Churchill, a Bull in the Arena: Episode 3 of our Dark Hours series

Home"Anciens1"Churchill, a Bull in the Arena: Episode 3 of our Dark Hours series
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Churchill, un taureau dans l'arène : épisode 3 de notre série sur Les Heures sombres

AUDIO - As part of our partnership with Joe Wright's movie, theatrically on Jan. 3, Le Figaro proposes an audio series in collaboration with Création-Collective. The third of the six parts tells the internal struggles within the "War Cabinet" over three days, between May 26 and May 28, 1940.

Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of Great Britain since May 10, 1940. He succeeds Neville Chamberlain, whose House of Commons eventually resigned. Winston's interview with King George VI went pretty well. He is now in office and must manage, head on, the cataclysmic situation of the Second World War.

Winston Churchill prononce une allocution à la BBC (1940).
Winston Churchill speaks at the BBC (1940). - Photo Credits: Rue des Archives / MEPL / Rue des Archives

From May 26 to 28, 1940, Churchill led the "War Cabinet". Since the 20th, the Germans penetrate a little more on the French territory, they are in the Channel. May 21 it's the beginning of the Battle of Dunkirk. British forces must retreat to get out of the "pocket". They are helped in this by the French forces, which are also under the fire of bullets and German shells. For three days, Churchill summoned the main party leaders. The venue of the meeting is excessively secure, only members of the government or those of the staff are allowed to enter the room. Very quickly, the tone becomes heated.

"A conciliator is someone who feeds a crocodile hoping he will be the last to be eaten."

Winston Churchill

In 9 successive meetings, Winston Churchill will be virulently negotiating with the Secretary of State, also a Foreign Secretary, Lord Halifax. Neville Chamberlain, recently disembarked from 10 Downing Street, attends debates. The Labor Party is represented by Clement Attlee and Arthur Greenwood. Churchill is well aware that the political situation is particularly precarious for him. He runs a national unity government and the Conservatives are suspicious of him. At this time of the war, Germany is more warlike than ever. She invaded Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark... French side, the Ardennes have fallen and, two weeks later, Paris will suffer the same fate.

Halifax is worried about the presence of the British contingent on the French coast en masse. He fears that the German offensives decimate the insular army. He wishes to give the colonies taken to the Germans in 1918 as a sign of appeasement to Hitler. Listening to these proposals, Winston Churchill is beside himself. No negotiation is possible with the Germanic tyrant whose totalitarian ambitions know no bounds. This man does not keep his word. Never. It is on this occasion that Churchill has this phrase remained in the annals: "A conciliator, it is someone who feeds a crocodile hoping that it will be the last to be eaten." Finally, Churchill manages to convince the audience that war is the one and only option. Outside her there is no salvation. The urgency is to solve the Dunkirk problem. It will be done during the month of June.

»READ ALSO - Churchill, on the front line : episode 4 of our series on The dark hours


1940, Winston becomes Churchill, an audio fiction in partnership with Le Figaro. A Collective Creation and Binge Audio production for Universal Pictures. With the voice of Paul Bandey and Adelaide Bon. Author: Alexandre Lenot. Director, original music and mixing: Théo Boulenger. Art Director: Julien Cernobori


Source: ©  Churchill, a Bull in the Arena: Episode 3 of our Dark Hours series

3 Partages

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