Author Archives: bsantulli

The World Without Winston: Introduction

A few day’s ago my alma mater, The King’s College, held it’s graduation ceremony. I’d first like to congratulate the class of 2016!

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At King’s, seniors are required to submit a final project or paper before graduating. Can you guess what mine was on?

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If you guessed Winston Churchill congratulations, you’ve won absolutely nothing! Specifically my final paper tackled the question “what would have been the Second World War’s outcome without Churchill’s leadership?”

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Over the next few weeks I’ll post segments from my paper “The World Without Winston: How One Man’s Life Impacted the Second World War.” This introduction sets a fictional scene for my question and outlines the whole paper. Enjoy!

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“Mr. Churchill, for God’s sake keep still!” Lieutenant Francis Napier Clavering screamed at the former politician “you’re going to get yourself killed!” Ever since Winston Churchill arrived on the Western Front, joining the 6th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers ranks, Clavering had been exhausting himself keeping the old warhorse from death. “I admire Winston’s desires to redeem his honor lost because of Galipoli”[1] Clavering wrote in his journal “but lately his actions have simply seemed suicidal.”

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Churchill (center-sitting) with the 6th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers

Churchill was a man from a different era. His military experience–in his mind–was from a time when opponents fought with honor and respect. Churchill’s presence on the Western Front reflected a similar madness to Cervantes’s Don Quioxte, a man trying to live within a world long gone.

“Come Clavering, we’re going to survey no-mans-land” Winston declared. “We must push forward against the enemy!” “Sir, I don’t think we shou…” Clavering began before Winston stormed away to fetch supplies. Clavering begrudgingly followed suit.

Elbow deep in mud, Clavering was doing his best to keep up with Winston’s surprisingly quick pace. Winston, clad in specialty rubber boots and waterproof overalls, was able to efficiently maneuver through the harsh terrain of no-mans-land. “Sir…” Clavering began, taking a moment to catch his breath “can we rest for a bit?” With a loud gruff, Churchill replied, “Stop now! We have only just begun! Have courage and push for…” At that moment Winston’s powerful body collapsed and fell limp. Clavering scrambled over to check Winston’s pulse, only to discover he was dead.

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Anyone with basic knowledge of 20th century history knows that this did not happen. Winston Churchill lived through his time on the Western Front, going on to lead Great Britain through the Second World War and victory against Hitler. What would have happened if Winston had actually died during World War 1, before his moment of glory? The simple answer is utter chaos. No other politician had the specific set of experience and skills necessary to lead Great Britain through The Second World War.

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This series will be separated into three posts. The first will argue why, with Churchill gone, Lord Halifax would be chosen as Prime Minister. Post two will look into how Halifax would seek peace with Hitler before The Battle of Britain and it’s disastrous outcome. Finally the imminent spread of Hitler’s empire will be outlined.

 

[1] Churchill played a vital role as First Lord of the Admiralty in Great Britain’s failed Gallipoli Campaign of World War 1, costing the lives of over 250,000 soldiers.

Back From the Wilderness

Good evening friends,

After a year long hiatus from writing, I’ve decided to restart my blog regarding all things Churchill.

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Please, please hold your applause

“What led to this decision?” you’re probably not asking yourself but I’m going to answer anyway. After graduating from The King’s College (class of 2015) and getting married to my beautiful wife Grace, I realized just how hard it is to read and write on my own accord.

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The struggle is real…

By reviving this blog I hope to further educate myself and all 5 of you reading this on the life of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill. Stay tuned for more my fellow Churchillian’s.

God save the Queen,
Brandon James Santulli

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Churchill’s Style

Winston Churchill had a unique sense of fashion. Barry Singer’s brilliant book Churchill Style provides an extensive analysis of Churchillian fashion. Three items in particular are worth noting.

1. The Bow Tie

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As mentioned in an earlier post, Churchill’s signature navy blue and white polka dot bow tie (from Turnbull and Asser) was a tribute to his father, Lord Randolph Churchill.

2. Short Top Hat

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Commonly mistaken as a bowler hat, Churchill would frequently be seen in a short top hat made by Scott & Co. Singer notes how this style of hat was “more common to the Edwardian age.”

3. The Siren Suit

Winston Churchhill wearing his siren suit.

Nothing but class

By far Churchill’s most well known fashion statement, his siren suit (also made by Turnbull & Asser) was a zip-up made out of one piece of fabric. Singer describes how “Churchill’s siren-suit was a fashion apotheosis of simple practicality and comfort.” Winston’s children called them his “rompers.”

Churchill’s Cats

Churchill had a soft spot for cats. Many felines crossed paths with Winston throughout his life.

Munich Mouser

Since 1924, resident house cats have made10 Downing street their home. When Churchill took office as Prime Minister, he inherited a black cat from Neville Chamberlain. Still frustrated at Chamberlain’s appeasement policy towards Hitler, Churchill named the cat the Munich Mouser.

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Jock

On Churchill’s 88th birthday, private secretary Sir John ‘Jock’ Colville gave Winston a marmalade cat (whom he named after Sir Colville) with white paws and chest. The Churchill family grew so found of Jock that a request was made following Winston’s death for a ‘marmalade’ cat with white paws and chest to always be at the Churchill home (Chartwell). Jock VI currently lives on the estate.

Nelson

Churchill’s most well known cat, Nelson, was named after British naval Admiral, Horatio Nelson because he was “the bravest cat” Winston ever knew. Winston described how he “once saw him [Nelson] chase a huge dog out of the Admiralty [and] decided to adopt him and name him after [the] great Admiral.” Churchill was so fond of Nelson that he allowed his furry companion to sit in on war cabinet meetings. Unfortunately, Nelson was never photographed.

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Not Nelson but a navy cat named Winston

This Day in Churchillian History: May 9th

Lost in the shadow of VE Day (May 8th) May 9th also marks a momentous time in Churchill’s life, his final visit to America.

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Churchill arriving in Washington, DC

56 years ago Lord Moran, Churchill’s doctor, wrote in his journal about Churchill’s trip and how “Winston spoke of Ike [President Dwight D. Eisenhower] as a ‘real friend.'”

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Ike (left) greeting Churchill (right)

A video of the occasion shows Ike greeting Churchill upon his arrival to the States and Churchill addressing a crowd of onlookers. Winston described how he was “most happy once again to step foot in the United States…[his] mothers country.”

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Churchill addressing a crowd at the airport

Davidoff Cigars Winston Churchill Line Review: The Aristocrat

Recently Davidoff Cigars released a new line of blends inspired by Sir Winston Churchill. Davidoff’s official website describes the cigars “as complex as the man himself.”

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I teamed up with Charlie Freeman, my good friend and writer for Fine Tobacco NYC, in order to gain an expert opinion on one particular blend, The Aristocrat.

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Charlie came prepared sporting a brilliant Churchill bow tie

The reason I wanted Mr. Freeman’s opinion of The Aristocrat is because it is the only Churchill vitola (size) in Davidoff’s collection. Taking one look at the finely crafted cigar, Freeman described it’s wrapper (an Ecuadorian Rojiza) as “flawlessly constructed with no veins and smooth to the touch.”

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Once lit, Freeman described The Aristocrat’s draw as “superb with just enough resistance.” Though the ash was easily lost (something Churchill would not be a fan of) the cigars burn was “unusually even” producing fine, thick clouds of smoke.

Churchill would compete with his daughter Mary to see who could maintain a longer ash

Churchill would compete with his daughter Mary to see who could maintain the longest ash

Freeman had a high opinion of The Aristocrat’s slow burning smoke.

It is a rich smoke, being just strong enough to experience the fullness of it’s flavor without being overpowering but also smooth and creamy, having an excellent balance of dryness (from the Dominican filler) and wetness (from the Nicaraguan filler).

Freeman went on note it’s flavor as “toasty with elements of light wood, walnut and an unmistakable note of sugar.”

Overall, The Aristocrat is a fine cigar that does a brilliant job honoring the life and tastes of Sir Winston Churchill. Find the nearest provider of Davidoff cigars here to pick up your own cigar from their Winston Churchill collection!

Churchill’s 5 Favorite Drinks

Next to smoking cigars and wearing bow ties, Churchill was man who enjoyed a good drink. As his famous quote goes

My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them.

Here are his top 5 drinks.

1. Dry Martini

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Churchill’s version of a good martini was quality Plymouth Gin poured over a glass of ice. Vermouth was something he only enjoyed looking at while drinking his martini at the bar.

2. Claret

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A day would not pass in Winston’s life without a few glasses of claret. He would always have a healthy stock available at all times.

3. Whisky

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Surprising Churchill’s preferred brand of whisky was one easily available to most men, Johnny Walker Red Label. Winston’s method of drinking his whisky was just as odd as his brand choice. He would pour a little Johnny Walker into a glass and fill it with water. This habit came from Winston’s time in Egypt where the only two choices of drink was dirty water or dirty water with whiskey.

4. Brandy

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Unlike his taste in Whisky, Churchill’s taste in Brandy was nothing but high class including Hinel’Hertier de Jean Fremi-court,Prunier, and Ararat Cognac (a present from Stalin).

5. Champagne

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No post about Churchill and drinking would be complete without mentioning champagne. Like claret, Pol Roger champagne was a daily staple in his life. Churchill was so devoted to the brand that upon his death, Odette Pol Roger bordered all bottles black and released a special Winston Churchill line in 1984.

Thanks to The Telegraph for their helpful article! Check out their brilliant video of Harry Wallop’s attempt to drink like Churchill!