British Prime Minister during World War II. Famous for his
leadership when Britain was severely pressed by Nazi arms.
One of the more fascinating personalities of the 20th
Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace, his family's ancestral seat in Oxfordshire, on November 30, 1874. He served in a number of Government post, starting in 1911.
Churchill was no stranger to war. Commissioned a second lieutenant in 1894, he spent a military leave on assignment for a newspaper, experiencing a Spanish attempt to quell a rebellion in Cuba. In 1896, he went to India and became involved in a tribal insurrection.
In 1898, his unit, the 21st Lancers, made on of the last British cavalry charges in the conquest of Sudan. In 1911, Churchill was made first lord of the Admiralty. In 1915, Churchill went along with Kitchener's plan for the Gallipoli offensive, which turned out to be a major disaster. Though many considered the plan strategically brilliant, it was a failure, and Churchill lost much political support. He was demoted from the Cabinet, and given a minor post.
Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1940, replacing the ineffective Neville Chamberlain. As war leader in Britain, Churchill helped the Soviet Union when Germany launched its invasion of the communist country in 1941, and he forged a strong, personal relationship with United States President Franklin Roosevelt, from whom Britain received much needed aid in the early years of the conflict and before America was officially at war with Germany or Japan.
Churchill and Roosevelt developed much of the strategy for the allies during the war. He met with Roosevelt and Soviet Premier Josef Stalin at Teheran and Yalta to discuss both strategy and the division of Europe and Germany after the end of hostilities.
Churchill greatly assisted the Soviets during the war. However, he was strongly opposed to communism. He wanted the allies to beat the Soviets to Berlin in the last months of the war to prevent them from occupying the city, but greater considerations prevented that result.
Churchill was voted out of office in 1945, after Germany's surrender and while he was attending the Postdam Conference in Germany. He was replaced by Clement Attlee. However, Churchill was again elected Prime Minister in 1951 and served until 1955. He died in 1965 in his London home.