25 Reasons That Winston Churchill Was Both A Celebrated And Controversial Figure

Posted by , Updated on January 19, 2016

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Winston Churchill is a man that history will not forget. Love him or hate him, his influence and impact on the course of world events was indisputable. On the one hand he was one of the greatest war time leaders of history. He almost singlehandedly inspired a small island nation to rally against the far superior Nazi regime and not give into their attacks, even though England was being bombed like there was no tomorrow. He managed to form an unlikely alliance with the Soviet Union and also managed to help awaken the sleeping giant of the United States, who had no previous intention of getting involved in global conflicts. As the Allies came together they managed, against all odds, to defeat the Axis on their own territory and rewrite what seemed like a hopeless scenario. All of this was great and everybody loves Churchill for it. But on the other side of things, Winston had some pretty unpopular views. He hated Gandhi for one thing. He was not a fan of Indian independence and didn’t mind redirecting food supplies away from India during the war even though it caused widespread hunger and famine. So, just in case you were wondering how one man could be so loved by some and so hated by others, here are 25 reasons that Winston Churchill was both a celebrated and controversial figure.

Featured Image: Kevin Burkett via Flickr

25

Churchill once drew up plans to attack the Soviet Union. Called Operation Unthinkable, it involved mobilizing nearly 100,000 former Nazi troops.

Churchill once drew up plans to attack the Soviet Union. Called Operation Unthinkable, it involved mobilizing nearly 100,000 former Nazi troops.Source: wikipedia
24

Because he had a speech impediment, he studied and prepared his speeches beforehand intensely.

Because he had a speech impediment, he studied and prepared his speeches beforehand intensely.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
23

Although he is widely known for his inspiring rhetoric that almost singlehandedly prevented the west from completely falling to the Nazis, Churchill did some very controversial things during his time in power

Although he is widely known for his inspiring rhetoric that almost singlehandedly prevented the west from completely falling to the Nazis, Churchill did some very controversial things during his time in powerSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
22

Once, in the middle of the war, he diverted food supplies from India to the front lines in Europe. Because of this millions of Indians ended up starving to death

Once, in the middle of the war, he diverted food supplies from India to the front lines in Europe. Because of this millions of Indians ended up starving to deathSource: time.com, Image: wikipedia
21

In 1899 Churchill was sent to prison in South Africa as a journalist. He ended up escaping and walking/jumping on trains for nearly 300 miles

In 1899 Churchill was sent to prison in South Africa as a journalist. He ended up escaping and walking/jumping on trains for nearly 300 milesSource: winstonchurchill.org, Image: wikipedia

20

Both Winston Churchill and Teddy Roosevelt have claimed to have seen Abraham Lincoln's ghost in the White House

Both Winston Churchill and Teddy Roosevelt have claimed to have seen Abraham Lincoln's ghost in the White HouseSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
19

When the British Bulldog was told that he couldn't drink in the presence of the Saudi king because of his religion, Churchill replied that "My religion prescribed as an absolute sacred ritual smoking cigars and drinking alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and the intervals between them."

When the British Bulldog was told that he couldn't drink in the presence of the Saudi king because of his religion, Churchill replied that "My religion prescribed as an absolute sacred ritual smoking cigars and drinking alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and the intervals between them."Source: drunkard.com, Image: pixabay
18

Both Churchill and King George VI wanted to go along with the Allied soldiers on D-Day but were dissuaded by an admiral (Bertram Ramsay) who said he wouldn't take responsibility for either of them and that if things went wrong they would both be needed back home.

Both Churchill and King George VI wanted to go along with the Allied soldiers on D-Day but were dissuaded by an admiral (Bertram Ramsay) who said he wouldn't take responsibility for either of them and that if things went wrong they would both be needed back home.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
17

Although Winston did win a Nobel Prize, it was in Literature and not Peace

Lady Astor was the first female member of parliament and she was always butting heads with Churchill. Once, she told him that if they were married, she would have poisoned his tea. He replied "Madam, if I was your husband, I would drink it."Source: nobelprize.org, Image: wikipedia
16

Lady Astor was the first female member of parliament and she was always butting heads with Churchill. Once, she told him that if they were married, she would have poisoned his tea. He replied "Madam, if I was your husband, I would drink it."

Lady Astor was the first female member of parliament and she was always butting heads with Churchill. Once, she told him that if they were married, she would have poisoned his tea. He replied "Madam, if I was your husband, I would drink it."Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
15

The first verifiable instance of OMG being used in print was in a letter to Churchill on September 9, 1917 from Admiral John Arbuthnot "Jacky" Fisher.

The first verifiable instance of OMG being used in print was in a letter to Churchill on September 9, 1917 from Admiral John Arbuthnot "Jacky" Fisher.Source: huffintonpost.com
14

Tact, according to Churchill, is best defined as "the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”

Tact, according to Churchill, is best defined as "the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
13

Before setting out for the Boer War, Churchill allegedly took nearly 60 bottles of alcohol with him

Before setting out for the Boer War, Churchill allegedly took nearly 60 bottles of alcohol with himSource: explainthatstuff.com, Image: wikipedia
12

Because he was used to looking right instead of left for approaching cars, when he was exiting a taxi in New York City Winston ended up getting struck

Because he was used to looking right instead of left for approaching cars, when he was exiting a taxi in New York City Winston ended up getting struckSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
11

When he was asked to comment on the supposed grammar law stating that sentences shouldn't end in prepositions, Churchill allegedly responded “That is nonsense, up with which I shall not put!”

When he was asked to comment on the supposed grammar law stating that sentences shouldn't end in prepositions, Churchill allegedly responded “That is nonsense, up with which I shall not put!”Source: grammar.ccc.commnet.edu, Image: wikipedia
10

One of his favorite pastimes was bricklaying...just bricklaying

One of his favorite pastimes was bricklaying...just bricklayingSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
9

During Prohibition in the United States, Churchill called it "an affront to the whole history of mankind."

During Prohibition in the United States, Churchill called it "an affront to the whole history of mankind."Source: slate.com, Image: wikipedia
8

When Churchill had to travel by water during World War II he always had one of the lifeboats equipped with a machine gun so he could evade capture at all costs

When Churchill had to travel by water during World War II he always had one of the lifeboats equipped with a machine gun so he could evade capture at all costsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
7

Winston's bodyguard, Walter H. Thompson, apparently saved his life more than 20 times from attacks by Nazis, the IRA, communists, and Indian nationalists

Winston's bodyguard, Walter H. Thompson, apparently saved his life more than 20 times from attacks by Nazis, the IRA, communists, and Indian nationalistsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
6

While the crowd was applauding his "We shall fight on the beaches" speech Churchill said to a colleague “And we’ll fight them with the butt ends of broken beer bottles because that’s bloody well all we’ve got!”

While the crowd was applauding his "We shall fight on the beaches" speech Churchill said to a colleague “And we’ll fight them with the butt ends of broken beer bottles because that’s bloody well all we’ve got!”Source: wikipedia, Image: pixabay
5

Churchill was not a fan of Ghandi. During the aforementioned Bengal Famine (created by the diverted food supplies), Churchill responded to a telegram by asking if food was so scarce "why hasn't Gandhi died yet?"

Churchill was not a fan of Ghandi. During the aforementioned Bengal Famine (created by the diverted food supplies), Churchill responded to a telegram by asking if food was so scarce "why hasn't Gandhi died yet?"Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
4

Churchill's epitaph reads "I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”

Churchill's epitaph reads "I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”Source: howstuffworks.com, Image: wikipedia
3

When Barack Obama took office he sent a bust of Churchill back to Britain. His Kenyan grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was imprisoned and tortured for 2 years without trial while Churchill was in power. His crime was resisting the British Empire.

When Barack Obama took office he sent a bust of Churchill back to Britain. His Kenyan grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was imprisoned and tortured for 2 years without trial while Churchill was in power. His crime was resisting the British Empire.Source: theweek.co.uk, Image: wikipedia
2

In spite of his wartime leadership Churchill was known for his extreme views. One of those included support of eugenics, which was not too different from his Nazi counterparts. At one point he even drafted legislation to sterilize people with mental handicaps

In spite of his wartime leadership Churchill was known for his extreme views. One of those included support of eugenics, which was not too different from his Nazi counterparts. At one point he even drafted legislation to sterilize people with mental handicapsSource: bbc
1

To end on a positive not, however, Churchill's undisputedly greatest accomplishment was being the world's most rough-around-the-edges wartime leader since Teddy Roosevelt and uniting the vastly outgunned Allies against a superior Nazi war machine

To end on a positive not, however, Churchill's undisputedly greatest accomplishment was being the world's most rough-around-the-edges wartime leader since Teddy Roosevelt and uniting the vastly outgunned Allies against a superior Nazi war machineSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

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