“Darkest Hour” movie of Churchill for 3 weeks in 1940

The movie starts with the German invasion of the Low Countries 10May40 and ends with Dunkirk – could have been called “3 weeks in May typing in smoke filled rooms”. Jokes aside well worth seeing a replay of these pivotal events in the saving of Western civilization.
I thought they could have sketched the progress of WWII to date a little better and told us a little more about Winston Churchill – this video has a 5 minute summary of his life. [Nice comment by Mary Louise Pivec – Churchill saved western civilization and for that, the Left will never forgive him.]
He was always an MP through the 1930s but by 1939 had been a decade out of Cabinet and was an isolated figure. Churchill had taken the lead in warning about the militarization and expansionist policies of Nazi Germany and in campaigning for British rearmament.
After German expansion into Austria March 1938 – Chamberlain and Hitler signed the Munich Agreement 30Sep38 and we have all seen the photos of PM Chamberlain waving his paper claiming to have won “peace in our time”.
Germany annexed parts of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 which lead the UK and France to guarantee Polish independence 31Mar39.
On 23Aug39 Hitler and Stalin signed their Non-Aggression Pact with secret provisions for the division of Poland between them.
On 3Sep39 Germany invaded Poland and UK & France declared war on Germany – keeping faith with the Poles.
On 17Sep39 Stalin walked into Poland and occupied the eastern portion without a declaration of war.
Winston Churchill was re-appointed First Lord of the Admiralty(CEO of the Royal Navy) on the outbreak of war 3Sep39.
So Churchill had been at the heart of the British war effort for eight calamitous months through the destruction of Poland, Western expansion of the USSR, Phoney War on the Western Front and the 10Apr40 German Invasion of Norway. From the 10May40 German invasion of the low countries and France he was made PM and headed a National Govt with Labour and all parties which was immediately confronted with the capitulation of their main ally France. While across the Atlantic the USA riddled with isolationists was in an election year. You could hardly imagine a more hopeless crisis.
I thought they should have mentioned the German halt order before Dunkirk – the movie over emphasized Calais IMHO. You will love the movie if you like sepia tones and gloomy interiors with lots of smoking. Worth seeing just for the portrayal of the King. Lots of chit-chat about Chamberlain and Halifax some of which I missed – need subtitles. I thought the odd portrayal of air raids by some “eye of God” camera over models was a sad fail – but we got the message. And I doubt WSC spoke to people on the tube as portrayed – but movies are art. I could see it again and will see the DVD in time.

7 thoughts on ““Darkest Hour” movie of Churchill for 3 weeks in 1940”

  1. Interesting footnote worth mentioning is that Britain had socialist governments until Churchill got the job in 1940, and then it was some sort of coalition.
    Before the end of the world but when things were looking much brighter, Churchill was voted out and a socialist government was elected.
    Britain stayed on rations until 1953, in the mean time, the socialist government nationalized everything they could put their hands on including aero industry and rail etc.
    I’m not sure when the motor industry was nationalized but post war cars, of which I am familiar with quite a few, were crap and rapidly fell behind German and Japanese cars.

    Something fishy right?
    Wonder why the British economy never recovered.

  2. Good of you to mention the Hitler-Stalin pact. So many especially the socialists say that Hitler was on the right side of politics when in fact there is little to distinguish him from the Communists led by Stalin. I have read that at the start of the pact both Hitler and Stalin agreed in writing that they had similar aims. The party that Hitler led was the National Socialist Party. Hitler was aligned with Mussolini in Italy who was also a National Socialist (ie with the Government in control of everything including business through a network of corrupt mates).
    China under Mao was communist following the principles of Marx and Lenin with Mao the supreme dictator. China has gone to the national socialist model with business controlled by corrupt party mates. Xi Jinping seems to want to be a new Hitler or Stalin.

  3. I thought these words by Andrew Roberts in his video were worth commenting on “The point about Churchill in 1940 is not that he stopped the German invasion, but that he stopped the British government making peace. Sometimes you have to give war a chance.”
    What an overworked and misused word is “peace”.
    Of course the Brits could have easily got some terms from Hitler to end hostilities. I do not think war with the UK was a high priority for the continentally inclined Hitler.
    But Hitler and his Kreigsmarine would not have wanted the Royal Navy left loose dispersing to Empire or N America.
    What sort of “peace” could it have been with the UK a sort of sister state of Vichy France alongside a Nazified Europe, U boats ruling the seas, a weakened British Empire, Japan running riot in China and the USA influenced by isolationists? A brave new world of dictatorships.
    It seems to me clear that “Churchill saved western civilization..”
    As a boy I remember an org named the Peace Council run by a communist leaning History Prof
    Interesting that nobody has ponied up the wiki.

  4. Just doodling some numbers for the Dunkirk evacuation. On basis 338,000 were saved over 9 days and assuming 12 hour days. I made it 52 persons every minute almost 1 per second. What organization and discipline often under fire.

  5. My copy of “The Storm of War” arrived thru Abebooks so I have bedtime reading ~600p for most of this year.
    22 maps and I see he has a final chapter – Conclusion: Why did the Axis lose… Good question.

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