Churchill, Roosevelt and the "Special Relationship"
Mar 12, Short answer - Extremely positive. The two didn't have much of a relationship prior to The Second World War as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for. Aug 14, Winston Churchill and FDR aboard the HMS 'Prince of Wales,' Churchill's ship, when the Atlantic Charter was released. (Wikimedia Commons). Jan 13, After expressing concern about Churchill's safety in the U-boat-filled ocean—a concern the prime minister waved off—FDR assented.
Britain and its new prime minister, Winston Churchill, stood alone as the last bastion against the Nazis and their domination of Europe. World War II had begun on September 1, Despair and resignation about becoming yet another conquered nation began to spread among the people of Britain. Winston Churchill would have none of it. He raised the battle cry, giving one of the greatest speeches in history on June 4 in an effort to rally British spirits.
We shall go on to the end British ships were being sunk regularly on the Atlantic Ocean. ByFDR had been president for two terms. Historically, no other person who held that office had served for more than eight years. FDR was giving serious thought to running for an unprecedented third term mainly because of the events unfolding in Europe as well as in the Pacific, since the Japanese government had signed a pact with Germany and Italy.
The relationship between the United States and Japan had grown tense after the Japanese began military aggression against China in The Japanese government had their eye on dominating the Chinese mainland and the Pacific Islands. It was just a matter of time. He wanted to be the commander-in-chief of the country when that occurred. The steady diversion of German resources to the Eastern Front ensured that Britain could longer be threatened, unless Hitler make quick work of the Red Army—which did not happen.
The Churchill-Roosevelt relationship shifted in late andas the American contribution to the struggle grew—initially in the form of military supplies, then, with the invasion of northwest Africa, military forces.
That lacking, we should analyze his policies by results rather than some overriding ideology or theory. Yet there was a certain consistency.
Special Relationship - Wikipedia
To understand modern perceptions of Churchill, we need to remember that he had something to say about nearly everything. I know of no person more quoted—and misquoted.
Facile interpretations of his intentions, of his true goals, based upon a single impolitic statement, are silly. As he himself commented, he relied on his staff to act as filters for rash, spontaneous comments.
To understand Churchill, study his actions, not just his words. He feared and despised what he called Bolshevism. Were Churchill and Roosevelt friends? Leaders of nation-states do not have the luxury of making true friendships.
They obviously made an effort to promote a personal relationship. Cook-outs, so-called fishing trips, friendly and complimentary official messages and personal letters, all helped smooth over the inevitable tensions of alliance politics.
Usually those meetings included get-togethers, both before and after the formal conference, gatherings that both social and convivial, lubricated by dry and not-so-dry martinis.
They sent each other gifts and birthday and Christmas greetings, and exchanged personal messages, even family news. That camaraderie could not settle their differences, but it did grease the wheels of cooperation. Without doubt they came to admire each other. Roosevelt quickly got past stories that Churchill was a drunk; Churchill soon realized that sea stories offered a common interest. Both were optimists who assumed that winning the war would give them time to work out the awkward wartime and postwar compromises.
But leaders rarely have the luxury of enough time. And there were conflicts tangential to the Second World War that would pose postwar challenges.
Franklin Roosevelt died on the 12 April Winston Churchill resigned as prime minister on 26 Julyafter his Conservative Party suffered an overwhelming defeat in a Parliamentary election. Two of the three men Stalin being the third who led what Churchill christened the Grand Alliance could not lead the establishment of the same kind of practical, cooperative alliance that had won the war—and without that victory, all else is irrelevant.
A Summary of Their Views What follows is a series of interpretive comments about Churchill, Roosevelt and where they agreed and disagreed. Each of these points is worthy of an essay all by itself, and I hope we will see some by enterprising students. Key points of agreement: That the Soviet Union had to be kept active in the war. That the USSR would be a major player in the postwar world but see disagreements.
That an extensive bombing campaign was essential to the war effort. That Hitler and Japan would inevitably be defeated. That an invasion of Western Europe was necessary, in good part to ensure that the Anglo-Americans liberated Western Europe. That their primary loyalty was to their nation and its interests, and that another world war would be disastrous for their country. That the long-term value of the United Nations organization was doubtful.
Major Points of disagreement: Over whether Britain should commit to sending her fleet to the Western Hemisphere if the Germans launched a successful invasion of the British Isles. Over the fate of Russia. Initially, Churchill and his military advisors predicted that the Soviet Union would collapse before the German onslaught. Roosevelt concluded otherwise, particularly after his closest advisor, Harry Hopkins, visited Moscow and spoke to Stalin.
Over the invasion of France as the key to defeating Germany. Roosevelt, following his military advice, insisted on an invasion of France in force. Churchill, also with military advice, advocated a series of attacks around the periphery of German-held territory.
Over Russia after the war. FDR, ever the optimist, believed or wanted to believe that Stalin could be convinced that the West was not committed to destruction of the Soviet regime, though the President occasionally hedged his bets e.
Churchill agreed with the hedging, and looked for practical ways to create military and political security for Western and, to some degree, East-central Europe. Roosevelt firmly believed European colonialism had been a major cause of World War I, and that it had continued to be a source of international disputes and tensions before World War II. Inthis disagreement may seem relatively unimportant, but in the s it was a serious question. Endnotes 1 Germany attacked Poland on 1 September Two days later France and Great Britain quickly declared war on Germany.
The Complete Correspondence, 3 vols. Princeton University Press,I More recently, there are some historians who aver that Roosevelt did plan for the United States to enter the war, and followed his plan brilliantly; e.
Champion of Freedom London: His institutional history of the U. Tennis Association will be published in We omit several on Churchill and Roosevelt that are dated by the opening of previously restricted wartime documents.
Notes are based on our annotated Bibliography of Works about Churchill. Many have been reissued as paperbacks and e-books.