By John (ed) WHEELER-BENNETT
Read Online or Download Action This Day: Working with Churchill PDF
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Extra info for Action This Day: Working with Churchill
Certainly Churchill had no doubt of his own contribution to military thought. ' He was, of course, subjective in his assessment of people, and the main reason for his failure to establish a close relationship with Wavell was because Wavell was so unforthcoming. I was present at Chequers when Lord Rosebery, who was a close friend of Wavell, brought him to luncheon for the first time. Churchill tried his hardest to elicit the General's views and was met with the silence of shyness. He was not accustomed to accepting other people's judgment of a man, but in the case of Wavell he did.
The success with which, from the days when he was First Lord, he established a close relationship with Roosevelt convinced him of the value of personal diplomacy. When we sailed for New York on I january 1952, he told me that he was going to Washington not to transact business but to re-establish relations. The briefs which had been so laboriously provided interested him far less than the impression he might succeed in making on Truman, Acheson and the American Chiefs of Staff. It would, however, be wrong to assume that Churchill's friendships were political, even though their inspiration might be so.
Churchill could not at once establish personal contact with the new President; and in the few remaining months before the war in Europe ended he had not time to reach with Truman the firm basis of personal friendship and mutual confidence which he had built up over the years in his relations with Roosevelt. It was these changes of circumstance, and not any loss of mental or physical vigour on the part of Churchill, that led to lost opportunities in the concluding phases of the warespecially perhaps at the Allied Conferences at Yalta and at Potsdam.