Monday, November 12, 2007

The Churchill Series – Nov. 12, 2007

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

In posts last Tuesday, Thursday and Friday I detailed some of what the Chief of the Imperial Staff for much of WW II, Field Marshal Alan Brooke (later Lord Alanbrooke) wrote in his wartime diaries about Churchill. Among other things, Alanbrooke wrote that Churchill “knows no details, has only a half the picture in his mind, talks absurdities.”

Alanbrooke arranged for publication of his diaries while both men were alive. He sent Churchill a copy of the book with a fulsome inscription I quoted Friday.

Alanbrooke said in his inscription his comments about Churchill were only “momentary impressions” written at the end of long and exhausting days. Serving with Churchill, Alanbrooke wrote was “the greatest honour destiny had bestowed “ on him.

Churchill responded. It’s included, as quoted in Martin Gilbert’s Never Despair, in Friday’s post.

Now it’s Question Time:

Without agreeing with what Alanbrooke did, I can think of many reasons why a person in his position might publish the diaries while he and Churchill were both alive.

What I can’t understand is why he would send Churchill so fulsome a dedication which effectively disowned the seriousness of what he said about Churchill in his diaries.

What do you think?

Also, I wanted to be careful to treat Alanbrooke fairly and with respect for his considerable contribution to the Allies success. I hope I succeeded. What do you think?