×
Home Intro People Events Equipment Places Maps Books Photos Videos Other Reference FAQ About
     

World War II Database

Menzies and Churchill at War

Author:
ISBN: 0913729930
Contributor:
Review Date:

Covering the time from the outbreak of war until Operation Barbarossa was well underway, Menzies and Churchill at War explores the tension between Winston Churchill and Australia's prime minister, Robert Menzies. While some aspects of the book may seem interesting to only the most hardcore of Australian history buffs, and the book may be harder to find outside the home of those rough colonials, for those seeking a deeper understanding of the dire straits England was caught up in the first few years of the war it is well worth the trouble to find. Needless to say, the timeframe covers such stressful and depressing points of the war for Churchill as the Fall of France, Dunkirk, the North African Campaign, Operation Menace, Crete, and the Battle of Britain.

For 240-odd pages, Day weaves together a variety of issues into a compelling and complex account of problems for wartime leadership in Britain during the Second World War. Menzies and his reasons for pursuing a policy of appeasement, which conflicts with Churchill's policy of never surrender, even at the cost of ultimate sacrifice of the Empire. The needs of the Dominions of Australia, Canada and South Africa against the needs of the other and during the war. The problems presented for Churchill because of failed campaigns in the eyes of other British politicians and the British media. In the middle of this melting pot of issues, the Australian prime minister has an extended stay in Britain, and becomes the media's - and more arrogantly his own - lone figure of credible opposition to Churchill in wartime Britain. Menzies definition of "opposition" ranged from becoming Prime Minister himself, to becoming the head of a Dominion Organization that was representative to the British cabinet.

By the conclusion of Menzies and Churchill at War, as we already know from hindsight, Churchill remains in office until 1945 due to his popularity with the people of Britain and his rousing speeches effects upon them. Menzies is not so lucky, but by the end he seems quite content being resigned to the fact there are better ways for him to serve Australia's interests during the Second World War than as Prime Minister. The fickleness and weakness of th e elite backed opposition is shown, so much to the point when Menzies returned to Britain on a state visit a decade after the war as the longest serving Australian Prime Minister ever seen, the media tried to portray him as a potential candidate for the n ew British Prime Minister, which he duly ignored.

This book will be interesting and informative to a number of people on a variety of levels. It will immediately capture the attention of readers interested in Australian history, especially during the Second World War. Even for readers that desire to know more about Australian politics during the war but are also painfully aware of their lack of knowledge, this book explains the background and issues well, making for an easy read. Readers also interested in the problems presented early in the war for the Churchill administration and opposition to it from within and outside Britain will also be pleased with Day's research and explanations. Probably the largest group of readers this book will please are tho se looking for the motivations of those supporting war against Germany as well as those opposed to it, and everyone in between, without once resorting to the 'because-Hitler-was-a-bad-wittle-boy' argument. It is because on all these levels that Menzies and Churchill at War succeeds as a well researched and balanced account of diplomacy and tension between Britain and its Dominion allies during WWII.



Back to Main | Back to Book Reviews Index




Did you enjoy this article? Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:

 Facebook
 Reddit
 Twitter

Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds


Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code
 

 

Note: We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

Change View
Desktop View

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
More on Menzies and Churchill at War
Related People:
» Churchill, Winston
» Menzies, Robert



Famous WW2 Quote
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935