Churchill’s long career is full of controversial episodes, from his involvement in the Tonypandy incident of 1910 to the decision to create a British hydrogen bomb in the 1950s. Because of this, his career offers many episodes that could be the focus of personal studies for AS and A2 History, as they are the subject of so much contemporary and historiographical interpretation.
This chapter looks at two controversies of his wartime leadership: the decision to bomb Dresden in 1945, and the decision not to bomb the death camp at Auschwitz in 1944-1945.
‘We are in the presence of a crime without a name. ’ 1 This was Churchill’s reaction to the first reports of the routine mass killings that were taking place on the Eastern Front as the Nazis advanced on Moscow in the summer of 1941. He had learned of these killings from summaries produced for him by the British Secret Intelligence Service, based upon the work of their decoders. Churchill was convinced of the importance of intelligence gained from the decoding of German communications - he had played a key role in the development of British code-breaking