Feb 10, 2014

World Leaders -- Armed and Ready

You read Churchill's epic -- all six volumes -- twice, once for a quick overview of how this guy and his country operated 1935-1945. Okay, a slow overview. Much later in life you read it again to flesh out your information from other sources.

Finally, you keep it handy on your shelf for who-knows-what reason, maybe a time-passer when it is 25 below zero* and you couldn't  be pried from your fireside chair with a crow bar. Just sort of leaf through looking for little nuggets among the old blowhard's Germanic thoroughness of detail, from the important to the trivial.

And speaking of guns, I found one.

Winston had just been made first lord of the Admiralty. He knew the Nazis wouldn't like that and that there were supposedly some 20,000 of them lurking about the Sceptred Isle.  He would really rawther not get shot.

"I had no official protection and I did not wish to ask for any; but I thought myself sufficiently prominent to take precautions. I had enough information to convince me Hitler recognized me as a foe. My former Scotland Yard detective, Inspector Thompson,  was in retirement. I told him to come long and bring his pistol with him. I got out my own weapons, which were good. While one slept, the other watched. Thus nobody would have had a walkover."**

He doesn't tell us about his guns at Chartwell, and that is too bad. If we knew we could have a lively internet debate about whether he was tactical enough. Nevertheless, there's plenty of evidence that Churchill was at least passingly familiar with small, lethal weapons.

(From left: Eisenhower, Churchill, Bradley busting M1 Carbine caps.)

Lucky England. And lucky us who, here in the colonies, some three generations later, also enjoy courageous personal leadership.


(Sotto voice)  Psssst. Mr. President.: Rule 3 violation, but nothing Photo-Shop can't fix. Alert Jay.


*And it was; coldest of the season, but things are looking up now.

**Churchill, The Gathering Storm, Houghten-Mifflin BCE, 1948, p. 401

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