Empire First: Churchill's War Against D-Day
Author: Graeme Bowman (King's 1985)
Publisher: DNA of Dissent
Did Churchill try to sabotage Overlord? Did the ‘Greatest Ever Briton’ champion a ‘Brexit’ military strategy which prioritised British oil and Empire interests in the Mediterranean over the need to liberate western Europe from fascism? Read Empire First and decide. Conventional WWII histories begin in 1933 or 1939 and offer a limited understanding of the conflict but Empire First begins in 1874-75 (Churchill’s birth and Disraeli’s acquisition of Suez Canal shares) to show how Suez dominated British thinking for six decades prior to 1939 and shaped the PM’s wartime priorities. Even in the midst of a life and death struggle with Nazism, Churchill couldn’t renounce his oil and Empire obsessions, sponsoring defective Italian and Aegean operations in a vain attempt to keep the Allies locked into the Mediterranean and thwart Overlord. Only Soviet and American pressure - and the collapse of his Mediterranean follies - compelled Churchill to endorse an operation he consistently tried to undermine, and several eminent scholars endorse Graeme Bowman’s radical analysis:
Dr. Bowman has done the daring thing, criticising Britain's iconic wartime leader… Churchill is shown here in his real colours as an old-fashioned imperialist and an incompetent strategist…. A lively read with a strong central argument.
Prof. Richard Overy
I greatly enjoyed Empire First. It is well-researched, clear, fluent… a convincing indictment of the Churchill myth. A book with immense appeal for both specialist and lay readers. It was very satisfying to read such a book on a major subject.
Prof. Sir Tom Devine
Graeme Bowman takes on British icon Winston Churchill and radically re-interprets his legacy, specifically his WWII leadership, when his focus was less on the struggle against fascism in Europe and more on preserving Britain's Empire. Bowman's big, brawling book deserves a wide audience because it presents an essential corrective to the ill-informed triumphalism that produced Brexit. He has mapped out the theatre of war in the Mediterranean and Far East with a thoroughness I’ve encountered nowhere else.
Prof. Willy Maley
[Overlord] has been forced upon us by the Russians and by the United States military authorities.
Churchill to Sir Alexander Cadogan, 19th April 1944
Written in lean, muscular prose, Empire First challenges everything you think you know about Churchill and WWII. It also contains an absorbing chapter on the Bengal Famine where Churchill’s Mediterranean obsession further inflamed the death toll. Buy Empire First direct from the author via www.empirefirst.org.