segunda-feira, 18 de abril de 2011

Friend or foe?

After the Atlantic Charter, Churchill talks with the Soviet Ambassador. The mood was the letters exchanged by Churchill and Stalin about a second front on West, and outstanding requests made by Stalin on that moment.

The Soviet Ambassador, who was accompanied by Mr. Eden, stayed and talked with me for an hour and a half. He emphasised (sic) in bitter terms how for the last eleven weeks  Russia had been bearing the brunt of the German onslaught virtually alone. The Russian armies were now enduring a weight of attach never equaled before. He said that he did not wish to use dramatic language, but this might be a turning-point in history. If Soviet Russia were defeated how could we win the war? M. Maisky emphasized the extreme gravity of the crisis on the Russian front in poignant terms which commanded my sympathy. But when presently I sensed an underlying air of menace in his appeal I was angered. I said to the Ambassador, whom I had know for many years, "Remember that only four months ago we in this Island did not know whether you were not coming in against us on the German side. Indeed, we thought it quite likely that you would. Even then we felt sure we should win in the end. We never thought our survival was dependent on your action either way. Whatever happens, and whatever you do, you of all people have no right to make reproaches on us". As I warmed to the topic the Ambassador exclaimed, "More calm, please, my dear Mr. Churchill", but thereafter his tone perceptibly changed.
W. S. C. The grand alliance. pages 406-407.

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