Allies in Conflict: Anglo-American Strategic Negotiations, by Steve Weiss (auth.)

By Steve Weiss (auth.)

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Extra resources for Allies in Conflict: Anglo-American Strategic Negotiations, 1938-44

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The idea was fantastic for even if he did complete a plan with the planners the Introductory Strategic Talks 31 plan would still have to come before the COS Committee. All that he was doing was wasting the planners time, and they were very busy people... 139 In the end, Britain's organizational machinery for prosecuting the war achieved an important balance between Churchill's application of leadership and the Defence Committee's ability to restrain him by a variety of military and civilian resources.

The words were all pure English but the whole document as it stood meant not a thing to any of us. So we began by getting ourselves instructed in US staff language and procedures. 92 Many senior American Army officers, were Anglophobic, anti-Empire, and isolationist; the word 'allies' was alien to them. Great War British strategy and 'generalship' were suspect and its military record inspired little confidence in 1939-1941. 94 Like their British counterparts, the Americans were more fearful of Bolshevism than Fascism.

To its credit, the chiefs remained friendly, not allowing argument to degenerate into acrimony, sublimating special service interests to the needs of victory. In this, both Ismay and Portal played an important part. As the war progressed, the Chiefs achieved a higher level of solidarity, tempered by time and experience. 148 However, in practice, Churchill breached the jurisdictional subdivision of responsibility when he formed a small inner cabinet, over which he presided as minister of defence; the COS was left without a civilian chief in the War Cabinet who could champion their specific point of view.

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