Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Battle of Britian Without Churchill?

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by Carl W Schwamberger, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    81
    Lets assume Winston died in early 1939 from too much wine & women. How would British politics and the war in 1940 play out?

    I'm assuming here Chamberlain remains PM until the events of April/May cause him to lose power as happened historically. Who would the likely candidates for PM be and what would their likely decsions be for the remaineder of 1940.

    A secondary question is, would Churchills absence cause Chamberlain to lose power sooner, or last longer?
     
  2. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    13,478
    Likes Received:
    1,385
    Location:
    London, England.
    Halifax was certainly a prime candidate and everyone I've ever spoken to who was alive at the time literally shuddered at the thought.

    My own feeling from all I've read is that, for all his many undeniable faults, Churchill was indeed the right man at the right time. Britain's other politicians ( then as now...) were a fairly unimpressive lot and when the shooting started, different skills are needed. My parents vividly recall the total change in the country's morale and attitude when Churchill took over.

    I don't think that any other politician would have had the sheer stubborn-ness to hold on during 1940-1941 when it really did seem that 'Britain stood alone'.
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    22,301
    Likes Received:
    1,045
    Location:
    Kotka,Finland
    Agreed. Without Churchill´s attitude it could have been that Hitler´s peace proposals would have been accepted, and there would be no Battle of Britain.
     
  4. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    29
    As politians goes then two viable options are present, none good, 1, Mosely. 2, Halifax.

    Just what outcome of this would be. Would there have being Operation Dynamo (rescue of BEF and 1re d'Armee France) or Operation Catapult (attack on North African French Fleet by Taskforce H). It is just to hard to predict, but one thing is certain and that is Britain is very much weaker politically without Churchill. I would assume in the long run without a Churchill the Brits wouls have lost the BoB.
     
  5. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    13,478
    Likes Received:
    1,385
    Location:
    London, England.
    It's very unlikely that Mosley would have been able to take any prominent position. Membership of the British Union of Fascists had fallen away considerably and by the late 1930s probably amounted to no more than 8,000. By the time WWII had broken out, he was a marginal figure.
     
  6. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    81
    That leaves:

    Chamberlain in place. No good alternative?

    Halifax. We're screwed. Lets negotiate a peace.

    Some unknown. ????

    I suspect any negotiations would start before the Battle of Britian, and would leave the French fleet unmolested.

    If the Brits come to terms with Germany does that imply a eventual peace treaty between Germany and France, and a partial of full removal of the occupation of the Western nations?
     
  7. Sturmkreuz

    Sturmkreuz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    645
    Likes Received:
    63
    Agreed.
     
  8. Neon Knight

    Neon Knight Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    12
    mmm... difficult to say... good thread!
    well, let me say this:

    - if chamberlain resign because of the defeat in europe i can't see the reason to replace him with halifax: if britain wants to negotiate a peace treat chamberlaine is the right man, by contrast if britain wants to fight halifax is not suitable. so no place for halifax in any case.

    - mosley??? come on, he was just a joke...

    - negotiate a treaty: that's the key issue! in fact, it was simply impossibile. the nazi would never retreat in the west (france/holland/belgium) and, at the same time, britain could never accept nazi bombers/divisions in calais.

    - in may '40 britain had very low morale but the country in many key fields was equal/superior to germany: trade, industry, technology, navy, intelligence..... and, yes, politics! churchill was not an alien, he was the product of britain's history.

    - conclusion: someone else, maybe a fresh one(?), would replace chamberlain as PM and keep on fighting the nazi. i have no idea who, but someone would come out.
     
  9. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    29
    Yes he may be a joke but how many "Jokes" have risen in unusual circumstances to become leaders of their nations, just to thing had WW2 not broke out Churchill himself may never have been Prime Minister.

    The reason some folks opt for Mosely is because he was the leader of the British Union of Fascists, a right wing politian who would be more aggreable with Hitler. It ain't perfect i know but.....
     
  10. Neon Knight

    Neon Knight Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    12
    it happened in countries with a weak and fragile democracy. it was NOT the case of britain. in the 30's there were not million of britons wearing brown shirts at rally for mosley.... britons preferred other sports rather than joining silly ideologies.
    hey Von, it seems to me we already had this kind of discussion, didn't we? ;)
     
  11. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    29
    Refresh my memory, please.
     
  12. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,521
    Likes Received:
    139
    He couldn't have become the leader of the UK for the simple, but important, fact that he wasn't a Member of Parliament (MP), his party had failed to get even a single member elected to the House Of Commons.
     
  13. Richard

    Richard Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    5,847
    Likes Received:
    332
    Without Churchill I wonder how the British backbone would of lasted in those dark days of 1940. I am just glad Winston was our man who gave us hope to stand firm and fight back.
     
  14. JagdtigerI

    JagdtigerI Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    209
    Churchill did an excellent job at holding the county together.
     
  15. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    81
    I dont know much about British politics. Who were the other leaders, besides Halifax and Chamberlain?
     
  16. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,281
    Likes Received:
    85
    How about the Labour Party leader Clement Attlee? This was the guy who began the criticism in Parliament against Chamberlain just after Chamberlain gave his call for unity speech. When Chamberlain realized his speech was poorly received, he decided to let Churchill speak before the House of Commons the next day in order to save Chamberlain's govt.
    After that speech, Parliament voted and the result was 281 votes for adjournment and 200 votes against. Chamberlain's majority was just a mere 81, which was pretty slim indeed. Before Hitler's rampage, Chamberlain held a commanding 210 majority in Parliament. Two days later, he appealed to Laborites and Liberal leaders to join a national coalition government. But he was rebuffed. The Labour Party (which had 164 votes in Parliament) finally forced Chamberlain to resign.
     
  17. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WWII Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Messages:
    688
    Likes Received:
    565
    Carl

    I fully understand that we are only discussing the above premise in order to spark off controversy but I feel obliged to put forward the "veteran's" viewpoint.

    As someone who was sixteen at the outbreak of WW2 and who spent his formative years under Winston's inspired, there is simply no other word for it, leadership, I do indeeed shudder at the very thought that we could have been deprived of his charisma and powers during those terrible dark days.

    To even mention the name of Oswald Mosely in the same breath as Churchill is, in my opinion, risible and not even worthy of consideration.

    I shall be following this thread with much interest

    Ron
     
  18. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,281
    Likes Received:
    85
    Sir, I understand your view. Still, this thread did pose an interesting question. Since you were there when Chamberlain resigned I think you would be the best person to answer this question: who would be the next best choice if Churchill wasn't available?
    From what I've read, Attlee replaced Churchill after World War II and is considered today as one of the best Prime Ministers of England in the 20th Century.
     
  19. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WWII Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Messages:
    688
    Likes Received:
    565
    Falcon
    I did say I was sixteen when war broke out.

    Like many other kids of that age in that era I grew up fast so that by the time I was called up at the age of nineteen I had matured enough to be able to fend for myself in any hostile environment.

    However, I was still politically "Green" and so I honestly can't remember discussing politics with my peers.

    This has meant that all my political acumen has been established since those days and your opinion of "who was most likely to have taken over" has as much value as my own.

    This doesn't stop me however from expressing my evaluation of Churchill as a leader during the war years and on this I remain adamant.

    Cometh the hour and cometh the man.

    The man was Churchill.

    Ron
     
  20. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,281
    Likes Received:
    85
    Thank you, sir. That was a very honest and frank answer to my question. I knew you were sixteen years old at that time but I just had to ask the question.
    So who else here have some idea? I guess it's up to us who aren't too close to the subject that can think of something.
    I am far from British political history but from what I've read, Attlee could be one of those considered if Churchill wasn't in the picture. Attlee did eventually replace Churchill after the war and went on to be rated later as one of the best PMs of the 20th Century.
     

Share This Page