchill.


There are a lot of cases when an air raid was about to occur and Churchill would go to the roof and watch. This was how he was. He was not going to cower in a shelter during a raid. He wanted to see it. By day, he carried on as if there were no nightly air raids. This was part of his style, part of how he encouraged and emboldened the nation. If Churchill’s doing this, if he’s courageous enough, maybe we really don’t have so much to fear.

Churchill was very clear-eyed about the threat from Germany. To him, the only way to really defeat any effort by Hitler to invade England was by increasing fighter strength so the Luftwaffe could never achieve air superiority. Churchill felt that if the Luftwaffe could be staved off, an invasion would be impossible. And I think he was correct in that.

Churchill was a unifier. He was a man who brought a nation together. As he said, he didn’t make people brave, he allowed their courage to come forward. It’s a very interesting distinction. To me, as I say in the book, he taught the nation the art of being fearless. And I do think fearlessness can be a learned art

6 thoughts on “Keep Calm and Carry On: Winston Churchill, born 1874 November 30th

  1. Interesting blog. If I may, Churchill was the Prime Minister of Great Britain and the Nazi’s sought to bring the British economy down and destroy the will of the British people. The Luftwaffe also bombed Cardiff, Swansea, Glasgow and Belfast in addition to many port towns and other urban areas including (predominantly) London. The will of the people remained, pretty much, unbroken despite in some areas there being great fatigue against the continual bombing and subsequent devastation and loss of life and property. You would, of course, understand that there would be fatigue at the incessant air raids. The people of the four nations stood firm against the aggression. The heroes were those who manned and flew the planes, who put out the fires, tended the wounded and dying, drove the buses and trains to make sure life continued at some degree. Those who searched for people, possessions, fed and watered their fellow citizens and tried to ease some of the fear and suffering being caused to so many. The list can go on to include the dockers, the watermen, the seafarers etc who went to work each day to make sure that the imports still flowed to the public and people, despite rationing, still had something to eat and clothe themselves. There were and are so many heroes who go remarkably under the radar, people who really did put their lives on the line to try and make sure others had (and have) some degree of freedom from oppression and fear. Then we turn to the nations who helped defend Britain against invasion, most notably with the various squadrons of Czech, Free French, Belgian, Dutch aircrews who flew alongside the British during the darkest hour. I have probably missed so many different groups of people and for that I apologise.

    The British have generally been stubborn for centuries so I think Churchill was probably someone in the right place at the right time, especially given the stance of Chamberlain in 1938 and what we subsequently know of the intentions of Hitler and his acolytes. Churchill was a great orator, he did stir up feelings of pride and allowed people to find their inner strength quite freely. That he was there in a time of great national crisis was pivotal to the defence of these Isles.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am currently reading “The Splendid and the Vile” by Erik Larsen. It is about WW2 and Churchill and his family. It is a terrific read in my opinion. Churchill was a unique individual and he certainly was the right man for the job during the bombing. Thanks for featuring him on his Birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too read Larson’s book…actually it was the audiobook. It was splendid. I hope that the blog and my radio show were adequate in comparison to such a brilliant man. Thank you for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

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