The Gathering Storm

You can read about Winston Churchill in your textbook. In September 1939 Churchill was asked to become Prime Minister. Here are his private thoughts that fateful evening.

 

The Gathering Storm

Thus, then, on the night of the tenth of May, at the outset of this mighty battle, I acquired the chief power in the State, which henceforth I wielded in ever-growing measure for five years and three months of world war…During these last crowded days of the political crisis my pulse had not quickened at any moment. I took it all as it came. But I cannot conceal from the reader of this truthful account that as I went to bed at about 3.a.m., I was conscious of a profound sense of relief. At last I had the authority to give directions over the whole scene. I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial. Eleven years in the political wilderness had freed me from ordinary Party antagonisms. My warnings over the last six years and been so numerous, so detailed, and were now so terribly vindicated, that no one could gainsay me. I could not be reproached either for making the war or with want of preparation for it. I thought I knew a good deal about it all, and I was sure I should not fail. Therefore, although impatient for the morning, I slept soundly and had not need for cheering dreams. Facts are better than dreams.


TASKS

  1. How does this text reveal that Winston Churchill was the right man for his time?
  2. Respond to Churchill's last words above: Facts are better than dreams.