Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World
Were World Wars I and II inevitable? Were they necessary wars? Or were they products of calamitous failures of judgment?
In this monumental and provocative history, Patrick Buchanan makes the case that, if not for the blunders of British statesmen–Winston Churchill first among them–the horrors of two world wars and the Holocaust might have been avoided and the British Empire might never have collapsed into ruins. Half a century of murderous oppression of scores of millions under the iron boot of Communist tyranny might never have happened, and Europe’s central role in world affairs might have been sustained for many generations.
Among the British and Churchillian errors were: • The secret decision of a tiny cabal in the inner Cabinet in 1906 to take Britain straight to war against Germany, should she invade France • The vengeful Treaty of Versailles that mutilated Germany, leaving her bitter, betrayed, and receptive to the appeal of Adolf Hitler • Britain’s capitulation, at Churchill’s urging, to American pressure to sever the Anglo-Japanese alliance, insulting and isolating Japan, pushing her onto the path of militarism and conquest • The greatest mistake in British history: the unsolicited war guarantee to Poland of March 1939, ensuring the Second World War
Certain to create controversy and spirited argument, Churchill, Hitler, and “the Unnecessary War” is a grand and bold insight into the historic failures of judgment that ended centuries of European rule and guaranteed a future no one who lived in that vanished world could ever have envisioned.
What Might (Not) Have Been
By Eric Mayforth - May 27, 2008
Patrick Buchanan has never been shy about taking positions that defy conventional wisdom. He does so again in this extremely well-written and well-documented book (there are over 1300 endnotes). Buchanan argues that both world wars, which constituted a "Civil War of the West", were not necessary and would not have taken place had unwise diplomatic decisions not been made by the major European powers.
In the opening decade of the twentieth century, Germany had a chance to form an alliance with Britain, but let the opportunity pass, as the Kaiser did not believe that England would ever reconcile with France. However, Britain did reconcile with its longtime adversaries, France and Russia, and in 1906 the British secretly agreed to back France should Germany attack. Had the Kaiser known that war with France meant war with Britain, he would have been more conciliatory, as he never wanted war with Britain. On the other hand, had Britain not been pledged to help the French... read more
He stirs the pot!
By Blaine Desantis - August 16, 2008
From all of the other reviews I have read on this book it is certainly obvious that the author has hit a hot button issue and stirred the pot.
This is the first book I have ever read by Pat Buchanan, and it has a very impressive premise. It is filled with over 1200 notes, and has a vast bibliography. Does the author have a point of view? Obviously, but then what author/historian does not wish to interpret history in their own way.
While many reviewers give much time to WW II, the real issue is WW I and the resultant Treaty of Versailles. Such a pathetic war, such a pathetic treaty, one that was so bad even the US Senate refused to ratify it, and other diplomats knew all the Treaty did was ensure another war in 20 years. The dismantling of the old Empire/Monarchy system led to many of todays bastardized countries. Countries that contain people with no common language, culture or background.
And, if you wish to criticize the premise, just look what... read more
Stirring the Pot
By Douglas Doepke - December 19, 2008
Buchanan stakes out some pretty controversial positions here. But, agree or not, he raises questions seldom dealt with in public, and ones that go to the heart of the West's presumed moral authority in its two wars with Germany. Crucially, his is not an apologia for Hitler or the Third Reich. Their wretched horrors during WWII are acknowledged without reserve. Rather, it's an effort to put the diplomatic moves preceding WWII into a more balanced and accurate perspective than the American public is accustomed to. The results amount to a much more ambiguous mix than the history books usually allow, and should come as an eye-opener, particularly regarding Churchill's punitive role.
Churchill is often treated as a god, and not a minor one at that. A reckoning with the British politician's career is long overdue. I doubt that any non-American head of state has been more lionized in our press than the former prime minister. Of course, the focal point of hagiography is Churchill's... read more
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