Blog: Sir Martin's writing


“Last Testament” From Esther Gilbert

In 2006, Martin, who had been appointed a Distinguished Fellow at Hillsdale College in Michigan, was there speaking on “What Did Democracy Mean to Winston Churchill”.  After his lecture, I made my way up to him. The moment he spotted me, he called out to me and turned to a gentleman standing next

German soldiers invading Poland in 1939


©Martin Gilbert, 2009 First Published in The Observer There can have been few more skilful cover-ups in British history than the story of the British Government’s efforts to force the Poles to give up territory to Germany on the very eve of the Second World War. When Neville Chamberlain, who

t and v receiving somme medal

Sir Martin pays tribute to Major and Mrs Holt

Foreword to Major & Mrs Holt’s Battlefield Guide to the Somme 2008 edition by Sir Martin Gilbert,17 December 2007 Reprinted by kind permission of Major & Mrs Holt Major and Mrs Holt continue to do an important service to everyone interested in the battlefields of the First and Second World

Atlas ww2001

Beware of Oysters in June

Oysters were the secret weapon with which Hitler might have triumphed on D-Day. Not the succulent variety to be eaten on the half-shell, but a devastating mine — code-named Oyster by the Allies — that could not be sunk: an unscupperable mine that revealed a German technology far more advanced

Great-grandson Randolph Churchill with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat at the unveiling of an Oscar Nemon bronze bust of Winston Churchill at Mishkenot Sha'ananim, Jerusalem, 4 November 2012; Photograph:  Abir Sultan, EPA

Winston Churchill and the foundation of Israel

For the first half of this century, during one of the longest active political careers in this country, Winston Churchill was interested and sympathetic to Zionism. Hating tyranny in all its forms, he had reacted strongly against the Tzarist pogroms in the first years of the century and always understood

26 April 1981, Hon .D.Litt. Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri


The First Crosby Kemper Lecture, delivered by Sir Martin Gilbert at the Winston Churchill Memorial, Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri , April 26, 1981. President Saunders, ladies and gentlemen, I am deeply honoured to be invited here to Westminster College to talk at the site of Churchill’s famous ‘Iron Curtain Speech,’ and

Randolph Churchill, Stour, East Bergholt, February 1965

“The Beast of Bergholt”

Picture: Randolph Churchill, Stour, East Bergholt, February 1965 My employment with Randolph Churchill began in October 1962, on my twenty-sixth birthday. Given Randolph’s reputation for drink and anger, my friends and I assumed that my engagement would be of short duration. I was still there, as part of his team


How to spell Hanukah?

You may have noticed … different spellings for Hanukah.  Gloria Donen Sosin, an American correspondent of mine, has just sent me an article in which she notes no less than eighteen different spellings – in English transliteration alone – of the five Hebrew letters that make up the name of


“Kristallnacht taught several lessons”

“Kristallnacht taught several lessons. It taught those who were the source of prejudice that a whole people can be demonised; that a whole nation can be turned totally and obscenely against a decent, hard-working, creative, loyal and integral part of its own society.  This point was made on 19 August


Why Study Churchill?

Churchill for today, Teaching the Next Generation: Finest Hour 73, Winter 1991-92. “Why study Churchill?” I am often asked. “Surely he has nothing to say to us today?” Yet in my own work, as I open file after file of Churchill’s archive, from his entry into Government in 1905 to