1942: Churchill's Real Darkest Hour

Most people think that Britain's worst moment of the war was in 1940 when the nation stood up against the threat of German invasion. Yet, eighty years ago, Britain stood at the brink of defeat. In 1942, a string of military disasters engulfed Britain in rapid succession, including the collapse in Malaya; the biggest surrender in British history at Singapore and the passing of three large German warships through the Straits of Dover in broad daylight.


Taylor Downing, historian, writer and broadcaster, joins Dan on the podcast to draw the startling parallels between events in 1942 and today. They discuss just how unpopular Churchill became in 1942 against the backdrop of a new low of public morale, the two votes attacking his leadership in the Commons and the emergence of a serious political rival. As people began to claim that Churchill was not up to the job and that his leadership was failing badly, it was 1942 that was in fact Britain’s real darkest hour.


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