Winter 1936-1937 (Age 62)

During December Churchill was in the forefront of the defence of King Edward VIII.

Notwithstanding his loss of popular and political support over that issue, the country continued to listen to him on military preparedness. Much of his information came from allies within the Government and he was grieved when one of them, Ralph Wigram, committed suicide on New Year’s Eve.

“Some pretty good duds are in the big positions.”

Although he advocated non-intervention in the Spanish Civil War, he aroused resentment with his sympathy for what he called “the Anti-Red Movement.” But he saw both Nazism and Communism as “those non-God religions.” He compared Fascism and Communism to the Arctic and Antarctic Poles – both similar in their wastes of snow and icy winds.

He spent January at Chartwell, working on volume IV of Marlborough, and painting. In February he joined Clementine in France. By the end of the month he lamented the growing national malaise and the new White Paper on Defence: “Parliament is dead as mutton.” On the senior Army, Navy and Air Force commanders, he commented: “Some pretty good duds are in the big positions.”

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