Post No.7982

Date uploaded in London – 15 May 2020   

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More Battle Anecdotes

This is Winston Churchill s Story

“All was excitement and hustle at Abassiyeh Barracks in Cairo. Two squadrons of the 21st Lancers had already started up the Nile. The other two were to leave the next morning. Altogether seven additional officers from other cavalry regiments had been attached to the 21st to bring them up to full war strength.

A troop had been reserved for me in one of the leading squadron’s . But the delay and uncertainties about my coming had given this to another. Second lieutenant Robert Grenfell had succeeded in getting this vacancy. He had gone off in the highest spirits. At the base everyone believed that we should be too late for the battle. Perhaps the first two squadrons may get up in time, but no one could tell.

‘Fancy how lucky I am’, wrote Grenfell to his family. ‘Here I have got the troop that would have been Winston’s and we are to be the first to start.

Chance is unceasingly is at work in our lives, but we cannot always see its workings sharply and clearly defined. As it turned out this troop was practically cut to pieces in the charge which the regiment made in the battle of September 2, and its brave Young leader was killed”.



Almost everybody thought that Marshall Joffre had won the first battle of the Marne, but some refused to agree. One day a newspaper man appealed to Joffre

‘Will you tell me who did win the battle of the Marne ?’

“I can’t answer that, said Marshal. But I can tell you that if the battle of the Marne had been lost the blame would have been on me”.



It is notorious—- says Marmontel in his incomparable biography —- that with much nobleness and dignity of soul Marshall Saxe was fond of mirth and jollity. By taste, as well as by system, he loved merriment in armies, stating that French never did so as well as when they were led on gaily, and what they feared most in war, was weary inactivity. He had always a comic opera in his camp. It was at the theatre that he gave the order of battle: and on these occasions, the principal actress used to come forward and say,

“Gentlemen, tomorrow there will be no play on account of the battle that Marshall gives; after tomorrow the Cock of the village , with the Merry Intrigue etc.”

Tags-  More Battle anecdotes, Winston Churchill, Marshal Joffre


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  1. R Nanjappa

     /  May 15, 2020

    Churchill was a man of Destiny. He escaped in South Africa during the Boer War – he was extremely lucky to find refuge in the only English home in a town, surrounded by hostile people. Again during the second world war, he escaped bombing and other troubles.
    Sri Aurobindo and Mother said that they had helped Churchill by spiritual power during the War, as in their opinion Hitler was an evil force, inimical to human civilization and Churchill was the only leader with the firm will to resist him.
    Churchill himself admitted to his military secretary or assistant that he had felt an unseen hand protecting him at critical times.
    These facts can be found in the archives of Sri Aurobindo Ashram. A specific article on this subject even appeared in their monthly magazine Mother India- 5/6 years ago.
    If Roosevelt had listened to Churchill’s advice ( not to rely on Stalin), the cold war era would not have happened.
    Of course, we Indians have nothing to be grateful to Churchill. He hated Hindus. He hated Gandhi so much, that he encouraged Jinnah in his demand for Pakistan,, even when he was out of office. Above all, he did not help India when Bengal faced terrible famine in the 40s and even the relief material given by the United States was not delivered to help the people of Bengal. He thus was responsible for the starvation and death of lakhs of Indians. As far as we Indians are concerned, Churchill is a stark villain.

  2. Thanks. Very interesting to know the two faces of Churchill. I think Churchill lost the election in 1945, immediately after the World War. It looks like the British also knew his two sides, good and bad.

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