I’ve been reading Graham Freudenberg’s Churchill and Australia which is a fine read, with a certain grandeur in the prose. In any event I came upon Chapter 10 which documents the crisis over Turkey pulling the plug on the post World War One settlement – a kind of between wars equivalent of the Suez Crisis.
In his inimitable way, Churchill managed to nearly reignite something which had the potential to become another major European war when the smoke had barely blown off the Howitzers from the last one. Anyway, I hadn’t the slightest idea of this little episode in European and Australian history (Churchill planned for us to toddle along as usual.)
The book is written with great venom towards Billy Hughes, as many books about the period are. He certainly managed to do a lot of damage both in Australia and at Versailles. But, without knowing that much about other times in his life, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was his finest hour. One thing that’s quite noticeable in this chapter and others is how clearly and forcefully expressed the written correspondence was, with so much depending on clear communication by cable which cannot be backed up by a quick chat on the phone. Anyway, by clicking here you can download a copy of the chapter. I hope it will tempt you to buy the book. It’s a good read.