Monday, January 07, 2008

The Churchill Series - Jan. 7, 2008

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

Wasn't it Ben Franklin who said, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy?"

In any case, it was Churchill who flew from Cairo to Naples in October 1944 to meet with Allied military leaders, including General Sir Harold Alexander, commander of British troops in Italy.

Alexander pressed Churchill with many requests, including more beer for his troops.

Churchill promptly sent a minute to the Secretary of State for War, saying in part:

The Americans are said to have four bottles a week, and the British rarely get one. You should make an immediate effort, and come to me for support in case other Departments are involved.

Let me have a plan with time schedule for this beer. The question of importing ingredients should also be considered.

The priority in issue is to go to the fighting troops at the front, and only work back to the rear as and when supplies open out.
If they’d been contemporaries, I think Churchill and Franklin would have gotten along splendidly, at least most of the time.

And wouldn't we have loved to have joined them for dinner, or at least a beer.
Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill:Road to Victory, 1942-1945.
(Houghton Mifflin, 1986) (p. 1036)