The Rise and Fall of Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists

TLDR Oswald Mosley, a key figure in British fascism, rose to prominence in the early 20th century but ultimately lost support and credibility due to violence and the loss of key backers such as Lord Rothermere, leading to the decline of the British Union of Fascists.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Sir Oswald Mosley, the leader of the black shirts and a key figure in British fascism, emerges as a plausible leader in the early 20th century.
04:45 Oswald Mosley, the founder of the British Fascists, was a spoiled brat and impatient man who faced numerous injuries during World War I, ultimately leaving him with a permanent limp that became an asset for him in his political career.
09:13 Oswald Mosley leaves the Conservative Party and joins the Labour Party, which was not an unusual move at the time.
13:57 Oswald Mosley leaves the Conservative Party and joins the Labour Party, where he becomes a prominent figure and is highly regarded by party supporters.
18:36 Oswald Mosley's detailed blueprint for the British economy, which called for a Keynesian model and the appointment of experts to plan the national economy, was rejected by the Labour Party, leading him to leave and found his own political party called the new party with backing from William Morris.
23:24 After leaving the Labour Party and witnessing the overwhelming victory of the national government in the 1931 election, Oswald Mosley forms a new party because he believes the government will fail to address the economic crisis and he sees himself as the opposition force that will take over.
28:12 In 1932, Oswald Mosley launches the British Union of Fascists, drawing inspiration from Mussolini and adopting black shirts as a symbol, despite criticism from some who believe he is not extreme enough.
32:42 Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists attracted a range of supporters, including ex-servicemen, young people, women, aristocratic women, and even ex-suffragettes, and made efforts to win over people in the establishment, including writers and conservative politicians.
37:14 The British Union of Fascists, in its early stages, did not officially target minorities or exhibit anti-Semitism, but attracted support from conservatives, including MPs and press magnates like Lord Rothermere, who saw it as a profitable market and a shield against the perceived threat of Bolshevism.
41:35 The meeting and violence at Olympia in 1934, where 2000 black shirts marched and beat up hecklers, caused many supporters, including Lord Rothermere, to withdraw their support from the British Fascist movement.
46:00 The violence at Olympia in 1934, along with the coinciding Night of the Long Knives in Germany, caused Oswald Mosley to lose support from Lord Rothermere and the press, leading to a decline in membership and a loss of credibility for the British Union of Fascists.
Categories: History

Browse more History