From his earliest days, Winston Churchill was a risk-taker. As a young Lieutenant in the army he charged with the cavalry at the battle of Omdurman, he saw action on the North-West Frontier and took a trip to Cuba to observe the war there. As a journalist, he covered the Boer War putting himself in harm’s way on numerous occasions.
Aged 25 he entered the house of commons and held many of the great offices of state including First Lord of the Admiralty at the outbreak of the First World War, then minister of munitions and at the close of the war Minister for War and Air.
I’m joined by Anthony Tucker-Jones.
Anthony is a British former defence intelligence officer and a widely published military expert. His new book Churchill, Master and Commander: Winston Churchill at War 1895–1945 assesses how Churchill’s formative years shaped him for the difficult military decisions he took when he became Prime Minister in 1940.
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7th December 2021 marks the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States of America into the Second World War.
On the morning of 7th December 1941, just before 8am the Japanese launched their attack on the US naval base of Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The Japanese planned the attack as a first strike to cripple the US fleet in the Pacific and prevent America from intervening in other Japanese Pacific Operations. From six Imperial Japanese Aircraft carriers, over 350 planes flew in two waves attacked the American base. Eight US Navy battleships would be damaged, four sunk, along with other cruisers and destroyers. Crucially, one element of the US Pacific fleet escaped the preemptive strike. The American Aircraft Carriers were all absent from Pearl Harbor on the day of the attack.
Roosevelt would proclaim the 7th December 1941 as a ‘date that would live in infamy’.
Joining me to discuss the attack on Pearl Harbor is Mark Stille.
Mark is a naval historian who is prolific in his studies on the naval war in the Pacific. He has written Tora! Tora! Tora!: Pearl Harbor 1941 for Osprey and has two new books out looking at the whole of the US Naval Campaign in the Pacific The United States Navy in WWII: From Pearl Harbor to Okinawa and Pacific Carrier War: Carrier Combat from Pearl Harbor to Okinawa.