Winston S. Churchill Signed WWII British Army XXX Corps Headquarters Flag.

Rare British Army XXX Corps headquarters flag signed by Winston S. Churchill as Prime Minister during an excursion to Europe at the height of WWII

Winston S. Churchill Signed WWII British Army XXX Corps Headquarters Flag.

[CHURCHILL, Winston S.].

$88,000.00

Item Number: 125064

Rare British Army XXX Corps headquarters flag signed by Winston S. Churchill as Prime Minister during an excursion to Europe at the height of WWII. Machine-stitched, the flag is signed by Churchill on a wool label affixed to the left arm of Saint George’s Cross. Formed in the Western Desert in September 1941, the British XXX Corps provided extensive service in the North African and Tunisia Campaigns and later served in the Allied Invasion of Normandy in June 1944, the ultimately unsuccessful Operation Market Garden of September 1944, the Battle of the Bulge, and the Rhineland Campaign. In Normandy, XXX Corps, commanded by Lieutenant-General Gerard Bucknall, was involved in several battles and, on June 10, linked up with U.S. forces advancing from Omaha Beach. Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery soon sacked Bucknall due to the XXX Corps’ sluggish performance in Operation Bluecoat, replacing him with Lieutenant-General Brian Horrocks, a distinguished veteran of North Africa referred to by Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower as “the outstanding British general under Montgomery.” After the sacking of Bucknall, the performance of XXX Corps improved considerably and it managed to keep up with the other British Corps during the Battle for the Falaise Gap. After the German collapse, XXX Corps quickly advanced north-east and liberated Brussels and Antwerp in Belgium. After this success, XXX Corps, now consisting of approximately 50,000 men, advanced along the main axis of the British Second Army’s line of the offensive to the Dutch/German border, and after the unsuccessful Operation Market Garden launched in an effort to invade Germany, was heavily involved in the fighting that preceded the Rhine crossings. Throughout the war, Churchill made frequent excursions to various fronts, often worrying his supporters and causing critics to complain that he was taking unnecessary risk. Criticism mounted when Churchill visited France only six days after D-Day, eliciting criticism from several key men, including Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower and flying ace Captain Alec Stratford Cunningham-Reid. The signature affixed to the present flag was obtained during one of these visits to the XXX Corps headquarters, under Horrocks’ command, during their extended advance into Germany. In near fine condition. The flag measures 12 feet by 6 feet. The label containing Churchill’s signature measures 7.25 inches by 2.5 inches. A remarkable piece of world history.

Out of government during his so-called "wilderness years" in the 1930s, Churchill took the lead in calling for British rearmament to counter the growing threat of militarism in Nazi Germany. At the outbreak of the Second World War he was re-appointed First Lord of the Admiralty and in May 1940 became Prime Minister, replacing Neville Chamberlain. Churchill's speeches and radio broadcasts, delivered regularly throughout the war, inspired and maintained British resistance, particularly during the difficult days of 1940–41 when the British Commonwealth and Empire stood almost alone in its active opposition to Adolf Hitler. On May 8, 1945, after six years of war, Churchill broadcast to the United Kingdom that Germany had surrendered and that a final ceasefire on all fronts in Europe would come into effect at one minute past midnight that night. Churchill remains one of the most popular and revered figures in the Western world, widely regarded as the hero of WWII and England's defender of freedom.

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