Free for educational use
Year of production - 2008
Duration - 3min 20sec
Tags - Australian History, British Empire, international relations, invasion, Prime Ministers, World War 2, see all tags
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About the Video Cliptop
Menzies and Churchill is an excerpt from the film Menzies and Churchill at War (55 mins) produced in 2008.
Menzies and Churchill at War Using Robert Menzies’ World War II diaries and remarkable 16mm film, Menzies and Churchill at War lifts the lid on a bitter behind-the-scenes battle between Winston Churchill and the Australian Prime Minister as the fate of Australia hangs in the balance.
Menzies and Churchill at War is a Screen Australia Making History Production in association with 360 Degree Films. Produced with the assistance of Film Victoria. Developed and produced in association with the Australia Broadcasting Corporation.
Assess the impact of international events and relationships on Australia’s history
Why was Australia involved in World War 2?
Students learn to
Explain the reasons for Australia’s involvement in World War 2
Using Robert Menzies’ World War II diaries and remarkable 16mm film, the documentary Menzies and Churchill at War, from which this clip is taken, lifts the lid on a bitter behind-the-scenes battle between Winston Churchill and the Australian Prime Minister as the fate of Australia hung in the balance.
Menzies traveled to London during the dark months of 1941 where he took on the British Prime Minister over the strategic direction of the war. The film introduces the controversial theory that Menzies became so alarmed by flaws in Churchill’s leadership that he considered taking over himself.
With Australia under threat of a Japanese attack, Menzies struggled to convince the autocratic British leader to send reinforcements to Singapore.
The unequal struggle eventually cost Menzies his prime ministership, but out of it he developed a new vision for Australia and built a constituency of middle-class voters who swept him back to power to become Australia’s longest serving prime minister.
Why did Japan concern Menzies in early 1941?
How did Menzies believe that Australia could be made ‘secure’?
Why did Menzies and Churchill disagree about the direction of the war?
Why did Menzies fly to London?
Note the sources that we have for Menzies’ trip and his interactions with Churchill while in England.
Why was Menzies’ wife ‘distressed’ by his planned trip?
Why was Menzies’ position as Prime Minister ‘tenuous’?
Why was the Japanese Empire expanding in the 1930s?
Why were there divisions within the United Australia Party?
Describe the differing positions of Menzies and Churchill on the ‘defence’ of Australia.
Explain why Australians felt threatened by Japan in 1941.