Winning the Civil War required the United States to keep Britain out of the war. Winning World War II required Britain to bring America into the war as the dominant partner. Those challenges shaped the presidency of Abraham Lincoln and the prime ministership of Winston S. Churchill. Both leaders had to decide priorities. Both had to allot scare resources that might be supplemented by a nation across the Atlantic. Lincoln knew that Britain could tilt the scales to the Confederates.
In the Civil War, American relationships with England got off to a rocky start. President Abraham Lincoln agreed to the recommendation of Secretary of State William H. Seward that Massachusetts Congressman Charles Francis Adams, a close Seward ally, be appointed as the U.S. minister in London. Adams’ grandfather, John Adams, had once been U.S. minister there in the 1780s. The new envoy’s father, John Quincy Adams, had served in a variety of diplomatic posts. When Adams asked Seward to delay his departure to London for personal reasons, Seward agreed despite the critical diplomatic issues being discussed in Washington and abroad. Adams thus got off to a late start dealing with the skeptical but pivotal British government. Still, Adams proved a good choice. Lincoln scholar William Lee Miller wrote: “Although Lincoln may not have fully appreciated how good an ambassador Charles Francis Adams was, and although Adams certainly did not appreciate how good a president Lincoln was, the Union’s relationship Great Britain seems nevertheless to have been handled rather well, both in London and in Washington, given the disasters that might have happened.”1
President Lincoln practiced patient diplomacy, noted Kevin Peraino. “For a young but growing nation, a Hamiltonian strategy in international affairs demanded tremendous forbearance on the president’s part. ‘The virtue of patience,’ John Hay later observed, was ‘one of the cardinal elements of his character.’ Lincoln recognized that the Union would first need to survive the rebellion, avoiding giving the European powers any pretext for intervention. Only then could the economic forces that both Lincoln and Seward placed so much faith in propel America to world power.”2 One of the first priorities of the Lincoln government was setting up a blockade of southern ports – an enterprise Secretary of State Seward strongly supported and Navy Secretary Gideon Welles opposed. Attorney General Edward Bates wrote on a memo on April 15, 1861:
“The plan of practically closing the ports of the insurgent States, and cutting off all their sea-ward commerce, seems to me the easiest, cheapest & most human method of restraining those States and destroying their confederation. Their people are high spirited, and ready enough to fight, but impatient of control, & unable to bear the steady and persistent pressure which we can easily impose, & which they have no means to resist. They are an anomalous people — the only agricultural people that I know of, who cannot live upon the products of their own labor, and have no means of their own to take those products to market.”3
The actual requirements for an internationally-recognized blockade were debated. Historian Russell F. Weigley noted that “international law did not require that to be effective, a blockade must apprehend every approaching ship, or even nearly every ship. Instead, international practice holds that to be legal, a blockade must simply endanger ships trying to evade it. Thus the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, John Russell….took the position that the Federal blockade met the essential criterion and was legal. In the autumn of 1861 the British minister in Washington, Richard Bickerton Pammell, first Earl Lyons, replying to an inquiry from Lord John Russell about the blockade, conceded that many ships ran it but concluded that it was not merely a paper blockade, and that if it had been as ineffective as the Confederates claimed they would not have been so intent on ridding themselves of it.” Weigley added that the British had a vested interest in adopting the American position on blockades since it coincided with their own.4 President Lincoln worried, however, about enforcement of the blockade. He told Illinois Senator Orville H. Browning at the end of July 1861 that the Confederates “were determined to have the cotton crop as soon as it matured – that our coast was so extensive that we could not make the blockade of all the Ports effectual – and that England was now assuming the ground that a nation had no right, whilst a portion of its citizens were in revolt to close its port or any of them against foreign Nations – that we had passed a law at this session of Congress, authorizing him, in his discretion, to close our ports, but if he asserted the right of closing such as we could not blockade, he had no doubt it would result in foreign war, and that under the circumstances it would result in foreign war, and that under the circumstances we had better increase the navy as fast as we could and blockade we had better increase the navy as fast as we could and blockade such ports as our force would enable us to, and say nothing about the result.”5
Fortunately for the Lincoln Administration, the South had overestimated the importance of cotton as a weapon of foreign policy. There was a basis for their reasoning. Historian Walter McDougall wrote: “The tobacco country of tidewater Virginia and North Carolina survived, but had long since conceded leadership to younger elites in the Deep South. There King Cotton reigned because British textile mills could not get enough of the stuff. Prices doubled to fifteen cents per pound in 1857, and production soared to 3.8 million bales, by which time cotton accounted for 57 percent of all American exports. Needless to say, that gave the lie to any notion that the South was provincial. Except for New York and a few other ports, the ‘cotton South’ was the most globalized sector of the U.S. economy.”6 Historian Roger G. Kennedy wrote: “By the 1850s, the planters of South Carolina, led by James Henry Hammond, came to believe that by withholding their cotton they could force British intervention in American politics on Southern terms. In his ‘King Cotton’ speech in 1858, Hammond posed his famous rhetorical question: ‘What would happen if no cotton was furnished for three years?’ and offered his famously foolish answer: “Britain would topple headlong.’”7
The Confederates sought to restrict the export of cotton at the beginning of the conflict believing that such cotton drought would force Britain into the conflict. Historian Thomas E. Schott wrote that Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens “did not agree with those urging destruction of cotton as an instrument of foreign policy to force recognition from the European powers. After raising an abundance of provisions for home consumption and the army, the more cotton the South could raise the better, he believed. For cotton meant foreign credit; its destruction would only force England to find other sources.”8 Kennedy wrote: “Stephens had insufficiently assessed the relationship between supply and demand. The Southern states had shipped so much cotton between 1858 and 1861 that the British millers had a huge backlog of finished cloth on hand.” Kennedy wrote: “In 1861, the South tested that proposition by withholding its cotton in a neo-Embargo that merely completed the effects of a Northern blockade. The Confederate Vice President, Alexander Stephens, watched cotton pile up on the wharves and assured his compatriots that ‘our cotton is…the tremendous lever by which we will work our destiny.’”9 Still, Britain was vulnerable. Walter A. McDougall wrote: “King Cotton was by no means all puff and no fiber in 1862. Nearly one-fifth of England’s families lived off textiles one way or another, and the depletion of inventories from the 1860 bumper crop hurled Lancashire and Liverpool into depression.”10
The Union Navy had a strong economic incentive vigorously to enforce the blockade. Navy officer David Porter wanted cotton seizures to fall under traditional naval prize law. Historian Craig L. Symonds wrote: “Captains on the blockade could, and did, make considerable fortunes seizing blockade runners, and even crewmen on a particularly lucky ship could emerge from the war with substantial nest eggs. There was nothing revolutionary about applying those same laws to captures made on the western rivers. Porter’s order, however, became the subject of criticism not only because Porter himself stood to benefit personally but also because, unlike captures on the high seas, the navy was now competing with the War Department and the Treasury Department.”11 Historian Allen C. Guelzo wrote that Confederate Treasury Secretary “Memminger was not able to ensure a regular means of exporting cotton until 1863, when the Confederate Congress acted to regulate the blockade-runners.”12
By then, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had undermined Confederate sympathies in the British government. Throughout the Civil War, President Lincoln was concerned about public opinion in Great Britain – and how to use that public opinion to keep the country’s leaders from aiding the Confederacy. In January 1863, Lincoln wrote the Working-Men of Manchester: “I have understood well that the duty of self-preservation rests solely with the American people.”13 In late May 1861, Seward sent instructions which Lincoln had diplomatically altered. Meanwhile, Seward worked to separate European diplomats so that they could not gang up on the embattled American government.
Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner was even better traveled in Europe and had even better contacts in England than did Seward (whom Sumner would probably liked to have replaced). Historian Richard J. Carwardine noted that President Lincoln “benefited from regular discussions with Sumner, whose friendship with the English Liberal reformers, John Bright and Richard Cobden, made the senator a barometer of British opinion.”14 Sumner was particularly useful in November-December 1861 when Anglo-American confrontation developed after a U.S. Navy ship commanded by Captain Charles Wilkes halted a British mail packet, the Trent, removed and subsequently imprisoned two Confederate agents bound for Europe. The British government charged that international law had been violated and that war might ensue if the U.S. did not release the Confederates. Public opinion in the North strongly supported the seizure, but the British position appeared to be right under the law.
President Lincoln never had the opportunity to get to know the aging British prime minister, Viscount Henry Palmerston or the prickly British foreign secretary, Lord John Russell. Both took a strong position against the U.S. during the Trent affair – but their position was softened by Prince Albert, then on his deathbed. Nevertheless, strong ultimatums were sent to the American government. Lincoln biographer Michael Burlingame wrote: “When the British first learned of Wilkes’s act more than two weeks afterward, their indignation knew no bounds. The Union Jack had been insulted! The outraged prime minister, Lord Palmerston, allegedly exclaimed to his cabinet: ‘I don’t know whether you are going to stand for this, but I’ll be damned if I do!’”15 The final ultimatum was received by the Lincoln Administration on December 23. On Christmas Day, the Lincoln cabinet met and Seward’s preference for an apology triumphed. “Seward was able to convince Lincoln that releasing them was the best way to avoid war with Great Britain,” wrote historian John Wickre16. Assistant Secretary of War Frederick Seward recalled:
After the other gentlemen had retired, the President said: ‘Governor Seward, you will go on, of course, preparing your answer, which, as I understand, will state the reasons why they ought to be given up. Now I have a mind to try my hand at stating the reasons why they ought not to be given up. We will compare the points on each side.”
My father heartily assented. The mutual confidence between the two had now grown so great, that each felt the other would ask approval of nothing that was not sound.
On the next day the Cabinet reassembled. The Secretary of State again read his reply. There were some expressions of regret that the step was necessary, but it was adopted without a dissenting voice. The council broke up reassured on the point that war with England was averted, but not without misgivings as to the temper in which the people would receive the decision. The President expressed his approval.
When the others were gone, my father alluded to their conversation of the day before. ‘You thought you might frame an argument for the other side?’ Mr. Lincoln smiled and shook his head. ‘I found I could not make an argument that would satisfy my own mind,’ he said, ‘and that proved to me your ground was the right one.’
This was characteristic of Lincoln. Presidents and kings are not apt to see flaws in their own arguments. But fortunately for the Union, it had a President at this time who combined a logical intellect with an unselfish heart.17
Anglo-American relations remained difficult for the rest of the war – exacerbated by the drought of cotton for British factories caused by a Union blockade of the South and by British manufacture of ships designed to break that blockade and threaten northern shipping. Canada also played an important role in Anglo-American relations during the Civil War. Clarifying the Union determination to eliminate slavery was vital to keeping Britain out of the Civil War. So was the growing belief in Britain that the Union would prevail. Canadian abolitionist Alexander Milton Ross wrote of a White House meeting: “The conversation then turned on the attitude of England toward the Free States in their contest with the slaveholders. One gentleman remarked that he was surprised to see so many manifestations of unfriendliness on the part of the English and Canadian people, and asked me how I accounted for it. I replied, ” How can you expect it otherwise, when there exists in your Northern States so much diversity
The unfriendly expressions of an English statesman, or the avowed hostility of a few English and Canadian papers, arc noted by you with painful surprise, while the treasonable utterances and acts of some of your own political leaders and people are quite overlooked. Besides, you cannot expect the sympathy of Canadians in your behalf, while you display such an utter disregard for the rights and liberties of your own citizens, as I witnessed in this city yesterday.” Mr. Lincoln asked to what I alluded ? 1 replied, ” A United States Marshal passed through Washington, yesterday, having in his charge a coloured man, whom he was taking back to Virginia under your Fugitive Slave Law. The man had escaped from his master—who is an open rebel—and fled to Wilmington. Delaware, where he was arrested, and taken hack into slavery.”18
Over the next eight decades, the United States and Great Britain often cooperated, but underlying doubts and suspicions remained. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s early image of Prime Minister Winston Churchill was formed second hand – although the two leaders had met briefly at the end of World War I. Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins observed that “originally Roosevelt was so uncertain about him that when Churchill was asked to form a government in 1940 the President asked several associates what kind of a man he really was.”19 However, noted historian David Dilks, FDR said in early 1940 “that he thought [Neville] Chamberlain and Churchill were the only two in the British government who really saw the magnitude of the problem ahead and that ‘Churchill was tight most of the time’.”20 That view of a supposedly inebriated Churchill was an opinion that FDR apparently shared with Adolph Hitler, who nurtured a rabid hatred of Churchill. FDR’s early British “emissary, Sumner Welles, reported in February 1940 that he had been to see Churchill at the Admiralty and found him drunk at 5 p.m. On learning of his appointment as Prime Minister Roosevelt commented that he ‘supposed Churchill was the best man England had, even if he was drunk half of his time.’” FDR had the foresight, however, to use two men – Averell Harriman and Harry Hopkins – as his eyes and ears in Britain during 1941. Churchill knew how to appeal to their hearts and minds. Historian Paul Addison wrote: “When he was entertaining important American visitors, Churchill was the most generous and flattering of hosts and one of the most persuasive of propagandists – but he too was susceptible to charm offensives.”21
In 1940, American public opinion opposed American involvement during a second world war and Roosevelt was in the middle of a difficult election campaign. He wanted to support the British war effort without alienating American isolationists. FDR overestimated his own understanding of war strategy. President Roosevelt complained to Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr. about British strategy in mid-1941: “I know South Germany, because I bicycled over every foot of it when I was a child and there is a town every ten miles. I have suggested to the English again and again if they sent a hundred planes over Germany for military objectives that ten of them should bomb some of the smaller towns that have never been bombed before. There must be some kind of factory in every town. That is the only way to break German morale.”22 Roosevelt overestimated the impact of imprecise aerial bombing – as the both the British and Americans would also do for much of the war against Germany.
President Roosevelt has specifically sought out First Lord of the Admiralty Churchill as a correspondent-informant on September 11, 1939: “It is because you and I occupied similar positions in the World War that I want you to know how glad I am that you are back again in the Admiralty. Your problems are, I realize, complicated by new factors but the essential is not very different. What I want you and the Prime Minister to know is that I shall at all times welcome it if you will keep me in touch personally with anything you want me to know about.”23 Churchill biographer William Manchester wrote: “In bypassing No. 10 Downing Street, the Foreign Office, and his own embassy in London, the president had established a direct tie with the only man, in his view who could save Europe from Hitler. And since Roosevelt had made this extraordinary move entirely on his own, Churchill was the passive partner in the establishment of the most momentous relationship in his life.”24 Once established, Churchill was anxious to use the new channel from one “former naval person” to another. Historian David Dutton observed that “the actual relationship between the two men began more tentatively than Churchill implies in his memoirs, and was never as warm on Roosevelt’s side as on Churchill’s.”25 Churchill once told Anthony Eden in 1942: “My whole system is based on friendship with Roosevelt.”26 Historian Robin Edmonds wrote: “Churchill himself remarked that he had wooed Stalin as a young man might woo a maid, and that no lover had ever studied every whim of his mistress as he had those of Roosevelt. The style of the attitude that he adopted towards Stalin was indeed as nothing by comparison with the degree of deference that he practiced in almost all his exchanges with Roosevelt.”27 Churchill’s son Randolph recalled being asked to read the newspapers to the new primer minister while he shaved in May 1940. “After two or three minutes of hacking away, he half turned and said: ‘I think I see my way through.” Asked what he meant, Churchill “flung his Valet razor into the basin, swung around and said: “Of course I mean we can beat them.’” When asked how, Churchill responded: “I shall drag the United States in.”28
The Anglo-American relationship changed markedly after Churchill became prime minister, wrote John Colville: “Although [Ambassador Joseph] Kennedy was now a less infrequent visitor, the main channel of business was direct from No. 10 to the White House. Kennedy’s pessimism increased. On 27 May, Lord Lothian, the British Ambassador in Washington, reported a conversation with the President from which he deduced that if Britain really was in extremis the United States would enter the war. Kennedy for his part, assuming the role of Cassandra, sent home nothing but prophecies of woe; but fortunately his second-in-command at the Embassy, the steadfast, loveable and unpretentious Herschel Johnson, was unrattled by the crescendo of disaster to the allied cause and maintained an attitude of commendable firmness.”29
Churchill was at his most seductive when dealing with Harry Hopkins, the Roosevelt colleague and former secretary of commerce who was key to America’s relationship to Churchill’s government even as he was dying a slow death from stomach cancer. (Most of Hopkins’ stomach had been surgically removed in 1939. Hopkins would die in January 1946.) Brendan Bracken helped convinced Churchill that he needed to woo Hopkins; one they were introduced, Churchill needed no further persuasion. One Churchill aide observed that Churchill “gets on like a house afire with Hopkins, who is a dear, & is universally liked.”30 General Hastings Ismay noted: “Hopkins stayed in England for nearly three weeks, instead of the one week which had been his original intention. He accompanied Churchill on many other visits and spent a lot of his time at Chequers. The only corner in which he could keep warm was the gentlemen’s cloakroom, and I often found him there muffled up in his greatcoat, sadly reading his papers.”31 Although supportive of Churchill at the beginning of World War II, Hopkins by 1943 took more purely American positions characteristic of General George C. Marshall and President Roosevelt. By 1944, the sickly Hopkins had remarried and moved out of the White House, annoying Roosevelt and lessening Hopkin’s interactions with the president. Hopkins had become a liability because of a press campaign against his supposed excesses; his influence on Roosevelt’s global strategy declined along with his health. In a conversation at Chequers in January 1941, Churchill delivered an eloquent, impromptu discussion of British goals for the benefit of Harry Hopkins:
We seek no treasure, we seek no territorial gains, we seek only the right of man to be free; we seek his rights to worship his God, to lead his life in his own way, secure from persecution. As the humble labourer returns from his work when the day is done, and sees the smoke curling upwards from his cottage home in the serene evening sky, we wish him to know that no rat-a-tat-tat – here he rapped on the table – of the secret police upon his door will disturb his leisure or interrupt his rest. We seek government with the consent of the people, man’s freedom to say what he will, and when he thinks himself injured, to find himself equal in the eyes of the law. But war aims other than that we have none.32
“Hopkins’ relationship with Churchill,” remembered Averell Harriman, “was so deeply rooted in mutual respect and warm affection that he could say pointed things, in his uniquely humorous way, without arousing the Prime Minister’s resentment.”33 In the Churchill’s correspondence with Hopkins, he could strip out the niceties he employed with other senior American officials and be blunt and direct. For example, in a memo to Hopkins on September 4, 1942, Churchill complained about U.S. planning for Operation Torch in North Africa: “Frankly, I do not understand what is at the back of all this. I thought there was agreement with [George C.] Marshall and that [Ernest] King had been paid off with what he needed with his Pacific war. But now it seems there is a bad come-back from the professional circles in the American Army, and I have a deep and growing fear that the whole of the President’s enterprise may be wrecked bit by bit.”34 In his relations with the United States, Churchill’s reputation often preceded him – raising hackles of American Anglophobes even before the prime minister arrived or talked. They were suspicious of the crafty Brit who would manipulate and divert American resources. The Americans were right to do so. Churchill was crafty, and he was determined to work a charm offensive in pursuit of military assistance.
The Anglo-American relationship was dramatically aided by a man Churchill did not much like or respect – Field Marshall John Dill, the one-time chief of the Imperial General Staff, who became a vital liaison to the American chiefs of staff in Washington, DC. Marshall biographer Leonard Moseley wrote that in 1940-41 Dill’s “quiet, almost supercilious manner had…grated on the more flamboyant premier, who always used to feel that Dill was sneering at him (‘Dill’s veinegar,’ he called it), and he had demanded his resignation and posted him to Washington, just to be rid of him. It turned out that quite inadvertently he had made a brilliant appointment.”35 As FDR wrote Churchill after Dill’s death in 1944, “Sir John Dill rendered both our countries a great service,” especially as Dill and U.S. Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall became good friends.36
There were impediments to a close Anglo-American relationship. Churchill’s dedication to the British monarchy ran against the American grain. Even wife Clementine called her husband : “Monarchical No. 1.”37 Furthermore, Churchill “was a totally committed imperialist. He had ridden in the charge of the imperial cavalry at Omdurman, and he had served with distinction as Colonial Secretary. By the time of the Second World War, in late middle age, he had lost none of the fervour of his Victorian childhood,” contended historian Norman Davies. “Hypocrisy on this topic was rife. And the USA was no better than its European partners.”38
Americans constantly were worried about being seduced by this British imperialist. There were a number of Churchill-skeptics in Washington. The temperamental American Admiral Ernest King, chief of Naval Operations, was not a fan of Britain, Churchill or the European theater of war operations. Eleanor Roosevelt was a fan of Churchill, but she did not trust him nor did she approve of his world view. “I like Mr. Churchill, he’s loveable & emotional & very human, but I don’t want him to write the peace or carry it out,” she wrote in 1942.39 When she visited Britain in October 1943, she clashed with Churchill over Spain at a dinner in London. Clementine diplomatically broke up the discussion.
Still, the pursuit of Anglo-American cooperation brought out the best in the British prime minister. When Churchill visited his Washington, DC in December 1941, his physician, Dr. Charles Wilson, noted: “For the first time, I have seen Winston content to listen. You could almost feel the importance he attaches to bringing the President along with him, and in that good cause he has become a very model of restraint and self-discipline; it is surely a new Winston who is sitting there quite silent. And when he does say anything it is always something likely to fall pleasantly on the President’s ear.”40 Historian Eric Larrabee wrote: “Churchill would have been less than human not to have judges some of his own gifts the greater, and if nothing else, his command of language touched a nerve of envy in Roosevelt. ‘Who writes Winston’s speeches?’ was the first question he asked Hopkins on the latter’s return from London in early 1941, and Hopkins hated to have to tell him that Winston did.” Larrabee noted: “Churchill was not overly interested in what other people thought, as to a high degree was Roosevelt, who weighed each phrase in a speech for its probably impact.”41
“Like most friends, Churchill and Roosevelt were sometimes affectionate, sometimes cross, alternately ready to die for or murder the other. But each helped make what the other did possible,” argued biographer Jon Meacham.42 Churchill and Roosevelt genuinely liked each other – Churchill worked tirelessly to cultivate the relationship. Historian Norman Davies noted that Churchill “had practised democratic politics for nearly forty years. He had the constitution of a horse, a head for hard liquor, and a fearless disregard for the quirks of fortune. Psychologically, he was a fighter, a man who could not be bullied, who freely chose his ever more dominant partner. Roosevelt was far more devious, an adept at political marketing, a smooth-talking operator who, by the time of his third term, was confident of his historic mission to bring the USA from Depression to world dominance.”43 On March 18, 1945, Churchill wrote President Roosevelt: “Our friendship is the rock on which I build for the future of the world so long as I am one of the builders.”44 When FDR died less than a month later, Churchill wrote Mrs Roosevelt: “I have lost a dear and cherished friendship which was forged in the fire of war. I trust you may find consolation in the magnitude of his work and the glory of his name.”45
“Britain was fortunate that, despite the undoubted presence of some Anglophobes in the higher reaches of the American Army and Navy Departments, the President and US Army Chief of Staff were not of their number,” observed historian Andrew Roberts.46 Throughout World War II, Churchill nurtured relationships with a series of influential Americans – Harry Hopkins, Averell Harriman, Gil Winant, but none so energetically as he nurtured his relationship with FDR. Still, the other Americans played important roles. Churchill aide John Colville wrote that U.S. Ambassador “Winant was self-effacing, though proud that he was generally said to look like Abraham Lincoln. His modesty disguised the courage of a lion, physical as well as moral.” He was a frequent visitor to Chequers. Colville wrote: “With his quiet voice, his courtesy, his liking for people and willingness to concentrate on their interests, he became and remained a personal friend of the Churchills, their children and their whole entourage.”47 Colville added that Winant’s “popularity with Churchill did nothing to prevent his fighting for the American point of view when it conflicted with British intentions.”48
Harriman won over even Randolph Churchill. In July 1941, Randolph wrote of the American who had an affair with his wife: “I have been tremendously impressed by Harriman, and can well understand the regard which you have for him. In 10 very full and active days he has definitely become my favourite American. He seems to me to possess a quite extraordinary maturity of judgment that is almost on a par with FE [Smith]’s. He got down to work here with amazing ease and sure footedness, and has won the confidence of everyone he met. I have become very intimate with him and he has admitted me to all the business he has transacted. I am sure you would do well to back his opinions on the situation out here to the limit.”49 Elie Abel wrote that “Harriman’s instinct…was that the Prime Minister should be giving out more information [to FDR], not less….There were disagreements…with Ambassador Winant over how much bad news President Roosevelt should be told. Churchill at times consulted both Americans before sending Roosevelt messages describing the gravity of Britain’s situation and the urgent need for help. Winant tended to favor caution, the qualified opinion, the tentative statement of fact. Harriman, on the other hand, was for clear, blunt statements of the actual situation, no matter how distressing.”50
Churchill clearly understood the enmity with which some members of the Roosevelt administration like Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Secretary of War Henry Stimson, and Admiral Ernest King held for himself and Britain. As counterweights, Churchill assiduously cultivated Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and George C. Marshall. In July 1945, Churchill described Marshall as “the noblest Roman of them all. Congress always did what he advised.”51 Though Eisenhower and Marshall liked and respected Churchill, they also were wary of his persuasive powers and strategic perspectives.
Before the Placentia Conference in August 1941, Churchill asked Hopkins, who was traveling with him about the HMS Prince of Wales, “I wonder if he will like me?” Churchill need not have worried. “The President is intrigued and likes him enormously,” reported Averell Harriman.52 During the meeting between Roosevelt, Churchill and their advisors off Newfoundland, President Roosevelt privately declared: “I do not intend to declare war: I intend to wage it.”53 Historian Michael Fullilove noted: “Churchill had hoped that the president would use the meeting at sea to announce a dramatic escalation of US. Involvement in the war. But FDR remained as cautious as ever, determined to retain his flexibility and avoid any charges of making undertakings without congressional approval.”54 Roosevelt’s efforts – until the Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor on December7, 1941 – were constrained by American public opinion and congressional resistance. FDR’s problems never stopped Churchill from pressing him for more assistance. Churchill well knew that American aid and military intervention was the indispensable requirement for defeat of Nazi Germany; he was determined to go the extra mile to get it. Historian Eric Larrabee noted: “The whims of fortune contrived…that Churchill again and again should be asking impossible things of Roosevelt.”55
Churchill aide John Colville wrote of the Churchill-Roosevelt relationship: “The first period was one of discovery, daring and venture. It was also one in which Roosevelt’s idealism was clear-sighted. He was well aware that least four out of five Americans were unwilling to be involved in what they saw as the quarrel of European states, the very lands from which their ancestors had fled in search of freedom and prosperity. He was equally aware that the Nazi threat was of greater than local significance and that when Hitler said, ‘Today Germany is ours: tomorrow the whole world,’ America was embraced in the threat.”56 A fair amount of obfuscation was needed at the outset of the conflict – such as when in February 1941, Churchill asserted of the Lend-Lease agreement still pending in Congress: “Give us your faith and your blessing and under Providence all will be well. We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tie. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.”57 The truth was that Britain desperately needed the United States to enter the war and there was no way to win the war short of full American participation. Stating that at the time, however, would have killed Lend-Lease.
Generally, FDR was a font of optimism. Churchill said that “to encounter Roosevelt, with all his buoyant sparkle, his iridescent personality, and his sublime confidence, was like opening your first bottle of champagne. That physical effect it had on you was like the effect champagne had.”58 Historian Max Hastings observed: “Roosevelt, like his people, regarded the future without fear. Optimism lay at the heart of his genius as U.S. national leader through the Depression. Churchill, by contrast, was full of apprehension about the threats a new world posed to Britain’s greatness.” Hastings wrote that “while Churchill had a quixotic strand of personal humility intermixed with his vanity, Roosevelt had none. His faith in his own power, as well as that of his nation, was unbounded.”59 Churchill believed in personal, face-to-face diplomacy: “My relations with the President gradually became so close that the chief business between our two countries was virtually conducted by these personal interchanges between him and me.”60 There were ten summits during World War II – all involving Churchill, two involving Stalin and nine involving Roosevelt. Historian Andrew Roberts noted: “Churchill and Roosevelt spent 120 days – over four months – in each other’s company on nine separate occasions during the four years in which they were allies during the Second World War. Overall, considering how much more the United States was contributing to the war effort than Britain in terms of men, money and matériel by the autumn of 1942, it is impressive how often Churchill managed to get his way in the great strategic issues that faced the Western allies.”61 At the Quebec summit in September 1944, Churchill declared: “Our affairs are so intermingled, our troops are fighting in the line together, and our plans for the future are so interwoven that it is not possible to conduct these great affairs and to fulfil these large, combined plans without frequent meetings between the principals, between the heads of the Governments, and also between the high officers on each side. It is nearly nine months since we were together in Cairo, and I felt that a further Conference was much overdue.”62
There were limits to even Churchill’s rhetorical power in dealing with Americans. Churchill’s speech at the U.S. Capitol in December 1941 might have converted Congress, but it did not necessarily convert the entire country. “I have a long talk with [CBS broadcaster] Ed Murrow, who has just returned after three months in the United States,” wrote MP Harold Nicolson in May 1942. “He says that the anti-British feeling is intense. I ask him why. He says partly the hard-core of anglophobes (Irish, Italians, Germans and isolationists); partly the frustration produced by war without early victory; partly our bad behaviour at Singapore; and partly the tendency common to all countries at war to blame their allies for doing nothing.”63
The prime minister stayed in North America for a month in December 1941 and January 1942. FDR was impressed by his guest, “prais[ing] his rugged, bold approach to the problems of the war.”64 Churchill wrote wife Clementine: “All is very good indeed; and my plans are going through. The Americans are magnificent in their breadth of view.”65 Actually, Churchill’s long work hours exhausted the president and he was glad to see the prime minister to take a short Florida vacation from his endless round of Washington meetings. Churchill aide John Martin wrote: “It wasn’t always sunny or warm, though on our first morning I had to buy some exotic clothes because my ordinary ones were much too hot; but the sea was always hot and we had marvellous bathing, sometimes in surf against which it was hardly possible to stand upright. We were closely guarded by Secret Service men and, though the Press soon scented our presence, we were not molested in any way. The story was put about that a Mr Lobb, an invalid requiring quiet, was staying in the house and, to explain my untransatlantic accents when answering the phone, I was his English butler.”66 Winston Churchill was completely unselfconscious about his body. He told his bodyguard that he wanted to go swimming. The bodyguard asked if he needed for him to get Churchill a swimsuit. “I don’t think I need one,” said Churchill. “It is entirely private here. Nobody knows I am staying at this place and I have only to step out of the back door into the sea.” When the bodyguard suggested that he might be spotted through binoculars, Churchill responded: “If they are that much interested it is their own fault what they see.”67 Churchill was equal unselfconscious of his naked body in the presence of the American president.
Reporting to the War Cabinet upon his return to England, Churchill said that FDR’s words on leaving Washington were: “Trust me to the bitter end.”68 Roosevelt had an ego unimpaired by the polio that paralyzed his lower body. In March 1942, FDR wrote: “I know that you will not mind my being brutally frank when I tell you that I think I can personally handle Stalin better than either your Foreign Office or my State Department. Stalin hates the guts of all your top people. He thinks he likes me better, and I hope he will continue to do so.”69 At that point, Roosevelt had not even met Stalin. Like Churchill, FDR was driven by his own self-confidence. General Leslie Hollis recalled “how Churchill would suddenly decide to speak to the President, regardless of what hour it might be in Washington. In his slippers with pom-poms, wearing his magnificent mandarin dressing-gown embroidered in red and gold dragons, the belt pulled tightly around him, his cigar clamped like some miniature torpedo between his teeth, he would stump along the corridor towards the telephone” closet with a direct line to the White House.”70
Churchill was successful in convincing FDR and General Marshall that the Allies should pursue a Germany-first strategy. Such a strategy was also important to Josef Stalin who was desperate for a second front in Western Europe to relieve the German pressure in Russia. Historian Richard Holmes wrote: “At the heart of the US war effort was a struggle between competing services, with the dice loaded against [George] Marshall by the difficulty of persuading US public opinion that defeating Germany was more important than punishing Japan as the enemy who had attacked first, as well as by the pronounced bias of FDR, who tended to refer to the navy as ‘us’ and the army as ‘them.’ Politically, Marshall could only maintain ‘Germany first’ against the rival claims of the US Navy and of [General Douglas] MacArthur in the Pacific by making Europe the major theatre of war as soon as possible.”71
“A fundamental doctrinal divide persisted throughout the war: the British liked minor operations, while the Americans, with the marginal exception of MacArthur, did not.” wrote historian Max Hastings.72 The American hedgehog, by late 1943, had “lost faith in his strategic judgment,” wrote Hastings. But he noted that until then, Churchill’s “strategic judgement had been superior to that of America’s Chiefs of Staff. Hereafter, however, his vision became increasingly clouded and the influence of his country waned.”73 May 1942 was a critical turning point in the development of a war strategy – but also in developing future conflicts between the Churchill and Roosevelt government. U.S. military leaders thought they had prevailed in establishing the priority of an invasion of western France. General Ismay wrote “This misunderstanding was destined to have unfortunate results. For, when we had to tell them, after the most thorough study of SLEDEGHAMMER, that we were after the most thorough study of SLEDGEHAMMER, that we were absolutely opposed to it, they felt that we had broken faith with them. Worse still, they got it into their heads that our opposition to SLEDGEHAMMER would later extend to ROUND-UP [eventually D-Day] as well. They suspected that we were haunted by memories of the carnage of Passchendaele and the Somme [from World War I] and that we would always shrink from undertaking an assault on Fortress Europe. This suspicion persisted for a long time, and lay at the root of many future misunderstandings.”74
“The Americans, including Roosevelt, Stimson and Marshall, had little sympathy for Churchill’s arguments,” wrote historian Geoffrey Hodson. “Indeed, they tended to caricature them. His adherence to the traditional strategy of sea power against the land power they saw as timidity. His determination to avoid the slaughter of the Wester Front they interpreted as weakness, even cowardice. His concern with Britain’s strategic interests in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe they brushed aside with statements that they were determined not to fight for Britain’s empire.”75 General Ismay wrote of the June 1942 Anglo-American deliberations in Washington: “It had been intensely interesting to see Roosevelt and Churchill together at close quarters. There was something so intimate in their friendship. They used to stroll in and out of each other’s rooms in the White House, as two subalterns occupying adjacent quarters might have done. Both of them had the spirit of eternal youth.”76
In June 1942, Secretary of War Henry Stimson wrote a tough memo to FDR in support of Operation Bolero, which involved building up American troop strength in Britain in preparation for an invasion of Europe (initially Operation Roundup). Stimson and McGeorge Bundy recalled: “On June 21 there was ‘a good deal of pow-wow and a rumpus up at the White House.’ Stimson was not there, but he got a full report from Marshall. It appeared that the Prime Minister, who had never really liked BOLERO, was particularly disturbed by some casual remarks the President had made to Lord [Richard] Mountbatten some time earlier about the possibility of having to make a ‘sacrifice’ cross-Channel landing in 1942 to help the Russians. ‘According to Marshall, Churchill started out with a terrific attack on BOLERO as we had expected….The President, however, stood pretty firm, I found out afterwards through Harry Hopkins that he [the President] showed my letter, with which Harry said he had been much pleased, to the Prime Minister. I had not anticipated that because I said some very plain things in it about the British. Finally, with the aid of Marshall who came into the conversation as a reserve after lunch, the storm was broken and, according to Harry Hopkins, Marshall made a very powerful argument for BOLERO, disposing of all the clouds that had been woven about it by the Mountbatten incident. At any rate towards the end it was agreed that we should go ahead full blast on BOLERO until the first of September.”77
There were continuing deep rifts between the British and American governments in the final two years of World War II. Historian Richard Holmes wrote that “US officials often [put] the worst possible construction of all British initiatives in order to offset the perceived bias of their President. It was an article of faith at the US Military and Naval Academies that the British were creatures of infinite cunning, against whom all Americans must be constantly on their guard.”78 Churchill of course was the most devious of all. But the dilemma was that Americans were the more powerful. Historian Norman Rose wrote: “Galling as it was for Churchill, the Second World War tightened America’s grip on Britain’s fortunes. There was little he could do, except protest. And he did protest, most vigorously, whenever the Americans provoked him – which – was quite often! He saw ‘impossible situations’ when negotiating the ‘destroyers for bases’ deal. He detected ‘vainglorious ambitions’ as a bitter dispute flare up over post-war civil aviation rights. The questions of colonial trusteeship remained a running sore, masking, so Churchill suspected, American imperial aspirations. Nor was Roosevelt’s impudent suggestion that Britain return Hong Kong to China received graciously.”79 By the time of the Cairo conference in late November 1943, FDR’s deference to Churchill had clearly disappeared and he had adopted some of the anti-British sentiments and suspicions of his subordinates. “Winston,” he said at one point, “you have four hundred years of acquisitive instinct in your blood and you just don’t understand how a country might not want to acquire land somewhere if they can get it. A new period has opened in the world’s history and you will have to adjust yourself to it.”80 Churchill thought U.S. global ambitions less innocent than did FDR.
American leaders believed themselves generally more globally acceptable and less disliked than the British. Having in the spring of 1942 opposed Allied operations in North Africa, American leaders switched gears and wanted both to direct and dominate the fall 1942 invasion – believing that the French were more likely to cooperate with Americans than with the British. “I feel very strongly that the initial attacks must be made by an exclusively American ground force supported by your naval and transport and air units,” FDR wired Churchill on August 31.81 Meeting with FDR, General Eisenhower recalled that FDR “told of instances of disagreement with Mr. Churchill, but earnestly and almost emotionally said, ‘No one could have a better or sturdier ally than that old Tory!’”82 Eisenhower himself was the glue that held working Anglo-American relationships together in 1943-45. General Hastings Ismay wrote of Eisenhower who had to deal with such diverse personalities as Generals George Patton and Bernard Montgomery: “There may have been other American or British generals who could have wrought this miracle of co-operation, but I cannot name them.”83
Churchill and Roosevelt evaluated nations and leaders very differently. The president was dismissive of France and Charles de Gaulle. Churchill was dismissive of China and Chiang Kai-shek; the prime minister viewed China as “very over-rated.”84 Both Roosevelt and Churchill were wrong. Like Churchill, Roosevelt made his share of off-the-wall proposals – including his suggestion for an all-railroad invasion of Germany in late 1943. FDR did not share Churchill’s interest in central and eastern Europe. Churchill did not share FDR’s preoccupation with China. Both were sometimes short-sighted. Historian John Lukacs wrote: “It was in relation to Russia and to postwar Europe that Churchill’s and Roosevelt’s views diverged considerably, even though often Churchill tried not to emphasize them unduly, not even after the war.”85 Harold Macmillan wrote on December 26, 1944 regarding Greece: “He made it clear that Stalin had agreed to British intervention. And he went a long way to suggest that Roosevelt had also agreed – as indeed he did in August, and if we could publish his telegram to Winston it would indeed make the Americans look foolish (the President has left us down badly, and Winston is very hurt about it).”86
Managing U.S. civil and military authorities complicated Churchill’s life. Sometimes, he wearied of the effort. On March 4, 1944, Churchill wrote Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden: “I cannot believe any of these telegrams come from the President. They are merely put before him when he is fatigued and pushed upon us by those who are pulling him about. The main thing is to tell Ambassador Halifax to be calm and phlegmatic, and if anything is running rather loose, let it flap and break if necessary, and let us see what happens. All this frantic dancing to the American tune is silly. They are only busy about their own affairs and the more immobile we remain the better. My recommendation is to let it all rip for a bit.’”87
Churchill biographer Martin A. Gilbert wrote that in late 1944, “The dispute over Greece marked a low point in Churchill’s relations with the President. Particularly upsetting to Churchill was that Roosevelt no longer seemed to be taking an active interest in the daily demands, and disputes, of war making.”88 The crisis brought a new rush of criticism of Churchill’s leadership. H.G. Wells castigated Churchill’s efforts in Greece: “His ideology, picked up in the garrison life of India, on the reefs of South Africa, the maternal home and conversation of wealthy Conservative households, is a pitiable jumble of incoherent nonsense. A boy scout is better equipped. He has served his purpose and it is high time he retired upon his laurels before we forget the debt we owe him. His last associations with the various European Royalties who share his belief in the invincible snobbishness of mankind and are now sneaking back to claim the credit and express their condescending approval of the underground resistance movements that have sustained human freedom through its days of supreme danger, are his final farewell to human confidence.”89
Churchill and Roosevelt also differed on their strategic analysis of the Mediterranean where the British saw key opportunities to undermine Hitler from a position of strength and where the Americans saw a diversion from the strategic imperative of invading France. Churchill was right that opening the Italian front diverted German forces from other fronts. He was wrong about the opportunity it presented, given its difficult terrain. Italy was not the “soft underbelly of the Axis” as Churchill maintained.90 Indeed, Italy did not provide the highway to the Balkans and Vienna that the prime minister hoped. Churchill’s wide-ranging mind was a source of his strength, but it was also a source of his political weakness in 1943-1945 as Americans were increasingly able to interpret his penchant to develop military operations for the Mediterranean as a diversion from what they saw both preferable and necessary. Historian Maxwell Philip Schoenfeld wrote: “Churchill’s enthusiasm for British operations in the Mediterranean so soon after these events leaves one reduced to speculation. Given the Prime Minister’s capacity to carry in his head simultaneous themes and plans (Not always fully coordinated with each other but to be pushed forward as the opportunity permitted), it is always difficult to pronounce judgment on what held the position of primacy.”91 Schoenfeld wrote that in 1943, Churchill “perhaps was seeking not just cheap victories in the Mediterranean but also particularly British ones.”92
Churchill, who often brushed aside impediments raised by his own generals, himself raised possible impediments to Operation Overlord, the planned 1944 invasion of France. Even Churchill’s friends were alienated by his continuing skepticism about the wisdom of an Allied invasion of France. General Ismay wrote: “The Prime Minister, as soon as he returned from Marrakesh, decided that he would preside over a weekly conference on OVERLORD preparations. There was no limit to the range of problems which had to settled. On one day it might be a shortage of tugs; on another, it might be the bombing policy to be followed in the pre-OVERLORD period; on yet another construction of the various component parts of the artificial harbours. But whatever the problem the Chairman’s fiery energy and undisputed authority dominated the proceedings.”93
General Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote in Crusade in Europe: “In all conferences Mr. Churchill clearly and concretely explained his attitude toward and his hopes for Overlord. He gradually became more optimistic than he had earlier been, but he still refused to let his expectations completely conquer his doubts. More than once he said, ‘General, if by the coming winter you have established yourself with your thirty-six Allied divisions firmly on the Continent, and have the Cherbourg and Brittany peninsulas in your grasp, I will proclaim this operation to the world as one of the most successful of the war.’ And then he would add, ‘And if, in addition to this, you have secured the port at Le Havre and freed beautiful Paris from the hands of the enemy, I will assert the victory to be the greatest of the modern times.’”
“Always I would reply, ‘Prime Minister, I assure you that the coming winter will see the Allied forces on the borders of Germany itself. You are counting only on our presently available thirty-six divisions. We are going to bring in ten additional from the Mediterranean, and through the ports we capture we shall soon begin to rush in an additional forty from the United States.’”
“He doubted that we could get the elbow room to do all this in the summer and fall of 1944 and often observed, ‘All that is for later; my statement still holds.’ In reply to my insistence that the picture painted him was not too rosy, even if the German continued to fight to the bitter end, he would smile and say, ‘My dear general, it is always fine for a leader to be optimistic. I applaud your enthusiasm, but liberate Paris by Christmas and none of us can ask for more.’”94
Paris would be liberated much sooner – in August 1944. Eisenhower wrote: “Any suggestion or intimation of abandoning Overlord could always be guaranteed to bring Marshall and me charging into the breach with an uncompromising, emphatic refusal to consider such an idea for an instant.”95 General Leslie Hollis argued that differences over Overlord reflected different national psyches. “America, a large country, adopted – like a large man – frontal tactics. They wanted quick and terrible hammer blows that would speedily finish the fight…Britain, a small country, with a long history of frequently successful engagements against opponents that could have overwhelmed her with their numbers, adopted – like a small man faced by a large enemy – more subtle tactics.”96 The Brits worried constantly about Overlord. General Alan Brooke pessimistically wrote on June 5: “At best it will fall so very very far short of the expectation of the bulk of the people, namely all those who know nothing of its difficulties,” wrote Brooke in his diary just before the invasion. ‘At the worst it may well be the most ghastly disaster of the whole war. I wish to God it were safely over.”97
But Churchill continued to oppose the planned invasion of southern France as an unnecessary diversion from strategic opportunities in Italy. Historian Andrew Roberts wrote: ”The British were as one in believing that terrain, distance and the German’s defensive tactics meant that Anvil could be safely disengaged from Overlord, with Italy providing fine opportunities for the Allies instead. Churchill and Brooke were never convinced, for the rest of their lives, that Anvil had been worth while.”98 That did not stop Churchill from doing what Eisenhower had prevented him from doing for D-Day – witnessing the invasion from a ship off-shore.
Like Lincoln, Churchill sometimes wrote strong letters – which he later either abandoned or toned down. The strong letters, however, served to release the tension and aggravation they sometimes felt. Churchill did so in July 1944 when he protested FDR’s decision to proceed with Operation Dragon [originally Operation Anvil], the invasion of southern France. Roberts wrote: “Several ferocious messages were evidently composed by the Prime Minister but discarded in early July, and he told the COS, ‘An intense impression must be made upon the Americans that we have been ill-treated and are furious.”99 Churchill interpreter Hugh Lunghi wrote of “the doggedness, the toughness – not without old-world courtesy and magnanimity – with which Churchill fought not just for Britain, but for Poland and France and for small nations too. His private secretary Jock Colville once remarked that the difference between WSC and de Gaulle was that ‘de Gaulle’s loyalty was to France alone; Churchill’s was merely to Britain first.’”100
British historian Andrew Roberts succinctly summarized the differences and wisdom of Allied strategy during World II: “The Americans – who were indeed probably wrong to consider invading France in 1942 or 1943 – were right to insist on doing so by the late spring of 1944. Furthermore the British, who were right to call for the invasion of Italy up to Naples in 1943, were similarly wrong to continue the campaign up to Rome, let alone beyond.”101 General Hastings Ismay wrote that at the Casablanca summit in January 1943, the American chiefs “were united in suspecting that the underlying motive of the British proposals to continue operations in the Mediterranean was to postpone the cross-Channel assault for as long as possible, if not to prevent it altogether. They were conscious of the fact that they themselves were not as yet as a closely-knit team, and that the British were served by a more efficient machine that they as yet had had time to establish. They were nervous that they would be ‘outsmarted.’”102 At Casablanca, Brooke drove through a Mediterranean first strategy.
Churchill had to manipulate the very groups with whom he was often at strategic loggerheads – American military leaders and his own military chiefs – who sharply questioned and denigrated each other’s strategic gifts. With time, Churchill’s influence over military operations steadily diminished – as did his influence over American leaders. Too often, Churchill let his preference for Mediterranean, Italian, and Balkan operations so dominate his arguments that he fed American suspicions about British imperial goals and obstructionism. Mideast advisor Harold Macmillan wrote on November 16, 1943 that Churchill was frustrated by inaction in the Mediterranean: “This, as you probably realise, is due to the extreme rigidity of the Combined Chiefs of Staff system, and of our American allies generally. It is, of course, infuriating for Winston, who feels that all through the war he is fighting like a man with his hand tied behind his back. And yet no one but he (and that only with extraordinary patience and skill) could have enticed the Americans into the European war at all.”103
Churchill had to negotiate strategy with Americans who could be just as difficult as the British. American diplomat Averell Harriman noted that FDR “always enjoyed other people’s discomfort. I think it is fair to say that it never bothered him very much when other people were unhappy.”104 Churchill was a model of collaboration compared to Roosevelt who handled some foreign policy and military questions without informing his own key cabinet members. FDR, for example, deliberately excluded Secretary of State Cordell Hull from attending the Casablanca Conference in January 1943. Historian Andrew Roberts wrote: “If a moment can be pinpointed when the British started to get strategy wrong, and the Americans started to get it right, it came in the fortnight after Tuesday 19 October 1943, when Churchill successfully persuaded Brooke to join him in attempting to postpone Overlord. Small wonder that Roosevelt and Marshall’ lost their patience, with the 150,000 men of the first wave already in full-scale training for the operation.”105
Where the British saw military problems, the Americans saw possibilities. Where Americans saw military problems, the British saw possibilities. The Anglo-American relationship was not easy, particularly concerning the Mediterranean. The allies spoke a common language separated by different cultural sensibilities. Historian Richard Holmes wrote: “Six weeks before D-Day [General George S.] Patton made a speech to a most improbable audience, the Women’s Institute at Knutsford in Cheshire, to the effect that since it was the manifest destiny of the British and Americans to rule the world, they should get to know each other better. Amid much concern about the offence this might give the Russians, Marshall ordered Ike to relieve him of his command. Winston, in contrast, told Ike that ‘he could see nothing in it as Patton had simply told the truth’. He liked nothing better than to remind Americans that Liberal imperialism was still imperialism.”106
Although he was accountable to the War Cabinet and his coalition of Conservatives, Labourites and Liberals in Parliament, Churchill had to give relatively little attention to election concerns during the war until the spring of 1945. His political concerns were primarily external. That was not true of his American allies. Historian David Eisenhower wrote that “the main practical hurdle Roosevelt faced was not keeping the Russians in the war but maintaining congressional support for Europe First through the off-year 1942 elections. Evidently Roosevelt was concerned that without an operation of some kind in progress against the Germans, the election might become a referendum on Europe First.”107 Having brought the U.S. into the war, Churchill did not want to cede control to the U.S. Churchill’s credibility with Americans, however, was undercut by his support of peripheral operations – actions in Norway, the Balkans, and the Greek islands. Churchill opposed the diversion of resources from Italy to an invasion of southern France. Roosevelt dismissed Churchill’s Balkan plans in the June 1944: “I cannot agree to the employment of United States troops into the Balkans…History will never forgive us if we lose precious time and lives in indecision and debate. My dear friend, I beg of you let us go ahead with our plan. Finally, for purely political considerations over here. I should never survive even a slight set-back to Overlord if it were known that fairly large forces had been diverted to the Balkans.”108
Winston Churchill was a proud man. World War II tested his pride. Historian Richard Holmes wrote that Churchill “first played a key role in the building and sustaining a grand alliance of heterogeneous partners, and then entwined the interests of Britain and the USA so closely that the Empire, despite the American desire to sweep it away in favour of a new world order, survived long enough to permit his successors to mount a dignified retreat.”109 The issue of the British Empire hung over the Anglo-American alliance as the Roosevelt Administration was adamant that the war was not purposed to preserve Britain’s colonial empire. “Let me make one thing clear, in case there should be any mistake about it in any quarter,” said Churchill in a speech in early November 1942. “We mean to hold our own. I have not become the King’s First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.” He was in part reacting to a speech by former presidential candidate Wendell Wilkie who had said: “Men and women all over the world are on the march, physically, intellectually, and spiritually. After centuries of ignorant and dull compliance hundreds of millions of people in Eastern Europe and Asia have opened the books. Old fears no longer frighten them. They are no longer willing to be Eastern slaves for Western profits.” Historian Kenneth S. Davis wrote: “This had a shocking effect on American public opinion and was almost universally deplored in the United Kingdom, even by those who shared the Prime Minister’s imperialistic commitments.”110
A particular point of American aggravation was British policy toward India. Churchill had opposed dominion status for India in the early 1930s and he continued to be worried about the potential for religious warfare if India was granted self-government. Historian Robin Edmonds wrote that “pressure on Churchill to improve on the British Government’s existing commitment – to grant Dominion status to India with the least possible delay after the war – mounted, not only in India and inside his own War Cabinet, but also in Washington. In the White House the strategic significance of India was assessed both intrinsically and in relation to China as ‘a question of vital concern to our [American] military and naval interest in the Far East,’ a view for which there was also powerful support in the States Department, especially from Welles.”111
Historian Andrew Roberts wrote that although Churchill may have accommodated himself to the realities of the Anglo-American alliance, the adjustment was difficult. General Alan Brooke noted that by the end of 1943, “new feelings of spitefulness [emerged] which had been apparently lately with Winston since the strength of the American forces were now building up fast and exceeding ours. He hated having to give up the position of the dominant partner which we had held at the start.”112 By 1942, Churchill had gotten his wish – America’s full engagement – but he also gotten American dominance. Churchill “understands fully that he is to play second fiddle in all scores and then only as you direct,” Averell Harriman told FDR.113
“I admired and liked him. He knew this perfectly well and never hesitated to use that knowledge in his effort to swing me to his own line of thought in any argument,” General Dwight D. Eisenhower later wrote of Churchill. The American commander of Allied forces in Europe was one of the Americans that Churchill chose to charm even when he did not agree with Ike. “Yet in spite of his strength of purpose, in those instances where we found our convictions in direct opposition he never once lost his friendly attitude toward me when I persisted in my own course, nor did he fail to respect with meticulous care the position I occupied as the senior American officer and, later, the Allied commander in Europe. He was a keen student of the war’s developments and of military history, and discussions with him, even on purely professional grounds, was never profitless. If he accepted a decision unwillingly he would return again and again to the attack in an effort to have his own way, up to the very moment of execution. But once action was started he had a faculty for forgetting everything in his desire to get ahead, and invariably tried to provide British support in a greater degree than promised. Some of the questions in which I found myself, at various periods of the war, opposed to the Prime Minister were among the most critical I faced, but so long as I was acting within the limits of my combined directive he had no authority to intervene except by persuasion or by complete destruction of the Allied concept. Nevertheless, in countless ways he could have made my task a harder one had he been anything less than big, and I shall always owe him an immeasurable debt of gratitude for his unfailing courtesy and zealous support, regardless of his dislike of some important decisions. He was a great war leader and he is a great man.”114
John Colville recalled that after the war at meeting at Chequers in August 1953, “Churchill and Monty considered that [the Americans] had made four capital mistakes. The first was doing at Anzio what General Stopford did at Suvla Bay in 1915: clinging to the beaches and failing to establish positions inland. The second was insistence on Operation Anvil, the August 1944 landing in the South of France, thus destroying Alexander’s chances of taking Trieste and Vienna. Thirdly, for internal political rather than for strategic reasons, Eisenhower had refused to let Monty concentrate the power of the push eastward from Normandy on the left flank. The decision to make a broad advance across northern France, rather than the concentrated punch on the left that Monty strenuously advocated, had given Rundstedt his chance to counterattack in the Ardennes and had prolonged the war. Finally, they agreed that it had been disastrous to allow the Russians to occupy Berlin, Prague and Vienna, all of which could have been entered first by the Americans.”115
Churchill advisor Harold Macmillan wrote on June 5, 1944: “It is clear that Washington and London are not as close as they were. The honeymoon stage between the President and the Prime Minister is over, and the normal difficulties and divergences, inseparable from staid married life, are beginning to develop.”116 By December 1944, Churchill complained that “it is not so easy as it used to be for me to get things done.”117 Churchill began World War II as the senior partner of the Allied coalition; he ended it very much as a junior partner. In August 1944, Churchill observed: “When I was at Teheran I realized for the 1st time what a very small country this is. On one hand the big Russian bear with its paws outstretched – on the other the great American Elephant – & between them the poor little British donkey – who is the only one that knows the right way home.”118
“There were many elements in Roosevelt’s wish to dissociate himself from Churchill as the war drew on,” wrote historian John Lukacs. “Roosevelt trusted in his own charm: he believed, and said, that he could handle Stalin better than most people, including Churchill. He wanted Stalin to join in the war against Japan. He wanted to avoid any American entanglement in the politics of Central and Eastern Europe. He thought that the American people would not stand for a protracted stay of American troops in Europe after the war. He thought that getting Stalin’s Russia into the United Nations was a great prize.”119 FDR had a naive belief in his being able to handle Stalin. Frances Perkins recalled seeing the exchange “of cables with regard to the American desire that the Russians should join the International Labor Organization. The tone was friendly and personal. When Marshall Stalin indicated in a cable that he wished to postpone action, I suggested to Roosevelt that he press for further consideration and a definite answer.” Roosevelt responded: “No, I don’t want to appear to press him. I like this man and I want to keep on good terms with him.”120
John Colville wrote: “At the second Quebec Conference in September 1944 all appeared serene. Churchill, having lost his battle for the Ljubljana Gap, did not revert to the subject and the Americans were cooperative on other matters, such as the British wish to make changes in the proposed zones of occupation in Germany. Churchill was, as always, delighted with General Marshall, whom he recognized as a man of rare quality.”121 Colville wrote that in “the last eighteen months of Roosevelt’s life, I thought the [previous] open heartedness diminished. By the beginning of 1944, the United States had become the senior partner, even though the British Commonwealth and Empire still had twice as many men in combat with the enemy. Britain had given all she had in five years of war. Her resources were exhausted and it was clear that after the final British effort of sending one million men across the Normandy beaches, almost the entire future supply of material and manpower would have to come from America. The brotherly tone of the President’s messages seemed to change: there were times when I thought others might have drafted them, and this became a certainty after the Second Quebec Conference as Roosevelt grew increasingly frail.”122
The Yalta conference in February 1945 exemplified FDR’s desire to influence Stalin – in part by distancing himself from Churchill. Elie Abel wrote that Roosevelt “put off seeing Churchill alone until the fifth day of the conference. Harriman, who talked with Churchill almost every day, felt that this was a matter of Rooseveltian tactics, not a studied slight to the Prime Minister. The President still believed that Stalin would prove more tractable if the Western powers did not appear to be acting in unison.”123 Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden recalled: “Here was the first of several occasions when the President, mistakenly as I believe, moved out of step with us, influenced by his conviction that he could get better results with Stalin direct than could the three countries negotiating together.”124 A dying FDR was setting his own path that Churchill was not able to alter. Neither Roosevelt or Churchill was up to their usual standards of lucidity at Yalta. FDR deliberately pushed Churchill into the shadows – even while the American leader had difficulty concentrating on the topics at hand. FDR overestimated his ability to charm and coerce Josef Stalin. Churchill aide John Colville wrote that by early 1945: “The State Department, without consultation, published a statement critical of British policy in Greece and Italy. Then came Yalta. Churchill and Eden said privately, on their return, that Roosevelt was a dying man. At Yalta the Americans, under his ineffective chairmanship, had been weak and had thrown away the cards they held. Matters did not improve when, shortly after Yalta, the State Department suggested that the Russians should be consulted about affairs in Greece. Just at a time that a united front was vital, with the postwar dispositions about to be made, a cloud of misunderstanding enveloped London and Washington and on 12 April 1945 Roosevelt died.”125
Churchill’s prolific ideas sometimes annoyed even FDR. He recalled Churchill’s proposal for artificial harbors, telling Frances Perkins that is was “[j]ust one of those brilliant ideas that he has. He has a hundred a day and about four of them are good.”126 Churchill’s wide-ranging mind was a source of his strength, but it was also a source of his political weakness in 1943-1945 as Americans were increasingly able to interpret his motives to develop military campaigns for the Mediterranean as a diversion from what they viewed as the main event – a military invasion of western France from across the English Channel. Historian Maxwell Philip Schoenfeld wrote: “Churchill’s enthusiasm for British operations in the Mediterranean so soon after these events leaves one reduced to speculation. Given the Prime Minister’s capacity to carry in his head simultaneous themes and plans (not always fully coordinated with each other but to be pushed forward as the opportunity permitted), it is always difficult to pronounce judgment on what held the position of primacy.”127
Perkins noted that at Yalta President Roosevelt “teased Churchill unmercifully, but that was as sign of his being ‘in the family.’ It was Roosevelt’s habit to indulge in friendly teasing bouts, and he expected to get back as good as he gave.”128 According to Churchill’s Yalta interpreter, Captain Hugh Lunghi, “Churchill, lighting up his cigar, at first seemed not unduly embarrassed by the fairly heated arguments between the Americans and British over strategic priorities now being played out in front of Stalin. As the debate developed, the Prime Minister increasingly appeared on the defensive, still arguing strongly for his vision of the military options. At the start, regardless of Roosevelt’s ‘jokes’ at Churchill’s expense, Stalin seemed puzzled at the open display of disunity between the Americans and the British. Then…he allowed his morally inscrutable face a rare smile.”129
The British prime minister understood the occasional irony of his situation in relationship to the American president. In April 1945, Churchill breakfasted with Roosevelt speech writer Samuel I. Rosenman. “Do you remember when I came over to your country in the summer of 1944 when your election campaigning was beginning? Do you remember that when I arrived, I said something favorable to the election of the President, and immediately the associates of the President sent word to me in no uncertain terms to ‘lay off’ discussing the American election. Do you remember I was told that if I wanted to help the President get re-elected, the best thing I could do was to keep my mouth shut; that the American people would resent any interference or suggestion by a foreigner about how they should vote?” Rosenman was chagrined because he had been one of those advisors. Churchill then added: “Now what I want you to tell the President is this. When he comes over here in May [when FDR had been invited] I shall be in the midst of a political campaign myself; we shall be holding our own elections about that time. I want you to tell him that I impose no such inhibitions upon him as he imposed upon me. The British people would not resent – and of course I would particularly welcome – any word that he might want to say in favor of my candidacy.”130
A few days later, FDR was dead. When news of FDR’s death reached Churchill two months later, Churchill bodyguard Walter H. Thompson was called to Churchill’s room to listen to a tearful prime minister ruminate about his friend: “No one realized what that man meant to the country. No Englishman can ever quite know it altogether. They can only half sense it. Perhaps, in time. In later years.”131
What did not die was Churchill’s pursuit of a closer Anglo-American relationship. “Law, language and literature – these are considerable factors,” Churchill had said at Harvard in September 1943. “Common conceptions of what is right and decent, a marked regard for fair play, especially to the weak and the poor, a stern sentiment of impartial justice, and above the all the love of personal freedom…these are the common conceptions on both sides of the ocean among the English-speaking peoples.”
For Further Reference
- William Lee Miller, President Lincoln: The Duty of a Statesman, p. 199.
- Kevin Peraino, Lincoln in the World: The Making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power, p. 117.
- Howard K. Beale, editor, The Diary of Edward Bates, 1856-1866, p. 183.
- Russell F. Weigley, A Great Civil War, p. 71.
- Theodore Calvin Pease, editor, The Diary of Orville. Browning Diary Volume I, pp. 408-409 (July 28, 1861).
- Walter A. McDougall, Throes of Democracy: The American Civil War Era, 1829-1877, p. 337-338
- Roger G. Kennedy, Mr. Jefferson’s Lost Cause: Land, Farmers, Slavery, and the Louisiana Purchase, p. 237.
- Thomas E. Schott, Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia: A Biography, p. 364.
- Roger G. Kennedy, Mr. Jefferson’s Lost Cause: Land, Farmers, Slavery, and the Louisiana Purchase, p. 237-238.
- Walter A. McDougall, Throes of Democracy: The American Civil War Era, 1829-1877, p. 437.
- Craig L. Symonds, Lincoln and His Admirals, p. 285.
- Allen C. Guelzo, Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction, p. 362.
- Roy P. Basler, editor, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (CWAL), Volume VI, p. 64 (Abraham Lincoln to the Working-Men of Manchester, England, January 19, 1863).
- Richard J. Carwardine, Lincoln: Profiles in Power, p. 178.
- Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life, Volume II, p. 223.
- Paul Finkelman and Martin J. Hershock, editors, The Political Lincoln, p. 587.
- Frederick Seward, Reminiscences of a War-Time Diplomat, p. 190.
- Alexander Milton Ross, Memoirs of a Reformer, 1832-1892, p. 119
- Frances Perkins, The Roosevelt I Knew, p. 80.
- David Dilks, Churchill and Company, p. 40.
- Paul Addison, Churchill: The Unexpected Hero, pp. 178, 180.
- Ted Morgan, FDR: A Biography, p. 526. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985).
- Jon Meacham, Franklin and Winston, p. 45 (Letter from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Winston S. Churchill, September 11, 1939).
- William Manchester, The Last Lion, Winston Spencer Churchill: Alone, 1932-1940, p. 551.
- David Dutton, Anthony Eden: A Life and Reputation, p. 14.3
- Max Hastings, Winston’s War, p. 196.
- Robin Edmonds, The Big Three: Churchill, Roosevelt & Stalin in Peace and War, p. 454.
- Martin Gilbert, Winston S Churchill: Finest Hour, 1939-1941, p. 358.
- John Colville, Footprints in Time: Memories, p. 144.
- Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill Finest Hour, 1939-1941, p. 999 (Eric Seal, February 2, 1941)
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- Oliver Lyttelton, Viscount Chandos, The Memoirs of Lord Chandos (London, 1962) pp. 158.
- W. Averell Harriman and Elie Abel, Special Envoy to Churchill and Stalin, 1941-1946, p. 277.
- Winston S. Churchill, The Hinge of Fate, Volume V, p. 484.
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- Richard Holmes, In the Footsteps of Churchill: A Study in Character, p. 245.
- Kenneth Weisbrode, Churchill and the King, p. 65.
- Norman Davies, No Simply Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-1945, p. 52.
- Doris Kearns Goodwin, No Ordinary Time, p. 312.
- Charles McMoran Wilson Moran, Churchill, Taken from the Diaries of Lord Moran: the Struggle for Survival, 1940-1965, pp. 21 (December 31, 1941). Dr. Wilson compared Churchill’s attitude toward FDR with his approach to Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King whom Churchill “takes for granted.”
- Eric Larrabee, Commander in Chief, p. 35.
- Jon Meacham, Franklin and Winston, p. 367.
- Norman Davies, No Simply Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-1945, p. 56.
- Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Road to Victory 1941-1945, p. 1254 (Telegram from Winston S. Churchill to Franklin D. Roosevelt, March 18, 1945).
- Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Road to Victory 1941-1945, p. 1291 (Telegram from Winston Churchill to Eleanor Roosevelt, April 13, 1945).
- Andrew Roberts, Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941-1945, p. 582.
- John Colville, Winston Churchill and His Inner Circle, p. 121.
- John Colville, Footprints in Time: Memories, p. 155.
- Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill Finest Hour, 1939-1941, p. 1127 (Letter from Randolph Churchill to Winston S. Churchill, July 5, 1941).
- W. Averell Harriman and Elie Abel, Special Envoy to Churchill and Stalin, 1941-1946, p. 25.
- Charles McMoran Wilson Moran, Churchill, Taken from the Diaries of Lord Moran: the Struggle for Survival, 1940-1965, p. 292 (July 17, 1945).
- W. Averell Harriman and Elie Abel, Special Envoy to Churchill and Stalin, 1941-1946, p. 75.
- John Colville, Winston Churchill and His Inner Circle, p. 120.
- Michael Fullilove, Rendezvous with Destiny: How Franklin D. Roosevelt and Five Extraordinary Men took America into the War and into the World, p 324.
- Eric Larrabee, Commander in Chief, p. 36.
- John Colville, Winston Churchill and His Inner Circle, p. 116.
- Martin Gilbert, editor, The Power of Words, p. 278.
- Richard Langworth, editor, Churchill by Himself, p. 371.
- Max Hastings, Winston’s War, Churchill 1940-1945, pp. 165, 419.
- Winston Churchill, Their Finest Hour, Volume II, p. 22.
- Andrew Roberts, A History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900, p. 300
- Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897-1963: 1943-1949, p. 6986.
(September 16, 1944).
- Nigel Nicolson, editor, Harold Nicolson: Diaries and Letters, 1939-1945, p. 226 (May 11, 1942).
- Samuel Rosenman, Working with Roosevelt, p. 319.
- Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Road to Victory 1941-1945, p. 23.
- Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Road to Victory 1941-1945, p. 37.
- Walter Thompson, Beside the Bulldog: The Intimate Memoirs of Churchill’s Bodyguard, p. 105.
- Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Road to Victory 1941-1945, p. 43.
- (Letter from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Winston Churchill, March 18, 1942).
- James Leasor, War at the Top: The Experiences of General Leslie Hollis, pp. 58-59.
- Richard Holmes, In the Footsteps of Churchill: A Study in Character, p. 251.
- Max Hastings, Winston’s War, Churchill 1940-1945, p. 325.
- Max Hastings, Winston’s War, Churchill 1940-1945, p. 296.
- Hastings Lionel Ismay, Memoirs of General Lord Ismay, p. 250.
- Geoffrey Hodson, The Life & Wars of Henry Stimson, 1867-1950, p. 267,
- Hastings Lionel Ismay, Memoirs of General Lord Ismay, p. 256.
- Henry L. Stimson and McGeorge Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War, pp. 423-424.
- Richard Holmes, In the Footsteps of Churchill: A Study in Character, p. 243.
- Norman Rose, Churchill: The Unruly Giant, p. 371.
- Andrew Roberts, Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941-1945, p. 440.
- Andrew Roberts, Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941-1945, p. 281.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe, p. 193.
- Hastings Lionel Ismay, The Memoirs of General Lord Ismay, p. 263.
- Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Road to Victory 1941-1945, p. 936 (August 5, 1944).
- John Lukacs, Churchill: Visionary, Statesman, Historian, p. 66.
- Harold Macmillan, War Diaries: The Mediterranean 1943-1945, p. 618.
- Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Road to Victory 1941-1945, p. 700 (March 4, 1944).
- Martin A. Gilbert, Churchill and America, p. 323.
- Brian Gardner, Churchill in His Time: A Study in a Reputation, 1939-1945, p. 266.
- Richard Langworth, editor, Churchill by Himself: The Definitive Collection of Quotations, p. 43.
- Maxwell Philip Schoenfeld, The War Ministry of Winston Churchill, p. 212.
- Maxwell Philip Schoenfeld, The War Ministry of Winston Churchill, p. 201.
- Hastings Lionel Ismay, Memoirs of General Lord Ismay, p. 345.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe, p. 243.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe, p. 168.
- James Leasor, War at the Top: The Experiences of General Leslie Hollis, p. 239.
- Alex Danchev, Daniel Todman, editors, Lord Alanbrooke: War Diaries, 1939-1945, p. (June 5, 1944).
- Andrew Roberts, Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941-1945, p. 461.
- Andrew Roberts, Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941-1945, p. 217.
- Hugh Lunghi, “Troubled Triumvirate,” Finest Hour, no. 135, Summer 2007, pp. 17-18.
- Andrew Roberts, Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941-1945, p. 426.
- Hastings Lionel Ismay, Memoirs of General Lord Ismay, p. 286.
- Harold Macmillan, War Diaries: The Mediterranean 1943-1945, p. 294.
- W. Averell Harriman and Elie Abel, Special Envoy to Churchill and Stalin, 1941-1946, pp. 190-191.
- Andrew Roberts, Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941-1945, p. 580.
- Richard Holmes, In the Footsteps of Churchill: A Study in Character, p. 256.
- David Eisenhower, Europe at War: 1943-1945, p. 84.
- Conrad Black, Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom, p. 955.
- Richard Holmes, In the Footsteps of Churchill: A Study in Character, p. 236.
- Kenneth S. Davis, FDR: The War President, pp. 640-641.
- Robin Edmonds, The Big Three: Churchill, Roosevelt & Stalin in Peace and War, p.
- Andrew Roberts, A History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900, p.
- W. Averell Harriman and Elie Able, Special envoy to Churchill and Stalin, 1941-1946, pp. 171-172. (Telegram from Harriman to Roosevelt, September 14, 1942).
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe, p. 62.
- John Colville, Winston Churchill and His Inner Circle, p. 202.
- Harold Macmillan, War Diaries: The Mediterranean 1943-1945, p. 455.
- Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Road to Victory 1941-1945, p. 1081 (Telegram from Winston S. Churchill to Jan Smuts, December 3, 1944).
- Mark Pottle, editor, Champion Redoubtable, The Diaries and Letters of Violet Bonham Carter, 1914-1945, p.312-313 (August 1, 1940).
- John Lukacs, Churchill: Visionary, Statesman, Historian, p. 55.
- Frances Perkins, The Roosevelt I Knew, pp. 382-383.
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- Anthony Eden, The Reckoning, p. 375.
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- Maxwell Philip Schoenfeld, The War Ministry of Winston Churchill, p. 212.
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- Hugh Lunghi, “Troubled Triumvirate,” Finest Hour, no. 135, Summer 2007, pp. 17-18.
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- Walter H. Thompson, Assignment: Churchill, p. 303.