Churchill Comes of Age: Cuba 1895
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
In 1895, Churchill showed already what kind of man he was going to be, as he went on his first international adventure, saw his 21st birthday, had his baptism of fire, wrote his first military analysis, engaged in his first dicey diplomatic mission, conducted his first intelligence work, found himself in his first major controversy with the press, and was a journalist and indeed a war correspondent for the first time. He engaged in his first political analysis, shamelessly used his connections, and did all of this in what was soon to be known as the "Churchill style." While up to now attention has been put on his Indian frontier and Boer War experience as the most formative moments in his youth, this book shows that his much earlier Cuban trip was really the moment when he "came of age" in almost every sense.
there around the highest hills and the most vital military posts the Spanish had. They allowed almost instant communication all the way from the Trocha itself, where the heliograph functioned from the central pivot of the line, the city of Ciego de Ávila, right back to Martínez Campos’ field headquarters in Santa Clara. However, dependent on the sun for its functioning, rain or cloud could mean the severing of this unique link and then commanders were unsure what was happening in a war without
could easily share, Churchill spoke of his case later on in life and with reference to the very background of his decision to come to Cuba in the first place: From very early youth I had brooded about soldiers and war, and often I had imagined in dreams and daydreams the sensations attendant upon being for the first time under fire. It seemed to my youthful mind that it must be a thrilling and immense experience to hear the whistle of bullets all round and to play at hazard from moment to moment
himself, the enemy of all good Conservatives, had called Lord Randolph the ‘greatest conservative since Pitt’, a reference to William Pitt, the revered prime minister of the great wars with France. But working with him had proved too much for more than one prime minister of the later nineteenth century. Cuba was to bring Winston to the public limelight in his own right, if not as dramatically as he was to know later on, still in a fashion that got him talked about in the press and among the
city and left the next day for the capital, arriving on 5 December. It helps but it does not necessarily give the last word on this matter. This stay produced one more coincidence for it so happens that Martínez Campos had chosen that same day, 5 December, to return to the capital on the obvious business of damage control for the crisis as it was developing, not only in Havana but in Madrid, and which was occasioning increasing calls for his resignation and replacement. This led to another
than the press was after this son of a famous British politician who had come so far to be with the Spanish in their campaign on the nearby island. Indeed, Tampa, with Key West, were the key centres for Cuban workers in the tobacco industry who put the finishing touches on many of the famous Cuban cigars of the day and there was a special interest in Cuban affairs among the population in both towns. The first known reference to Churchill’s planned activities in Cuba had appeared in the US press