I learned a lot just from researching for my speech. This was the final copy of my speech from the view of Winston Churchill that I read out in front of the class. Being first, I was extremely nervous. But, as I started my speech, I became more and more comfortable, as I knew that I had practiced my speech and that no one was going to judge it.I felt like I really got in the groove, and I realized that I wasn’t even nervous toward the end of my speech. After my speech, I felt as if a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.
Notes for Speech
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a pleasure to be in front of you today.
I, Winston Churchill, had an interesting relationship with Charles de Gaulle. This was an ordinary man who rose through the military, and with my support, became the leader of the French people. How did this happen? Well let me tell you what happened in world war two that lead to him becoming the president after the war. Everyone knows that World War 2 was fought against Hitler, but what they don’t know is that, the second biggest conflict was between me, Charles de Gaulle, and Franklin Roosevelt, the American president. While I must admit, the treatment de Gaulle received from Roosevelt and I was not phenomenal; I still respect and admire him very much. Despite our conflict, our main goal was achieved, liberating Europe from Hitler and the Nazis, and I have to thank him for showing the amount of leadership to unite the French people even when France was broken and devastated.
Middle 1 (Before 1939-1942ish): At the beginning of the war, I hadn’t even heard of the name Charles de Gaulle. I first met him in 1940, when the prime minister of France sent him to request the full might of my air force. What kind of idiot did they think I was? I was not about to send the full might of my air force to a doomed country! Despite knowing that the French president would be disappointed, De Gaulle still vocally approved of my decision as he was leaving. I was impressed by him as he was a welcome contrast to other members of the French government, who wanted an armistice with the Germans and claimed that England would have her neck rung like a chicken within weeks! As if I would let that happen! De Gaulle and I both tried to strengthen the French government and army weeks before it fell. After collaboration with the Germans was inevitable, I flew de Gaulle out to England and officially recognized him as the leader of the free Frenchmen, I even gave him a chance to broadcast to occupied France through the BBC.
Middle 2 (Late war time) Later in 1941, I spoke with the government of Vichy (the unoccupied remainder of France that was collaborating with the Nazis). I realized that they had no intention of joining the fight. So I turned to de Gaulle and we decided on a joint British and free French invasion of the Vichy controlled countries of Syria and Lebanon. For some reason, after the successful invasion, de Gaulle believed that I had double crossed him because he thought I had secret designs on French territories in the Middle East. I have no idea why he would think that. This lead to our first argument, although we quickly managed to resolve our differences by the end of the year. Another fortunate event, well, for us anyways… so another fortunate event that happened during that time was that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and brought the Americans into the war. The president of the United States, Roosevelt, largely ignored de Gaulle, going so far as to keep the information for the Normandy Landings, among other important plans from him. Needless to say, De Gaulle was not a fan of being told about top secret plans the day before they were executed. Roosevelt even tried replacing de Gaulle with a French General Named Henri Giraud, which I was heavily against. He eventually realized that de Gaulle was needed to unite the Free French and the former Vichy forces.
Middle 3 (D-day to end of war) Both Roosevelt and I tried to arrange a fake “wedding” with de Gaulle and Giraud in 1943, mainly to please the press. Also we had the intent of them sharing the power between themselves. This is when my relationship with de Gaulle reached its lowest point in the war. He denied my request to attend the “wedding”, YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE HOW AnGRY I WAS AT HIM. When we got back to England, I gave the orders that de Gaulle was not to leave this country and stir up trouble abroad. I couldn’t believe it, I had raised de Gaulle as a pup…now he bit the hand that fed him. Despite this, my feelings were nowhere near what the American president was feeling, I found myself as the middleman. On one hand, I was furious at the damage de Gaulle was doing to my relationship with Roosevelt, at the other hand; I understood that de Gaulle was the one French leader who stood unequivocally against Hitler.
As the Normandy landings passed and the outcome of the War became more evident, there were more occasions of warmth and mutual admiration between me and de Gaulle. Near the end of the War, de Gaulle gave many speeches thanking Britain and me for all our help. I now quote from him: “It is true that we would not have seen [the liberation] if our old and gallant ally England, and all the British dominions under precisely the impulsion and inspiration of those we are honoring today, had not deployed the extraordinary determination to win, and that magnificent courage which saved the freedom of the world. There is no French man or woman who is not touched to the depths of their hearts and souls by this”. When I think of the heartfelt thanks de Gaulle gave me in one of our last meetings of the war, I still tear up. I thank the heavens that have allowed me to meet such a great man. I hope that the allies, France, Britain, and America will always work together in harmony, and in peace.
As you can see from the speech, Charles de Gaulle was not very well liked among his peers. Namely Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. He was someone that had to be dealt with because to make enemies with him was to make enemies with all of France, and that wouldn’t be a very good thing. Well through researching for my speech, I learned even more about Charles de Gaulle’s relationships, and I’ll definitely think about it when I’m working on my learning center.