Ramya Murali

Winston Churchill

Perhaps no leader of the twentieth century is as synonymous with wartime leadership as Winston Churchill. For nearly 54 years, from his initial seat in Parliament in 1901 until his resignation in 1955, Churchill was actively involved in the organization and implementation of military efforts throughout Europe. He was an idealist: one who believed in the unequivocal greatness of Britain, and the role that they were destined to play in the preservation of Europe. His passionate, impulsive nature, confident demeanor, and perpetual hatred of tyranny made him a force to be reckoned with throughout the world.

From entering politics at the turn of the century through 1940, Churchill held many leadership positions in Britain. However, his greatest success came in his military positions. While serving in the Admiralty in 1911, he strengthened the British navy. Later, after leaving that post, he served as an active military officer and as the minister of munitions. His opinions on international issues were well known. From 1929 through 1939, he was tremendously vocal about his hatred of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. He became very isolated in his political beliefs. Most people felt that avoiding confrontation was a safer bet than provoking Hitler into combat, however, Churchill was unwilling to avoid such a conflict. But the realities of life in Britain made it impossible to pursue battle.

The economy was in poor shape and there was no national support of Churchill's cause. His distrust of Hitler became justified when, during the meeting of Hitler and Neville Chamberlain in 1938, Chamberlain accepted Hitler's promise to only go after the Sudentenland because he thought it would prevent an international war. Churchill understood that Hitler was lying and repeatedly sought an alliance with the Soviets and French to hopefully prevent a German attack. He was certain that a unified front would scare Germany into a retreat. However, with the German invasion of Poland, it became evident that Hitler was not going to shy away from conflict. In May of 1940, with the German invasion of the Low Countries, Churchill was chosen to replace Chamberlain as Britain's Prime Minister. He was the obvious choice for many reasons, first, his clear ideology for the world:


...Whether it be peace or war...we must strive to frame some system of human relations in the future which will put an end to this prolonged hideous uncertainty, which will let the working and creative forced of the world get on with their job, and which will no longer leave the whole life of mankind dependent upon virtues, the caprice, or the wickedness of a single man (The Rise to Power...).


Most importantly, only he could unite and lead the nation, for no other leader in the world despised Hitler as much as Churchill, and no one possessed the commitment to see to it that Hitler's rule was brought down. Churchill's goal was to see Hitler destroyed, and anyone who agreed with Churchill, no matter their ideology, was his ally. His complete and total desire to be victorious led Parliament to pass legislation demanding that all "persons, their services, and their property at the disposal of the crown" (Leadership during WWII).similar to Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution for Hitler's Germany, legislation left the entire nation at the beckon call of Churchill's whims.



By 1941, the war was developing into a worldwide catastrophe. The bombing of Pearl Harbor provoked Churchill to travel to Washington DC to establish the Angle-American accords, a series of agreements binding the two nations to each other in this time of crisis. These accords pooled the two nations' economic, military, and political resources. Churchill was at the forefront of these efforts and was to be the principal organizer of the US/British effort to justly and accurately determine how and when the Germans, and later the Japanese.

Following the landing of Allied forces in North Africa, the leaders met again. Churchill was adamant about a full-scale attack on the Axis nations, fearing that other military commitments, like America's invasion of Burma in 1944, would detract effort and attention from their imminent invasion of Normandy. However, he was faced by stiff resistance on the part of Stalin and Roosevelt, who were opposed his plan to drive the Allied offensive into southern Europe. Illness prevented further involvement, but by May he was ready to watch D-Day's effect on Germany. Though he rejoiced in his D-Day invasion in 1944, slowly, the sphere of influence was shifting from England and America to America and Russia. The last Big Three Conference in 1945 made that clear to him. Not long after returning, he was fluctuating in an illness until poor health led him to resign in 1955.

Ultimately, Winston Churchill proved to be a poor peacetime Prime
Minister, but an extraordinarily successful wartime Prime Minister. His brilliant understanding of the behavior of other international leaders and his skill as an effective military leader make him one of the greatest leaders our century produced.


Bernard Law Montgomery

Just as Dwight Eisenhower is synonymous with wartime success in America, no English commander is as renowned for his work in World War II as Bernard Law Montgomery. Known to his friends and family simply as Monty, he led the British Eighth Army with considerable success in 1942. When the British troops were traveling to North Africa, Montgomery was the fundamental player who weakened the Axis power as they were forced to retreat from the from El Alamein. This led to attacks in Tunisia and Sicily and ultimately, a post under Eisenhower. They were to plan and organize the D-Day invasion of France.

Montgomery felt that the size of the invading space and landing area were not sufficient. Despite their ability to work together though, Eisenhower and Monfgomery did not get along and had numerous conflicts. There was a time in his life when he was unaware of failure, however, in September, 1944, he fought his worse battle, trying to cross the Rhine River at Arnhem and survive the Battle of the Bulge. Almost a year later, German troops in the Netherlands and in northwest Germany surrendered to Montgomery.

General Bernard Montgomery was once described as "the biggest obstacle facing the planners." (The Valour and the Horror). A perpetual strategist, he insisted that all men be completely prepared for battle, and that persistence and longevity are more important to success in battle than speed. Montgomery was an egotist, who believed that he deserved the most important task and objectives purely due to his worth, but that made him pompous and difficult to work with. In the end, his career reflected that personality.


Works Cited

http://ac.acused.edu/History/WW2Timeline/churchill.html

http://normandv.eb.com/normandy/articles ..CHILL Leadership during World_War_II.html

hftp://normandy. eb.com/normandy/articles/Churchill Winston.html

http://normandv.eb.com/normandy/articles/Montgomery_ Bernard_Law.html

http://www.pbs.com/wgbh/pages/amex/guts/who_montomery.html

http://www.system.missouri.edu/upress/fall1995/kemper.htm

http://www.valourandhorror.com/DB/PERSON/Montgomery_2.htm