Why Chamberlain Really Fell

Tony Corfield offers a provocative new interpretation of the events that brought Churchill to power in the spring of 1940.

The Second British Naval Action Off Narvik. 13 April 1940.
The Second British Naval Action Off Narvik. 13 April 1940. Admiralty Official Collection/IWM/Wiki Commons.

The occasion of the fall from power of Neville Chamberlain and his replacement as prime minister by Winston Churchill in May 1940 is remembered as one of the few Parliamentary epics of our history. British arms had just suffered a stinging reverse in Norway. In the two-day debate in the House of Commons of May 7th, and 8th, Sir Roger Keyes, in admiral's uniform complete with six rows of medal ribbons and the Grand Cross of the Bath, opened the assault by the Government's own supporters on the handling of the Norwegian campaign. Mr Amery, another Conservative Member, called for a change of Government.

To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive.

Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription

If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in.

Please email digital@historytoday.com if you have any problems.