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Image: John Spencer Churchill to the Duke of Marlborough, July 3, 1915
John Spencer Churchill to the Duke of Marlborough, July 3, 1915
During the first months of World War I, Churchill energetically prosecuted the war at sea, but he soon became frustrated with the emerging deadlock on the Western front. He sent an expedition to attack Germany's ally, Turkey, through the Dardanelles Strait. As this letter from Churchill's brother Jack (then serving with the expeditionary forces) shows, the expedition was turning into a failure. Consequently, Churchill was fired from the Admiralty.
Object Details:
Holograph letter. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (63)

Related Theme:
The Politician
July 3, 1915

Dear Sunny. Many thanks for your letter. I was very disappointed at not seeing you. (The K-M's ?) being stopped at Athens is too stupid and the orders are being altered. Come out again. Next time you will come all the way. It is well worth it and you will obtain full value. I hear you had all sorts of adventures in your journey. There is a story of you leaving Italy in a small open boat in the hopes of catching a steamer. Fighting has continued this week with considerable success but with more heavy casualties. The losses are awful! Reinforcements will soon come and I think a big success will be achieved before the autumn. Winston's policy will be fully vindicated. I do not believe anything will happen in France this year. These terrible attacks have achieved absolutely nothing except loss of life & the great promised advance has failed apparently all along the line. I had a long letter from Winston. He is allright and will soon find himself up again. I do not think the present arrangement will last long. The cabinet is much too big and I feel their will be another reshuffle. I confess I have not regretted my sudden decision to come here. In another month this will not be a side show at all, but will be the only point at which the allies will do any good this year. I am in a very good position, living in a little mess with Sir I. H. and his ADC. One can really see what is going on here. Although whenever you are on the peninsula you come under shell fire. The troops have had a terrible strain - there is nowhere to rest. If you come out of the advanced trenches you cannot get away from the shells. The Turk is fighting splendidly, and is behaving like a gentleman--letting wounded men save themselves etc. We hear that our slow but (sum?) advance is causing dismay in C'ple. The place must be full of wounded and more keep coming in. The official reports that we have been driven into the sea are being disbelieved. The submarines in Marmara has upset all their transport and supply organisation. If only Russia had not been forced back I think we should have caught Bulgaria. As it is all the Turkish army is still in front of us! We hope Greece will move in the next 6 weeks. Venezuela has to overcome the German bribes. Come out when you get the chance--be prepared for heat, dust, awful flies and an occasional shell.

Jack S Churchill
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