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CHURCHILL, Winston S Typed letter signed ("Winston S Churchi...

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Estimate: US$7,000 - US$10,000
Price realised:  US$13,750
Lot number 42, Views: 64

CHURCHILL, Winston S. Typed letter signed ("Winston S. Churchill"), as First Lord of the Admiralty, to E. Leslie Burgin (1887-1945), London, 4 May 1940. 1 page, 4to, Admiralty stationery, with punch hole at top left corner . Marked "Secret" and with two-line autograph postscript.
CHURCHILL, Winston S. Typed letter signed ("Winston S. Churchill"), as First Lord of the Admiralty, to E. Leslie Burgin (1887-1945), London, 4 May 1940. 1 page, 4to, Admiralty stationery, with punch hole at top left corner . Marked "Secret" and with two-line autograph postscript. DESPERATE MEASURES: BUYING GERMAN GUNS IN MAY 1940 With Hitler rampaging across the Low Countries and poised to strike France, Churchill dismisses the ministry of supply's qualms about buying desperately needed German weaponry for the British Expeditionary Force. "I do not understand why the fact, if true, that some of these weapons come from Germany, or belong to Germany, should make any difference to our need for them. You surely would not balance a modest gain to German dollar exchange against our acquiring 150 Oerlikon guns or 700 anti-tank guns. I do not imagine for a moment the Cabinet would hesitate to buy them. As to the rifles I think they should be bought too. But every day wasted is serious at a time when we are falling behind in every form of munition production." In the autograph postscript, Churchill writes, "I am having a case stated for Cabinet discussion on Monday." This dramatic letter comes just six days before Churchill became Prime Minister (after which he promptly sacked Burgin), and it shows the extent to which his attention and energy ranged far across the boundaries of the Admiralty. His energy and determination made him the overwhelming favorite to replace Chamberlain on 10 May, following the disastrous Norwegian campaign. Before the month was out he would face an ever greater disaster at Dunkirk. Many tons of precious equipment would be left on the beaches, but the rescue of the army and Churchill's unbreakable resolution to fight on made even this setback bearable.

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Christie's
Title: Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana
Date of the auction: 3 Dec 2010
Address: Christie's
3 December 2010, New York, Rockefeller Center