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1900-1940 : Balancing a political and military career

« When I entered the army, it was one of the greatest things in the world ».
Charles de Gaulle, War memoirs

« But swords are not the only weapons in the world. Something may be done with a pen ».
Winston Churchill, My early life

Churchill’s victory in the 1900 elections marked the beginning of his long political career where he would occupy some of the most important government posts in Britain before 1929, the beginning of his wilderness years. He was not recalled until 1939, to take up (again) the post of First Lord of the Admiralty. In the 1920s and 1930s, de Gaulle led the life of an officer, on the ground in Poland, in the French Army of the Rhine and in the Levant, and also in the most prestigious military institutions. His publications as a military theorist were many and opposed conventional wisdom.

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George William Fish - (Birkenhead, 1876 – ?)
Winston Churchill, M.P. for Oldham
Presume date : 1900 - oil on canvas

© Gallery Oldham

Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) - La France et son armée
Paris, first edition, Plon, coll. "Présences" - 1938 -printed on papier

© Paris - Musée de l'Armée, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Anne-Sylvaine Marre-Noël

Winston Churchill
We must arm (The Defence of Freedom and Peace)
16 October 1938


Captain Charles de Gaulle and Lieutenant Colonel Franz Boud'hors,
commander of the 33rd Infantry Regiment, in a trench, late 1915

©Archives de Gaulle, Paris, France / Bridgeman Images

Shrapnel shell fragment with inscription« W.S.C. from M.M. »
First World War
Initial letters engraved and gold gilded on metal
marble and oak tree wood basis

Chartwell © National Trust / John Hammond