Cover image for When Churchill slaughtered sheep and Stalin robbed a bank : history's unknown chapters / Giles Milton.
When Churchill slaughtered sheep and Stalin robbed a bank : history's unknown chapters / Giles Milton.
First U.S. Edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Picador, 2016.

Physical Description:
viii, 264 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
"Originally published in Great Britain under the titles When Churchill slaughtered sheep and When Stalin robbed a bank by John Murray (Publishers), a Hachette UK company."--Title page verso.
Book I. When Churchill slaughtered sheep -- When Churchill slaughtered sheep -- A question of mistaken identity -- Kings, queens and madmen -- Papal bull -- Up and away -- Beauty and the beast -- Get me out! -- The bubble that burst -- A child for the Fuhrer -- Book II. When Stalin robbed a bank -- When Stalin robbed a bank -- It'll never happen to me -- Escape from hell -- Just plain weird -- Die-hard Nazis -- A trio of monsters -- I am a hero -- Rule-breakers.
In this collection of obscure and addictive true tales from history, Milton presents outrageously unbelievable-- yet true-- stories from history. There's the Russian scientist who attempted to produce a human-ape hybrid; the family who survived thirty-eight days at sea after their ship was destroyed by a killer whale; and Churchill ordered the test of biological weapons using sheep on a small Scottish island.


Library Branch
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
1 Bob Harkins Branch 909 MIL Book Adult General Collection

On Order



More addictive and mind-blowing true tales from history, told by Giles Milton--one of today's most entertaining and accessible yet always intelligent and illuminating historians

In When Churchill Slaughtered Sheep and Stalin Robbed a Bank , the second installment in his outrageously entertaining series, History's Unknown Chapters, Giles Milton shows his customary historical flair as he delves into the little-known stories from history, like when Stalin was actually assassinated with poison by one of his inner circle; the Russian scientist, dubbed the "Red Frankenstein," who attempted to produce a human-ape hybrid through ethically dubious means; the family who survived thirty-eight days at sea with almost no water or supplies after their ship was destroyed by a killer whale; or the plot that served as a template for 9/11 in which four Algerian terrorists attempted to hijack a plane and fly it into the Eiffel Tower.

Author Notes

Giles Milton is the author, most recently, of the critically acclaimed Nathaniel's Nutmeg (FSG, 1999). He lives in London.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Milton follows up his first book in the series, When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain, with 50 more tales of lesser-known history featuring aplomb and succinct storytelling, along with an engaging sense of humor. The book is divided into two parts of nine and eight chapters, respectively; the stories within contain just a few pages each but pack a wallop of amusing information. Readers will learn about the terrible experiment of the title involving Britain's Winston Churchill, as well as the prime minister's desire for chemical warfare in both World Wars. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's ruthlessness as a robber and his mysterious death in 1953 are both examined as well. Other stories include a Papal party (if it actually occurred) to shame modern college fraternity and sorority gatherings, the first group to reach the top of the Matterhorn (and the subsequent disaster on the way down), and the man who jumped out of a helium balloon 19 miles above the Earth 50 years before Felix Baumgartner made a viral video of the same act. VERDICT For readers who love odd history tidbits, this is the perfect addition to any library, especially those that own the previous volume.-Jason L. Steagall, Gateway Technical Coll. Lib., Elkhorn, WI © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Book I When Churchill Slaughtered Sheep
Part I When Churchill Slaughtered Sheepp. 5
Part II A Question of Mistaken Identityp. 21
Part III Kings, Queens and Madmenp. 37
Part IV Papal Bullp. 53
Part V Up and Awayp. 65
Part VI Beauty and the Beastp. 79
Part VII Get Ale Out!p. 93
Part VIII The Bubble that Burstp. 111
Part IX A Child for the Fuhrerp. 125
Further Readingp. 131
Book II When Stalin Robbed a Bank
Part I When Stalin Robbed a Bankp. 141
Part II It'll Never Happen to Mep. 157
Part III Escape from Hellp. 171
Part IV Just Plain Weirdp. 189
Part V Die-Hard Nazisp. 203
Part VI A Trio of Monstersp. 217
Part VII I Am a Herop. 231
Part VIII Rule-Breakersp. 245
Further Readingp. 259

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