Friday, June 22, 2007

The Churchill Series – June 21, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Readers Note: If you did not see the comment following yesterday’s series post recounting how Churchill’s use during the Battle of Omdurman of a Mauser pistol rather than a sword saved his life, I urge you to take a look at the comment. I plan to mention the comment in a post this weekend concerning all the informed and very helpful “editors” I have. In the post I want to refute that silly and self-serving claim many in MSM make that “bloggers don’t have editors.”

In the meantime, thank you to the commenter/”editor;” and here’s a link that says more about the Mauser model Churchill used.


Be careful, folks. This one is off the top of my head.

It’s all but a miracle Churchill ever lived to become Britain’s wartime leader.

Put aside the terrorist groups that over the decades plotted to assassinate him. Disregard if you wish the time he was almost killed in 1931 when he was hit be an auto in New York City.

Just consider how often between 1895 and 1917 he was in close combat under small arms, mortar and artillery fire in at least five wars.

He first came under fire in Cuba where in 1895, as a recent graduate of Sandhurst, he’d gone to observe the fighting between Cuban rebels and Spain, which then controlled Cuba.

In the late 1890s he took part in the savage fighting in what was then Northwest India and is now Afghanistan.

In 1898, he was part of the British force that retook the Sudan in The River War. He engaged in hand-to-hand combat during the fighting there.

Shortly thereafter, Churchill took part in the Boer War in which he was repeatedly shot at. In one engagement, a trooper riding beside and just a few feet behind him was shot dead. In another engagement, his brother Jack was wounded while fighting literally at his side. And in a third engagement, Churchill had a horse shot out from under him.

Those are just a few of the many “close calls” Churchill had during the Boer War.

He had many other "close calls" during WWI when he served in the trenches, including one instance when he left his dugout to report to a rear echelon superior office. Within about 10 minutes of his leaving the dugout it was hit directly by a German artillery shell. I believe there were either one or two soldiers in the dugout who were, of course, killed.

Five wars on four continents! And all that before WW II!