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Title: Seeking comradeship in the "Ogre's Den:" Winston Churchill's quest for a warrior alliance and his mission to Stalin, August 1942
Authors: Folly, MH
Keywords: Winston Churchill;Josef Stalin;Adolf Hitler;Richard Nixon;Chairman Mao Zedong;Franklin Roosevelt
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Brunel University
Citation: EnterText, 6(2), 276-303, 2007
Abstract: On 12 August 1942, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Moscow to meet Soviet leader Josef Stalin, for the first time, a mission that Churchill’s wife, Clementine, had described to him as a “visit to the Ogre in his Den.” Churchill had, by his own account, attempted to strangle the Bolshevik state at birth, by supporting British intervention on the side of the White Russian counter-revolutionaries in 1918-19. His arrival in Moscow was a dramatic illustration of the way the actions of Adolf Hitler had altered international politics. However, in histories of the coalition of Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union that came together to defeat Hitler, this mission of Churchill plays a small and insignificant part. Indeed it is often barely mentioned, though for its historic symbolism, one might rank Churchill’s meeting with Stalin as on a par with U.S. President Richard Nixon’s meeting with Chairman Mao Zedong in Beijing in 1972. It will be shown here that Churchill’s mission should not be dismissed so lightly when examining the early development of that strange coalition commonly called the “Big Three.” Churchill’s meetings with Stalin established, despite great setbacks in the middle period of the mission, that this alliance could function as a viable entity, so long as all parties agreed tacitly to certain rules of engagement. It is often suggested that the third member of the Big Three, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, was largely responsible for establishing this pragmatic approach, but this article will show that Churchill and Stalin became alive to the wisdom of managing their interactions in this manner independently of Roosevelt, and indeed some way in advance of his active involvement in Big Three politics.
ISSN: 1472-3085
Appears in Collections:History
Dept of Politics, History and Law Research Papers

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