10 May 1947, London Zeitung
by Stanley Baldwin
There was a time in May of 1940 that we came close to giving the country over to Winston [Churchill] but we turned away from that path and awarded the Prime Minister slot to Lord Halifax. Yes, it is possible that we could have won this last war if we had chosen him but it was considered indecorous and was thought of as perhaps telegraphing our desperation to the enemy. We knew Winston had a martial background and that he wanted to make a real fight of it but the cost to our reputations would have been too high. The war was rightly called the Phoney War because we had all but lost everything by that late date. As it turned out, of course, the war only lasted less than a year anyway.
Water under the bridge. Winning isn’t everything, after all. Think of the devastation that would have followed if Winston had had his way with the military. What would have happened, I wonder: bombing cities? fire bombing? desperate refugees fleeing across the country? starvation? homelessness?
What scared me the most was the prospect of the Russians in Berlin and us still defeated anyway. All Stalin needed was a couple more years to turn the tide — and with Winston as PM that might have given him that edge. Then Stalin would have had all the countries east of the Baltic and the Adriatic and probably more.
Later that year, with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, we saw the Americans entry into the Pacific war and at least — so far — they have knocked that barbaric regime back on it heels. So, all was not lost. Much good has come from the decisions we made at that time. It’s not perfect but it’s a result that allows us to hold our heads up high these days, knowing we had performed our duties well and to the best of our abilities.
[Translated from the original German]