Churchill’s glory had its limits

Winston Churchill was without question one of the world’s greatest wartime leaders.

He vowed during the Battle of Britain in World War II that he would “never surrender.” Churchill kept his word. The Allied forces — led by the Americans, British and the Russians — put down the tyrant, Adolf Hitler and his Nazi war machine and then turned their sights on the Japanese to end the global conflict in 1945.

Then came the peace. Churchill fell quickly from power in Britain. He would return to the prime minister’s one final time in the 1950s before retiring.

The third part of the extraordinary PBS documentary “Churchill” airs Sunday at 7 p.m. on KACV-TV and it tells of the end of Churchill’s career, the dismantling of the British Empire that Churchill fought to preserve and his eventual retirement.

India broke away from British colonial rule in 1947 and as Part Two of the Churchill special noted, the Old Lion thought little of the Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the Indian revolutionary movement. Churchill had thought of India as the crown jewel of the British Empire and opposed its independence.

Churchill finished his career in 1955 and retired to paint and write books.

He had his ups and downs during some time of extreme tumult, tragedy and crisis. His courage in the face of withering fire — both verbal from his political foes and from his wartime enemies — stands the test of time.


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