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Fall and Recovery


Always controversial, Churchill championed the disastrous Dardanelles/Gallipoli campaign in 1915, whose failures forced him to resign from the Admiralty. After serving on the French front as a battalion commander he rejoined the Government, now a coalition under Lloyd George, as Minister of Munitions (1917). Later he was Secretary for War and Air and Colonial Secretary. In these roles he supervised demobilization of the army after World War I, tried vainly to reverse the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia (1919-20), redrew the boundaries of the Middle East (1921) and helped enact the Irish Treaty which made Eire nominally independent (1922).

When the Liberal Party collapsed in 1922 Churchill was temporarily out of office, but he was reelected to Parliament as an independent in 1924 and then became a Conservative again, when the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, asked him to serve as Chancellor of the Exchequer (equivalent to Treasury Secretary). He later said of his twice-changing parties: "Anyone can rat; it takes a certain amount of ingenuity to re-rat."