Top 10 Facts about Winston Churchill

One of Britain’s great politicians, Winston Churchill, is recognized for his encouraging and exceptional speeches. He is also acknowledged for leading the United Kingdom to victory in World War II. 

Of course, some have questioned the morality of some of his actions, such as authorizing many German city’s blanket bombings.

However, his dispositions are justified because he only delivered what the British needed during a time of crisis.

It is a significant achievement how Churchill ended up living up to the old age of 90, contemplating his life choices. By 16, Churchill had become a heavy chain smoker and a drinker.

He defended his actions by claiming that his religion enabled him to smoke and drink. 

Read 10 additional facts about Winston Churchill, one of the twentieth century’s iconic figures, below.

Who was Prime Minister of England after Churchill?

Churchill retired in April 1955, and Anthony Eden succeeded him as the new Prime Minister of England. 

What did Winston Churchill do for America?

In Washington, D.C., Winston Churchill aided in formulating the strategy that won World War II. Additionally, more than anyone, he was also responsible for raising awareness of the Soviet danger during the beginning of the Cold War. 

 10. He was a Published Author who had Won several Awards

Winston Churchill's Nobel Prize in Literature
Winston Churchill’s Nobel Prize in Literature

Throughout the narrative, Churchill wrote numerous books, the first of which described his army adventures in India, Sudan, and South Africa. Later, he also wrote a memoir of his father and a biography of the first Duke of Marlborough. 

He also penned multiple publications on World War I and World War II, including a chronology of English-speaking people. Funnily enough, he also wrote a novel that he advised his friends not to read. 

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Likewise, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953, while spending his reelection as Prime Minister, for “his mastery of historical and biographical description, as well as a dazzling oratory in upholding elevated human principles.

9. Churchill was Defeated in the Election that followed the end of World War II

Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill

After Germany, but not Japan, surrendered, Britain conducted its inaugural general election in a decade in July 1945. Many people were surprised when Churchill’s Conservative Side lost in a disaster after the Labour Party effectively portrayed them as anti-worker and anti-welfare. 

“They possess every right to kick us out,” he had allegedly replied after learning the news. “That is democracy in action. That is what we have been working for.”

Nevertheless, he reappeared to the cabinet in 1951, where he remained until his health forced him to retire three and a half years later.

8. Churchill was Notoriously Prone to Mishaps

Winston Churchill leaving hospital after treatment
Winston Churchill leaving the hospital after treatment

Churchill once had a concussion and punctured a kidney while playfully flinging himself off a bridge as a child. Subsequently, later, he also nearly drowned in a Swiss lake.

What’s more, he also fell numerous times off horses and dislocated his shoulder when attempting to land from a ship in India. 

Not to mention, he also wrecked a plane while piloting and was also struck by a vehicle when he glanced the other way to cross New York’s Fifth Avenue.

However, none of these occurrences rendered him immobile. He survived till the age of 90 before finally collapsing to a stroke.

7. The Phrase “Iron Curtain” was popularized by Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill during his Iron Curtain speech
Winston Churchill during his Iron Curtain speech

Notwithstanding his reservations about communism, Churchill had, at first, joyfully joined well with the Soviet Union throughout WWII.

However, he soon began to have significant doubts about the Soviet Union’s intentions. 

In fact, in a March 1946 address, he spoke of “an iron wall that had morphed across the continent.”

He elucidated, “Behind that line, countries are susceptible to a very high and, in several cases, a growing measure of influence from Moscow.”

From then on, whenever Western politicians discussed the USSR, they always emphasized the “iron curtain.”

6. Churchill delivered most of his renowned remarks within several months of one another

Winston Churchill during his Chicken speech
Winston Churchill during his Chicken speech

After a terrible start to World War II in which Nazi Germany controlled much of Europe, Churchill succeeded over as Prime Minister in May 1940.

Moreover, he was a skilled orator who rallied the people in the face of an adjacent attack, delivering six prominent addresses in four months. 

Indeed, he released a statement to the Parliament saying that during his term, he had “nothing to contribute but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.”

Likewise, on June 4, he vowed, “We will protect our island, whatever the cost. We will battle on the beaches, on the landing strips, in the fields and streets, and the hills. We will never give up.” 

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Furthermore, on June 18, as France readied to surrender to the Nazis, Churchill again urged his troops to brace ourselves to our duty.

And bare ourselves in such a way that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth survived another thousand years, people would still say, “This was their finest hour.”

5. He orchestrated a major World War I onslaught that was a colossal failure

Winston Churchill in tears
Winston Churchill in tears

Churchill’s career in politics began in 1900, while he was appointed as the minister to the House of Commons, a position he would retain for the next 60 years.

Moreover, in 1908, he was also appointed to his first cabinet role. By 1911, he had rapidly risen to First Lord of the Admiralty (the British countenance of the U.S. Secretary of the Navy). 

However, during World War I, he organized an expeditionary force against the collapsing Ottoman Empire while he was in position, which resulted in mass casualties.

Churchill had considered that such conduct would enable the British to join forces with their Russian allies and exert pressure on Germany’s eastern frontline, potentially swinging the scale of the war.

However, contrary to Churchill’s belief, when Allied warships invaded the Dardanelles strait, near modern Istanbul, in March 1915, Ottoman artillery sunk three of them, seriously damaged three others, and forced the rest to flee.

Allied troops, likewise, failed to obtain land on the adjoining Gallipoli Peninsula following months of warfare, incurring over 250,000 losses in the process.

Nonetheless, despite losing his admiralty rank as a consequence, Churchill was ultimately able to rebuild his notoriety.

4. His Audacious Escape from a prison camp catapulted him to prominence

Winston Churchill with his horse
Winston Churchill with his horse

After qualifying from Sandhurst, Churchill took a sabbatical from the regiment and flew to Cuba, where he cited for a London newspaper on an insurrection. Similarly, he also worked as a war correspondent and lieutenant colonel in India, Sudan, and South Africa, a dual-duty that was legal.

But when he arrived in South Africa in 1899, his fully armed train was besieged by Boers, who were forebears of Dutch immigrants battling the British at that period. 

Consequently, Churchill was apprehended and brought to a prison camp, out of which he immediately escaped by ascending a wall at night, even though two of his fellow inmates returned.

With no specific plans, Churchill wandered across to the home of a British coal mine boss who concealed him in a mine crevasse for three days before transporting him into Mozambique on a wool-filled train truck.

Churchill then boarded a ship back to South Africa, where he once again hurried to the front and celebrated as a proclaimed hero.

3. The Military School almost denied Churchill Admission

Winston Churchill during his Military School days
Winston Churchill during his Military School days

Like most of us, Churchill also struggled in almost every course as a student, except for History and English composition. He was especially bad at foreign languages.

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In a book, he reported taking a two-hour Latin test in which he left everything blank, save for his name and the number of the first question. In the same book, he also said that in the test, aside from leaving blank answers, he also only penned “a blot and many smudges.” 

Likewise, his plans to enroll at the Royal Military College at Sandhurst were also derailed when he failed the admission requirements twice. He finally certified the third time around with a few help of a military instructor, but only for the cavalry class, which had lesser enrollment criteria than the infantry. 

2. Winston Churchill’s mother was born in the United States

Winston Churchill with his mother
Winston Churchill with his mother

It was typical for British nobles to marry American socialites in the late 1800s. Lord Randolph Churchill, the third son of the seventh Duke of Marlborough, had a connection with Jennie Jerome, the Brooklyn-born daughter of a wealthy investor. 

Consequently, Winston, born in 1874, and Jack, born in 1880, had only two children. Nonetheless, the marriage was worsened later, and Jennie was usually absent.

Upon Lord Randolph’s death in 1895, she stayed in England and married twice more, both times to men 20 years her junior. 

1. Churchill did not like Gandhi 

A cover of book  by Arthur Herman showing the relation between Winston Churchill and Gandhi
A cover of book by Arthur Herman showing the relation between Winston Churchill and Gandhi

Churchill was vehemently opposed to any autonomy for India throughout the majority of his life. Notably, he had a strong distaste for the pacifist freedom leader Mohandas Gandhi, referring to him as “a seditious Middle Temple barrister acting as a type of fakir widely recognized in the East” at one time. 

What’s more, he once also even advocated allowing Gandhi to die on a hunger strike! Churchill’s colonialist mindset extended to other British territories too.

He once said that Zulus, Afghans, and Dervishes were “savages and brutal people.” The moral here is, don’t put anyone on a pedestal. 

Conclusion 

According to Roy Jenkins, Churchill was “gloriously unfit for government” by the time he was re-elected in 1951. As he grew older and more ill, he frequently handled business from his bedside.

Moreover, while his tremendous personality and oratory ability remained, the Prime Minister’s authority was less authoritative than during the war. 

Similarly, Churchill’s second term was remarkable for the Conservative Party’s embrace of Labour’s newly constructed Welfare State, and his influence on domestic policy was minimal.

Furthermore, later attempts at reducing the emerging Cold War by personal diplomacy failed to yield substantial effects. He was obliged to quit in 1955 due to ill health, clearing the way for his Foreign Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister, Anthony Eden.

Churchill passed away in 1965 and was commemorated with a state funeral.

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