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Winston Churchill

von Friedemann Winkler

  • Englisch-Referat (Jahrgang 12)
  • 10 Minuten
  • 14 Punkte

 

Winston Churchill

Today I want to tell you something about Winston Churchill.He was a famous British politician and played an important role in both world wars. I will start with his youth and then go on with his political breakthrough and the rest of his career.

His youth

  • Winston Churchill was born in 1874 in an aristocratical family. Due to this family he could visit very good public schools
  • However, he had a bad school time. He was beaten very much, because he didn’t want to learn stupid things like Latin Grammar
  • Because of this he sealed himself from school, which is why he didn’t learn anything and was very bad
  • His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, made it possible for him to go to any school without passing the entrance examination, so he changed school several times without achieving any difference
  • He never became the smooth gentleman with the typical arrogant modesty (=Bescheidenheit), although he visited famous public schools, for example Harrow
  • Wanting to become a soldier after 12 hard years of school he failed in the Army’s entrance examination first, too
  • He passed, when he tried the 3rd time, but with such a bad result, that he could only go to the cavalry (= Kavallerie) (you don’t have to be that intelligent at the cavalry, because you have to own lots of money to buy cavalry horses)
  • When he was 20 years old Churchill became officer
  • He took part in 5 campaigns (= Feldzüge) in Cuba, India, Sudan and South Africa even though there was peace in England
  • For these campaigns he had to be suspended temporarily from his own unit and could only go there as a civilian and as a reporter, which didn’t prevent him from fighting of course
  • That reveals his passion for war and everything connected with fighting
  • After his father died he started to learn many things on his own
  • He read books and started to write about war himself, too
  • In his books he criticized the British way of fighting a war, the organization of replenishment (=Nachschub) and the British Military itself
  • His first masterpiece was “The River War” which is a presentation of events in the English – Egyptian – Sudanian conflict
  • He became popular due to his writing and was expected to get involved with politics


This was his youth, now I will start with his political breadthrough:

  • In October 1899 there was the Buren War in South Africa
  • The Burans were supposed to be unorganized and badly armed farmers
  • Nevertheless Great Britain took big defeats
  • One day the Burans made an ambush on a British armored train
  • Churchill assumed the command (= das Kommando übernehmen), although he was only a reporter
  • He loaded the injured soldiers on the locomotive and rescued them
  • When he tried to save the rest of the train he was caught and held as a prisoner of war
  • Then he tried to evade from the Burans and his impressing escape succeeded
  • Because of his new fame he was elected in his constituency (= Wahrkreis) Oldham
  • In his following political career he had lots of important positions like Minister of the Interior, Minister of War, Minister of Economics and others
  • Political career
  • Just in the beginning of his political career Winston Churchill changed from the conservative party to the liberal, because the conservatives were about to build the opposition for the next years and he wanted to be in the government’s party
  • This reduced his reputation, because people said he was not loyal and would always change to the governing party
  • Although changing party was nearly always the end of a political career, Winston Churchill did not suffer much from this decision
  • Then, in 1911, he became the first Lord of admiralty which was a better challenge for him than doing social work and caring for the poor
  • He liked war and that time England was about to fight a war
  • So he established exorbitant marine budgets and rearranged the British Fleet
  • The war against Germany in 1914 was no surprise for him
  • He was the only one in Britain who understood the plans of Germany
  • He said: “I know everything, but I can do nothing”
  • Although he knew what to do the parliament prevented him from everything
  • Because of several defeats and his hardheaded (= eigensinnig) actions he lost the position of the first Lord of admiralty
  • He retired from politics and tried to gain some fame by fighting himself on the battlefield
  • This was why Winston Churchill, who had been a famous politician, ended up lying in a trench (= Schützengraben) in France as a normal soldier
  • However, this was not enough for him, so he was glad, that Lloyd George, who was prime minister in England in 1917, fetched Churchill back into politics
  • From 1917 till 1922 Churchill had high political positions again
  • Then the government changed and Churchill had to change his party again, this time back to the conservatives
  • Now neither the liberals nor the conservatives trusted him anymore
  • Due to this he had big problems first, but then he became Chancellor of the Exchequer (= Schatzkanzler)
  • But 1929 he didn’t agree with his party’s politics any more so he decided to retire from politics completely
  • The next 10 years, from 1929 – 1939 he spent his time on writing political texts and painting
  • This life was like hell for him. Again, he saw everything happen, for example he saw Germany becoming more and more dangerous, but again he could do nothing against it
  • You could thing that this was the end of his political career, because he was hated by nearly everybody now and he was already 65 years old
  • But then, on September the 3rd, 1939 Churchill came back
  • It was the day England declared war to Germany
  • Churchill managed to become the first Lord of admiralty again
  • He did the same things, had the same problems as nearly 25 years ago, but now he knew what happened to an admiral who is responsible for defeats and the sinking of huge ships
  • He feared to make mistakes again, because the situation was worse than 25 years ago
  • Right at the beginning of World War II he failed to prevent Germany from invading Sweden
  • But after that he was responsible for some victories and finally, on May the 10th, Churchill became Prime Minister
  • He got rid of all prominent supporters of appeasement politics and established an irrespective industrial mobilization
  • Now he had finally got the power he needed to do what he had to do
  • He had a private correspondence to American President Roosevelt
  • And he had great successes in war and understands to get everything out of his country
  • As he said: “Sometimes it is not enough when we give our best. Sometimes we have to do what is necessary”
  • As a result of this politic England was bankrupt after his actions and in July 1945 Winston Churchill was deselected because of England’s bad situation and too many defeats on the battlefield
  • He became the leader of the opposition then, until he was reelected as prime minister in 1951
  • In 1953 he has an apoplexy (= Schlaganfall) and got the Nobel price for literature
  • In 1955 he retired and lived in London until he died in 1965
  • His last words were: “Everything is so boring”
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