Winston Churchill is back in the media spotlight. First off, I encourage everyone to try to get to a screening of the documentary Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny, narrated by Ben Kingsley and edited by long-time disinformation collaborator Nimrod Erez. The film examines why Churchill’s legacy continues to be relevant in the 21st Century and explores why his leadership remains inspirational to current day political leaders and diplomats.
More controversially, BBC News‘s Ian Shoesmith and Jon Kelly drag Churchill through the mud of a decades old conspiracy theory suggesting that he sacrificed the people of the city of Coventry in England’s midlands:
It’s 70 years since Germany launched one of the most devastating bombing raids of World War II, on Coventry. But did Winston Churchill have prior warning of the attack?
It has been claimed in a number of books that the wartime prime minister knew that the city was to be targeted by the German Luftwaffe, but chose to do nothing because it would have alerted Adolf Hitler to the fact the Allies had recently cracked the Nazis’ top-secret Enigma codes.
Coventry and its people were sacrificed, the theory goes, “for the greater good” – that is, that the benefits of playing the long game outweighed the short-term costs of leaving the West Midlands city to a terrible fate.
It’s not just historians who have written about the so-called Coventry conspiracy, though – it’s a theory which lives on to this day.
Jean Taylor spent the night of her 14th birthday in a communal shelter, utterly terrified. Speaking ahead of the 70th anniversary, she said: “The rumour was that they decided to sacrifice the few (in Coventry) to save the many. Nobody has ever confirmed or denied that, and that says a lot.”
But was Sir Winston really such a utilitarian – the philosophical term given to those who strive to bring about the greatest gain for the greatest number, even though that means making painful sacrifices?
Or is the explanation far more mundane than the conspiracy theorists believe – that Mr Churchill and his advisors were just as much in the dark about the Germans’ Operation Moonlight Sonata as the people who spent the night cowering in their shelters?
The conspiracy theorists argue that Sir Winston chose to sacrifice the city to keep secret Britain’s decoding of the Germans’ Enigma machine.
Their position initially gained credence during the 1970s with the publishing of several books about the cracking of Enigma…
[continues at BBC News]