Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Churchill Series – Dec. 12, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

It’s fair to say today’s post “is brought to you be the BBC.”

Actually, I’m providing a link to a brief, anecdotal BBC story marking the 60th anniversary of the Potsdam Conference which began with the new American President Harry Truman meeting Stalin and Churchill for the first time.

I think you’ll find what the BBC says interesting but I’ve a few cautions to offer.

The BBC titles the piece “When the Allies fell out of love.” But tensions and disagreements among Russia, Britain and America existed throughout the war. There never was much, if any, love between the governments of Russia on the one hand and Britain and America on the other.

Also, if we must use a word like "love" to characterize relations between governments, a case can be made that since WW II the relationship between America and Britain has been more close to "love" than not.

Consistent with its “fell out of love” theme, the BBC notes Truman on first meeting Churchill thought he talked too much and often talked “a lot of hooey.”

But that was Truman’s first impression. He soon developed a great appreciation and respect for Churchill. I wish the BBC had mentioned that.

But the Beep’s story is, as I say, interesting. Give it a look here.


Anonymous said...

I hope I will have the time to continue to read and comment at J -in C.And if I happen to be in the research triangle area,I'll treat you to some good Scotch.I recently read Mc Culloch's biography of Truman.certainly,I feel HST had some outstanding qualities.Buthis diaries seem (to me at least) to show a self image of plain speaking,no nonsense Harry showing no patience with the supposed greats of the world.
yes,it's true HST came to appreciate WSC.But Truman had an ability to revise actual events in his mind to make himself virtuous-or at least the last honest(angry) man.I doddn't find this despicable,but I find it ordinary and not admirable.
Since I try not to give vague accusations,let me support my case.Perhaps the best known is his invention that Gen Mac Arthur kept Truman waiting during their meeting at Wake Island during the Korean War.(Made sure his plane landed after the president's)As Manchester has pointede out,Navy logs and news accounts stated Gen Mac Arthur was awaiting on the tarmac when the Pres's plane landed.There are other mentions in Mc Culloch's generally admiring book-of a generally admirable man-of Truman distorting events even to what cabinet officials said.His feeling on the first meeting with WSC was to the efect he had 50 ideas an hour-and 1 or 2 might be good.I came away with the idea of a man who didn't like to be confronted with a "bigger" person.Many of us have such feelings.Usually in jr. high.

JWM said...


I agree with you on each point you raise.

Bringing in the Mac Arthur claim and the info refuting added great power to what you said.

Your comments are always appreciated and informing.