Download Churchill, Whitehall and the Soviet Union, 1940–45 by Martin H. Folly (auth.) PDF

By Martin H. Folly (auth.)

World battle II threw Britain and the Soviet Union jointly as not likely allies. This ebook examines British policy-makers' attitudes to cooperation with the USSR and exhibits how perspectives of inner advancements within the USSR and of Stalin himself inspired Churchill, the warfare cupboard and the overseas place of work to think that long term collaboration used to be a fascinating and possible target. specifically, it used to be assumed shared predicament to avoid destiny German aggression will be an enduring bond. Such attitudes considerably formed Britain's wartime coverage in the direction of the USSR, and for plenty of members, together with Churchill, performed a extra vital function than their long-standing anti-Communist attitudes.

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Extra info for Churchill, Whitehall and the Soviet Union, 1940–45

Sample text

Flatter the Soviets, convince them that they were to be treated as equal s and that they would be o ne of the powers shaping the postwar settl eme nt, w hile avoiding a ny prior co mmitm ent t o the shape of that settlemen t such as migh t cause cont en ti on betwee n Britain and the USSR or with other allies. '33 This was the policy recom men ded to th e Cabinet, and approved after co nsi derable discussion which rei nfo rced the ai m of avoiding an ag reement o n Soviet frontiers. 134 The diffi cul ties if Stalin did raise thi s issue were not really confronted.

The Embassy did its best to satisfy the dema nd for solid information. The quality of despatches on interna l developments improved with the appoi ntm en t of Cripps' successor, Sir Archibald Clark Kerr. If the selection of Cripps had been unfortunate, the choice of Clark Kerr was in spired. He had been a success a t a number of difficult post s in non-democracies, culminating in his period in China from 1938 t o 1942. He appears to have brought with him few if any of the anti-Soviet prejudi ces cha ract eristi c of many British diplomats at this time.

The Soviets had to be brought in to any discussions on North Atl antic security (which the Norwegians had proposed), but the problem was what they would then demand. Warner favoured frankness on the military question , and the offer of a meeting between Eden a nd Stann. But since Stalin was heavily engaged in the defence of Moscow, this could not happen for some time, so they cou ld have their suspicions all ayed while avoiding embarrassing discussions. 128 This pessimism was not reflected at the FO meetings that followed.

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