Churchill’s War: An Addendum
Some readers have trouble with long articles. When my recent review of the second volume of David Irving’s Churchill’s War hit 2,500 words, I broke it off. Among the interesting information left unreported are Churchill’s cover up of the Katyn massacre by the Soviets of thousands of Polish officers, a coverup continued as late as 1988 by the British foreign office. General Sikorski, head of the Polish government in exile, would not go along with the cover up. This made him a problem. He died in a plane crash 17 seconds after take-off in what appears to be foul play.
Assassination was a British and American policy. Charles de Gaulle was an intense problem for the British and Americans. Although only a junior general, he was determined to locate French authority in himself. He made it difficult for the British and Americans to secure the cooperation of Vichy France against Germany. President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Eisenhower, a poor field commander but ruthless in military politics, hated de Gaulle and wanted de Gaulle assassinated, but British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, who was in de Gaulle’s pocket, saved him.
Instead Eden boosted de Gaulle by arranging the assassination of the Vinchy French Admiral Darlan, who paved the way for British/American occupation of French Africa and was cooperative with the British/American aims.
Initially the British and the Germans were ahead of the Americans in developing the atomic bomb. The Germans’ heavy water plant was in Norway. Despite an earlier British failed attack on the facility, the Germans failed to attend to its protection, and a second attempt succeeded. The British lacked the abiility to produce sufficient heavy water and turned their results over to the Americans as their contribution to a joint project, only to find themselves frozen out. Having got himself into a war that he lacked the resources to fight, Churchill’s dependency on Washington cost Britain her world influence and her empire.
Churchill was seldom hesitant to sacrifice British interest and war-making capability to bolstering Stalin. Churchill undestood that without the Red Army even in its defeats taking its toll of the Wehrmacht, the British and Americans would be hard pressed to win the war. No Normady Invasion could have succeeded if it had to face the army that Hitler threw at the Soviet Union.