Sunday, August 21, 2011

Churchill and Hitler: Two of a Kind

Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler are often thought of as polar opposites. In the public consciousness Churchill represents peace, bravery, and equality, while Hitler stands for war, cowardice, and persecution. Churchill is good and Hitler is evil. These characterizations have been implicitly and explicitly propogated through educational institutions, popular media, and historical scholarship. But little consideration has been given to the strong similarities between the two leaders.

Churchill (left) and Hitler (right) delivering speeches. Both men were tremendous orators.

In his book Churchill and Hitler: In Victory and DefeatJohn Strawson predominately presents Churchill and Hitler as opposites. Yet, he does concede that the two leaders shared a significant number of common attributes and interests. According to Strawson, both men:
  • Were accomplished military strategists
  • Loved to dabble in and commanded remarkable grasp of military detail
  • Loved dressing up in military uniforms
  • Were prodigious orators (see Resources section below)
  • Possessed strong historical imaginations
  • Painted (see Resources section below)
  • Were forever fighting
  • Never gave up
  • Had a strong desire to succeed
Both men shared fundamental talents and proclivities which made them powerful leaders. It was the competing purposes behind their leadership that differentiated Churchill and Hitler.

Additional Resources

Mental Floss quiz to see if you can tell Churchill's paintings from Hitler's. I scored a 50% (no better than guessing!) How did you fare?

Churchill and Hitler: In Victory and Defeat (John Strawson)


  1. I took the paintings quiz and scored a 6/10. I have to admit I guessed at most of them.
    There's many interesting facts in this blog.
    Great job! Keep the blogs coming!

  2. Yes that quiz can be quiet tricky.

    Thanks. New posts will up shortly!

  3. now whats the differences?

  4. now whats the differences?