On 30th November 1874 Winston Churchill was born. He was born into a wealthy family with his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, being a tory politician. Churchill attended the royal military collage where he embarked on an army career. However he perused politics and became a conservative member of parliament, which didn’t last long as he later changed to be part of the liberal democrats. Winston Churchill did a lot of changing between serving in the army and being in politics, for example he resigned the post as lord of admiralty when blamed for the failure of the Dardanelles campaign to serve on the western front.
However Winston finally returned to politics when Neville Chamberlain resigned and he was made prime minister in 1940. All this information is important as I believe it shaped Winston to be a great prime minister during Britain’s dark time of war. He was a well-rounded person by not just being in politics and the army, Winston also was a historian and writer, even winning a noble prize for literature.
However Churchill had 5 main characteristics which made him both a great leader and my political hero. Firstly he had an ability to inspire others, his fierce patriotism lead him to write brilliant speeches, e.g. ‘we will fight on the beaches’. Many inspiring quotes found today have been taken from him proving his talent. Secondly, Churchill showed a lot of determination during WW2, this doesn’t mean he was narrow -minded but he always kept his eye on the ultimate goal. This gave Britain stability during an uncertain and worrying time. Furthermore, even though he was born with a silver spoon Churchill didn’t show snobbery through his mannerisms or speeches.
This made him much more relatable to the British public and therefore more trustworthy. Winston also always tried to think of others, he stopped the abolishment of unit patches as having been a soldier himself he knew the importance of spirit des corps when fighting a war. Lastly Churchill was cool – headed, he had a passionate hate for Hitler but as I mentioned earlier he never lost sight of the end goal. So when Nazi troops were stationed in north France, Churchill didn’t rush but waited for the right time. In conclusion Winston Churchill in my opinion was a great leader and provided just what Britain needed in the Second World War leading to the Nazi defeat.
However Winston Churchill can also be viewed as a political villain. There are many mistakes he made during his political career. Firstly Churchill was largely responsible for the fire-bombing of Dresden, which killed tens of thousands of German wounded, refugees and civilians. Some estimates are as high as 250,000 dead. Today this would be considered a war crime. Furthermore as lord of the admiralty Churchill played a large part in the Gallipoli campaign, this was a disastrous attempt to land troops on the shores of the Dardanelles.
Churchill’s political career was damaged by 140000 casualties in nine months. At the Yalta conference in 1945, Churchill acquiesced to Stalin’s demand for control over Eastern Europe in return for a guarantee that Greece would not fall into the Soviet sphere of influence. Some critics say that this decision sealed Poland, hungry and Romania’s fate, as they only regained their independence in the late 80s. Lastly in 1940 as first Lord Churchill was responsible for the disastrous invasion of Norway to stop it being occupies by Germany. Which lead to Churchill’s predecessor, Neville chamberlain’s downfall. It is possible that Churchill failed on purpose to advance his political career. In conclusion politics isn’t black and white; all politicians have both a hero and a villain inside them.