Mar 11, 2014

Beer for the warriors; no REMFs need apply

By late October, 1944, all was foretold on the great battlefields of Europe. The death of the Nazi was a matter of when, not if.

But Winston Churchill was still a busy man, overseeing Montgomery on the left  and Alexander down in the Mediterranean. Not to mention fighting the opening skirmishes of World War III,  telling Stalin, "No. You may not have Greece and Poland and Istria, (etc.)."

So an old grunt develops a certain affection for the guy facing all that who still finds time for:

Prime Minister to Secretary of State for War         23 Oct. 44 

A serious appeal was made to me by General Alexander for more beer for the troops in Italy. The Americans are said to get 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 priority issue is to go to the fighting troops at the front..."

Properly exercised power can be a wonderful thing.

 Prime Minister to Secretary of State for War    20 Nov. 44

Good. Press on. Make sure that the beer -- four pints a week --  goes to the troops under fire of the enemy before any of the parties to the rear get a drop.

Nine months later the voters sent him packing.  No wonder we call it the place where Great Britain used to be.


Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy, H/M BCE, 1953, pp. 705, 709.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I bought that postcard at the gift shop of the Imperial War Room. It spoke to me.