This third volume of the official biography of Sir Winston Churchill contains a full account of his initiatives and achievements as wartime First Lord of the Admiralty between August 1914 and May 1915.
This third volume of the official biography of Sir Winston Churchill contains a full account of his initiatives and achievements as wartime First Lord of the Admiralty between August 1914 and May 1915. These include his efforts to prolong the siege of Antwerp, his support for the use of air power, and his part in the early development of the tank. It shows the forcefulness with which he argued for an offensive naval policy, first against Germany, then against Turkey."What about the Dardanelles?" was the cry Churchill heard often between the two world wars. It epitomized the distrust in which he was held by both politicians and the public as a result of the naval setback at the Dardanelles in March 1915 and the eventual failure of the Gallipoli landings launched the following month—although Gallipoli was the ministerial responsibility of the Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, and the ultimate responsibility of the Prime Minister, H.H. Asquith.Martin Gilbert examines the political crisis of May 1915, during which the Conservative Party forced Asquith to form a coalition government. The Conservatives insisted that Churchill leave the center of war policymaking for a position of increasing political isolation. In the next seven months, while the Gallipoli campaign was being fought, Churchill served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, with no authority over military or naval policy.Resigning from the Cabinet in November 1915, Churchill was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel, commanding an infantry battalion in the trenches of the Western Front. In May 1916, he returned from the trenches, hoping to reenter political life, but his repeated attempts to regain his once-substantial influence were unsuccessful. For the final year of Asquith’s premiership, Churchill held no political office, and was frustrated by his lack of power.
Sir Martin Gilbert (1936–2015) was a leading British historian and the author of more than eighty books. Specializing in 20th century history, he was the official biographer of Winston Churchill and wrote a best-selling eight-volume biography of the war leader’s life. Born in London in 1936, Martin Gilbert was evacuated to Canada with his family at the beginning of World War II as part of the British government’s efforts to protect children from the brutal bombings of the Luftwaffe. He was made a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, in 1962. He is the author of several definitive historical works examining the Holocaust, the First and Second World Wars, and the history of the 20th century. In 1990, Gilbert was designated a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and was awarded a Knighthood in 1995. Oxford University awarded him a Doctorate in 1999. Gilbert was a sought-after speaker on Churchill, Jewish history, and the history of the 20th century, and traveled frequently to lecture at colleges, universities, and organizations around the world.
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