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Robert Blake and Wm. Roger Louis

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206262

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206262.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 12 May 2021

Churchill’s Strategy

Churchill’s Strategy

(p.327) 19 Churchill’s Strategy

John Keegan

Oxford University Press

During the Second World War, Winston Churchill, in a document written in October 1941, rightly deprecated with absolutely sound strategic perception the belief of the Air Staff that victory might be won by strategic bombing alone. Germany's war machine was stronger in 1943 than in 1941, and the efforts of the Allied air forces to weaken it had resulted in such dispersion of German war industry as to make their task not easier but more difficult. The Prime Minister, who was also Minister of Defence, confidently equated the power of his isolated island with that of the continental dictator whose armies at that time stood on the Channel narrows and menaced both Egypt and Russia. For Britain, after the fall of France but before Pearl Harbor, it was Churchill's strength of will that made the difference between sustaining the fight and submitting to a dictated peace. When asked about the nature of his general strategy, Churchill replied: ‘My general strategy at present is to last out the next three months’.

Keywords:   Winston Churchill, Britain, Germany, Second World War, strategy, Air Staff, Egypt, Russia

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