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Churchill$
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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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Churchill and the Navy

Churchill and the Navy

Chapter:
(p.375) 21 Churchill and the Navy
Source:
Churchill
Author(s):

Richard Ollard

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206262.003.0022

Both Winston Churchill and the British navy are historical phenomena that reach back beyond the hideosities of Adolf Hitler and, mercifully, have outlived him. Perhaps no institution in Britain, unless it be Parliament, sorted so profoundly with Churchill's genius or provided so grand a field for the display of his gifts and the exposure of his faults. Of all the dramatic resonances in which his career is so rich, there is none more striking than the fact that the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 and the Second World War in 1939 should have found him occupying the First Lord's chair at the Board of Admiralty. First Sea Lord Jacky Fisher's relationship with Churchill is the key to the latter's relation to the navy. It was astonishing that Churchill failed to recognize the magnificent fighting spirit of the fine officers whom he was fortunate enough to find in the most important commands. One such officer was Andrew Cunningham, whose appointment as First Sea Lord Churchill tried to derail.

Keywords:   Winston Churchill, Britain, British navy, Board of Admiralty, sea power, First World War, Second World War, Andrew Cunningham, Jacky Fisher, First Sea Lord

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