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Winston Churchill: "The Greatest Briton of All Time"

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Item location:. Posts to:. This amount is subject to change until you make payment. One of the things to like about Darkest Hour is that it does not depict them as cartoon appeasers of fascism, but as men sincerely convinced that fighting on will be national suicide. He was wrong, but he was wrong for reasons that seemed compelling to many people in May Much of the British military thought invasion highly likely and defeat unavoidable.

Here the story of his leadership folds into our national legend to create a collective memory that has always set apart Britain from its neighbours. For most Europeans, will always be a darkest hour. The majority of the continent was either celebrating Hitler or allied to Germany or conquered by the Third Reich or would be soon occupied. For Britons, became a finest hour.

This has made a major contribution over the decades since to a strong strand of British exceptionalism that has inevitably infected the argument whenever we have debated our relationship with the rest of Europe. Yet has never represented a case for Britain to be detached from its continent. Churchill understood that. It is central to his historical importance that he saw this much more clearly than Chamberlain and Halifax. Making peace with Hitler would mean surrendering Europe to the barbarity of Nazism. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.

But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

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He took this stance in the face of considerable public terror about the consequences of fighting on. The most irritating scene in Darkest Hour is one that is entirely made up. This invented scene is seriously misrepresentative of public opinion in May Many Britons were very fearful, and understandably so, of carrying on the war. Britons were still scarred by the meat-grinder carnage of the trenches of the first world war.

This is one of the many aspects of Churchill to admire. He did not tell the public what they all wanted to hear; he used his powers of advocacy and inspiration to rally parliament and the people behind him. He did not follow public opinion. He led it.

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That is at the heart of his magnificence. It is also another reason to mourn the lack of contemporary politicians who aspire to emulate his example. Darkest Hour opens on Friday.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Winston Churchill The Observer. Winston Churchill has in fact entered the music charts twice! A less known fact is that he was actually a prisoner of war, during the Boer War. He was ambushed and captured by enemy soliders. He later made his great escape and returned a hero. To be commemorated on a coin is an honour to which not many can put claim. Themes and designs for coins are carefully selected by committee and the commemorative theme must carry significant weight in order to be considered. Read more stories from The Royal Mint.

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