Tag Archives: Winston Churchill

Waiting for the Good Guys to Win

The biography Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill, by Sonia Purnell, reminds us of Britain’s dark times in early World War II, when the country stood alone against Hitler’s might.

The book lists the number of European countries fallen under Nazi control at that time. France, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and Holland had been swept into the Nazi vortex. Now Britain was to be the next victim.

The author recounts a day in September, 1940, when Clementine and Winston visited the operations center for the British air force. They watched as the command sent up squadrons to counter wave after wave of the German Luftwaffe.

At one point, Winston asked, “How many more planes have you?”

The commander replied, “I am putting in my last.”

Yet, this small force somehow—God only know how—repelled the much stronger enemy.

England was never invaded, and the entry of the United States into the war following the bombing of Pearl Harbor slowly changed the tide.

This reminder of a time when the forces of evil should have won and didn’t offers comfort in this time of moral turmoil. Sometimes the good guys do win.

Short as the Watch That Ends the Night

My father introduced me to history. For him, it wasn’t a collection of boring dates. History was people.

He enthralled me with fascinating tales of hillbilly ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War in lesser known battles like Kings Mountain. He told me stories of Winston Churchill and the Battle of Britain, when England stood firm against the Nazis after they conquered most of Europe.

With that upbringing, of course the stories I write now are rooted in time and place. The space that spoke to me and that I have put into my novels is the gray area that begins with the end of World War II. A schizophrenic time period—not historical fiction, but not contemporary either in its first decades.

I examine the times, asking why my country and the world changed so drastically during that time.

The Cold War with the Soviet Union descended almost immediately following World War II, when the United States accepted the mantle of world leadership.

Americans chose to enter the Vietnamese conflict, and it has haunted us ever since. Eventually, the world saw the miraculous end of the Cold War without a nuclear holocaust.

Spiritual changes were no less profound. The age of city-wide revivals passed into today’s age of the nones, the ones with no religious affiliation.

What did we do to the times and what did the times do to us? That’s what the characters in my novels seek to find out.