Churchill Warrior: How a Military Life Guided Winston’s Finest Hours
Lavery enters an extremely competitive field of military history surrounding Winston Churchill and will be judged more harshly. At least Lavery comes with sufficient credentials as a published historian on the subject. Nevertheless, the avid student will find much of the material redundant.
Perhaps one quote from Churchill explains how such a slaughter at Flanders and maritime disasters such as the Dardanelles could be obfuscated by those responsible: “In politics one can never afford to admit that one has made a mistake.”
Lavery arranges the material to show how Churchill learned from these mistakes, regardless of who made them, and harnessed the lessons in round two, the Second World War. Lavery pays attention to overall developments of the early twentieth century, when conventional warfare expanded with the advent of new technology in aircraft, submarines, capital battleships, and the use of tanks in battle.
The narrative illustrates with painful clarity how bickering bureaucracies become the enemy of strategic warfare. The tension between Churchill and Fisher creates a backdrop by which Lavery demonstrates the motivation for a unified combining of forces after Churchill takes the helm as prime minister. To his credit, Lavery shows us the collage of personalities engaged in the multiple frictions of the military conflicts and how these characters sway a critical decision toward success or failure.