Notebook

Churchill could have attended Roosevelt’s funeral in April 1945. The logistical difficulties were surmountable, as Roy Jenkins has observed. Yet he chose not to do so. It is difficult not to regard the prime minister’s absence as a reflection of the alienation between himself and the president… So much public sentiment was lavished upon the partnership between Britain and the United States during the war years, above all through the rhetoric of Churchill, that it is important to emphasize that affection played no part in the decisions or actions of either ally. At all times, tough negotiation and hard-headed calculation determined British and American behaviour.

Max Hastings, “Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945.

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