Epiphanies: A literary reflection
Obama like Ike

Churchill describes a naval battle experienced via telegram

I am reading Churchill's account of the year 1915 in the First World War from his series The World Crisis.  Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty at that point.  This particular passage describes following a major naval battle while in the war room of the Admiralty.  I found it really fascinating and enjoyed reading it (in my head) with Churchill's distinctive voice.

There can be few purely mental experiences more charged with cold excitement than to follow, almost from minute to minute, the phases of a great naval action from the silent rooms of the Admiralty.  Out in blue water in the fighting ships amid the stunning detonations of the cannonade, fractions of the event unfold themselves to the corporeal eye.  There is the sense of action at its highest; there is the wrath of battle; there is the intense, self-effacing, physical or mental toil.  But in Whitehall only the clock ticks, and quiet men enter with quick steps laying slips of pencilled paper before other men equally silent who draw lines and scribble calculations, and point with the finger or make brief subdued comments.  Telegram succeeds telegram at a few minutes' interval as they are picked up and decoded, often in the wrong sequence, frequently of dubious import; and out of these a picture always flickering and changing rises in the mind, and imagination strikes out around it at every stage flashes of hope or fear.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)