Quotes from book
The World Crisis

The World Crisis

The World Crisis is Winston Churchill's account of the First World War, published in six volumes . Published between 1923 and 1931: in many respects it prefigures his better-known multivolume The Second World War. The World Crisis is analytical and, in some parts, a justification by Churchill of his role in the war. Churchill is reputed to have said about this work that it was "not history, but a contribution to history".His American biographer William Manchester wrote: "His masterpiece is The World Crisis, published over a period of several years, 1923 to 1931, a six-volume, 3,261-page account of the Great War, beginning with its origins in 1911 and ending with its repercussions in the 1920s. Magnificently written, it is enhanced by the presence of the author at the highest councils of war and in the trenches as a battalion commander". The British historian Robert Rhodes James writes: "For all its pitfalls as history, The World Crisis must surely stand as Churchill’s masterpiece. After it, anything must appear as anticlimax". Rhodes James further comments, "Churchill’s literary work showed a certain decline in the 1930s" and that his Marlborough and The History of the English-Speaking Peoples have more of a rhetorical note than The World Crisis.The news he was writing about the war was all over London; he chose The Times for the serial rights rather than the magazine Metropolitan, and with advances from his English and American publishers, he told a guest in 1921 that it was exhilarating to write for half a crown a word . The title was settled as The World Crisis rather than Sea Power and the World Crisis. Geoffrey Dawson of The Times had suggested The Great Amphibian. The question of copyright and of quoting confidential government documents was raised by Bonar Law, but other authors, including Fisher, Jellicoe and Kitchener, had already used such documents in writing their own memoirs.Successive volumes were published from 1923 to 1931 by Thornton Butterworth in England and Charles Scribner’s Sons in America. The first advances enabled him to purchase a new Rolls-Royce in August 1921. In 1922, he had purchased Chartwell, a large house requiring expensive repairs and rebuilding. He justified his position and actions such as on the Dardanelles Campaign. The reception was generally good, but an unnamed colleague said, "Winston has written an enormous book about himself, and called it The World Crisis." Arthur Balfour said he was reading Churchill’s "autobiography disguised as a history of the universe".


Winston S. Churchill photo

„Jellicoe was the only man on either side who could lose the war in an afternoon.“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The World Crisis

The World Crisis, 1916-1918 Part I : Chapter V (Jutland: The Preliminaries), Churchill, Butterworth (1927), pp. 112.
Early career years (1898–1929)

Winston S. Churchill photo

„There is always a strong case for doing nothing, especially for doing nothing yourself.“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The World Crisis

The World Crisis, 1911–1914 : Chapter XV (Antwerp), Churchill, Butterworth (1923), p. 340.
Early career years (1898–1929)

Winston S. Churchill photo

„Eaten bread is soon forgotten. Dangers which are warded off by effective precautions and foresight are never even remembered.“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The World Crisis

The World Crisis, 1911–1914 : Chapter XVII (The Grand Fleet and the Submarine Alarm), Churchill, Butterworth (1923), p. 399.
Early career years (1898–1929)

Winston S. Churchill photo
Winston S. Churchill photo
Winston S. Churchill photo
Winston S. Churchill photo
Winston S. Churchill photo
Winston S. Churchill photo

„The mechanical danger must be overcome by a mechanical remedy“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The World Crisis

The World Crisis, 1915 : Chapter I (The Deadlock in the West), Churchill, Butterworth (1923), pp. 22-23.
Early career years (1898–1929)
Context: Mechanical not less than strategic conditions had combined to produce at this early period in the war a deadlock both on sea and land. The strongest fleet was paralysed in its offensive by the menace of the mine and the torpedo. The strongest army was arrested in its advance by the machine gun...... The mechanical danger must be overcome by a mechanical remedy..... Something must be discovered which would render ships immune from the torpedo, and make it unnecessary for soldiers to bare their breasts to the machine-gun hail.

Winston S. Churchill photo

„He was a cut flower in a vase; fair to see, yet bound to die, and to die very soon if the water was not constantly renewed.“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The World Crisis

Concerning Admiral von Spee’s East Asia Squadron
The World Crisis, 1911–1914 : Chapter XIII (On The Oceans), Churchill, Butterworth (1923), p. 295
The World Crisis (1923–1931)

Winston S. Churchill photo

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