Churchill

May

31

1943

Churchill argues for the invasion of Italy

31st May 1943: Churchill argues for the invasion of Italy

Sometime during the dinner-table conversation, the question of diaries came up. The Prime Minister said that it was foolish to keep a day-by-day diary because it would simply reflect the change of opinion or decision of the writer, which, when and if published, makes one appear indecisive and foolish.

May

12

1943

The Germans surrender in North Africa

12th May 1943: The Germans surrender in North Africa

At the end the battlefield fell to pieces and lost all pattern and design, and those who had fought hardest on both sides found they had nothing to say, nothing to feel beyond an enveloping sense of gratitude and rest. The anger subsided at the surrender, and for the first time the German and Allied soldiers stood together looking at one another with listless and passionless curiosity.

May

10

1943

British prepare to discuss the War with the Americans

10th May 1943: The British prepare to discuss the War with the Americans


It is all so maddening as it is not difficult in this case to see that unless our united effort is directed to defeat Germany and hold Japan the war may go on indenitely. However it is not sufficient to see something clearly. You have got to try and convince countless people as to where the truth lies when they don’t want to be acquainted with that fact. It is an exhausting process and I am very very tired, and shudder at the useless struggles that lie ahead.

Apr

13

1943

Nazis announce Katyn massacre of Polish officers

13th April 1943: Nazis announce Katyn Wood massacre of Polish officers

He told me that he had proofs that the Soviet Government had murdered the 15,000 Polish officers and other prisoners in their hands, and that they had been buried in vast graves in the forests, mainly around Katyn. He had a wealth of evidence. I said, “If they are dead nothing you can do will bring them back.”

Mar

15

1943

Stalin agitates for a Second Front in Europe

15th March 1943: Stalin agitates for a Second Front in Europe

The Soviet troops spent the whole winter in the tense fighting, which continues even now. Hitler is carrying out important measures with a view to replenish and increase his army for the spring and summer operations against the U.S.S.R. In these circumstances it is for us extremely important that the blow from the West should not be put off, that it should be struck in the spring or in the early summer.

Feb

10

1943

Churchill declares that the U-Boat war is top priority

10th February 1943: Churchill declares that the U-Boat war is top priority

Even if the U-boats increase in number, there is no doubt that a superior proportionate increase in the naval and air escort will be a remedy. A ship not sunk is better than a new ship built. Therefore, in order to reduce the waste in the merchant shipping convoys, we have decided, by successive steps during the last six months, to throw the emphasis rather more on the production of escort vessels, even though it means some impingement on new building.

Feb

4

1943

Churchill reviews victorious Eighth Army parade

4th February 1943: Churchill reviews victorious Eighth Army parade

In days to come, when asked by those at home what part you played in this war, it will be with pride in your hearts that you can reply : I marched with the Eighth Arrny.’ He finished: ‘And, remember, you nightly pitch your moving tents a day’s march nearer home.’ There was hardly a dry eye : mine was not one of them.

Jan

24

1943

Roosevelt calls for ‘Unconditional Surrender’

24th January 1943: Roosevelt calls for ‘Unconditional Surrender’

We had so much trouble getting those two French generals together that I thought to myself that this was as difficult as arranging the meeting of Grant and Lee – and then suddenly the Press Conference was on, and Winston and I had had no time to prepare for it, and the thought popped into my mind that they had called Grant “Old Unconditional Surrender”, and the next thing I knew I had said it.

Jan

14

1943

Churchill and Roosevelt meet at Casablanca

14th January 1943: Churchill and Roosevelt meet at Casablanca

Admiral King then did so, and it became clear at once that his idea was an ‘all-out’ war against Japan instead of holding operations. He then proposed that 30 per cent of the war effort should be directed to the Pacific and 70 per cent to the rest. We pointed out that this was hardly a scientific way of approaching war strategy!

Nov

16

1942

British celebrate the ‘end of the beginning’

16th November 1942: British celebrate the ‘end of the beginning’

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Henceforth Hitler’s Nazis will meet equally well armed, and perhaps better armed troops. Hence forth they will have to face in many theatres of war that superiority in the air which they have so often used without mercy against others, of which they boasted all round the world, and which they intended to use as an instrument for convincing all other peoples that all resistance to them was hopeless….