I'm not so sure that the US would have joined with Russia against Germany as Lee suggests because Churchill himself worked extremely hard to
get the US into the war on Britains side without success even before the BoB took place
Possibly, possibly not, I'll give you that. But from historical evidence it seems that Rooseveldt fell for Stalin's rough charm during one of the
big conferences, seems he had a blind spot(forget which one, Tehran or Yalta). Churchill felt very locked out by this after all the hard work he had
put into wooing Rooseveldt and the American public for which he alone can largely take credit. And so it is reasonable to sumize in an alternate
history, that if Stalin and FDR had felt the need to discuss what would be seen as a worrying Nazi trend, that the same might have happened anway. But
your right, I am hypothesising.
As for Wombat
Yes I think history has shown Yamamoto to be absolutely correct and a visionary. It is indeed sad that like his Nazi parallel Rommel, he was an
outstanding leader, fought the honourable fight but did not survive when they both deserved better than many of their lesser peers.
And now to throw a little further light for waynos and others on antipodeian attitudes regarding WS Churchill.
I have a slightly softer view of Churchill. He was a great leader when he needed to be, but a deeply flawed character for whom history (inevitably)
glosses over both his true strengths and weaknesses. He quite rightly should be condemned for screwing up the Dardanelles campaign of 1915. He placed
a chinless idiot in charge and should have seen it. Having said that it was a bold move that if executed properly, would have opened another front on
Germany that could have lessened the true horror that was to come on the western front. Had it worked, the sacrifice of all those British, Australian,
NZ, Indian, Turkish etc, forces would possibly have saved hundreds of thousands if not millions in France and Belgium. It was a potentially great plan
that he did not manage properly.
Wombat, you mentioned his preoccupation with the Communists. Given that he also fortold the Nazi menace, is it not fair that, his Brandy habit aside
(which has been overplayed according to his private secretary), he was reading the situation to come correctly when so many others including
Rooseveldt and Menzies were not (at least publicly)?
waynos, as a quick historical lesson, the Australian government found itself in a similar political crisis early on in the war and ended up with a
bipartisan Labour led coalition cabinet after a vote of no confidence in the (first) Menzies administration. Ironically like Rooseveldt, PM John
Curtin who was a very reluctant leader, ended up dieing before wars end, if memory serves me, within weeks of each other and both succeeded by a
deputy who went on to be good leaders in their own right.
I can only totally back Wombats comments regarding the almost treacherous behaviour Churchill personally displayed towards Australia's fate, and his
callous, selfcentred and arrogant decision in thinking HE had the right to decide where the 2ndAIF should be. Rooseveldt did nothing to help the
situation by essentially backing Churchill when asked for support, untill he received a very threatening, no "BS" telegram from an enraged PM
Curtin. In the end Curtin did his duty, Churchill did what he should, not stand in the way of someone elses sovereign right, and Rooseveldt agreed to
send troops to help Australia. It was in fact this single act of impulsive bastardry by Churchill that layed the foundation of the modern Australia/US
alliance and drove the final nail, in Australia seeing herself as a mere dominion of Britain. Having said that we still sent tens of thousands of our
lads to fly in or with the RAF including the BoB, with coastal command and bomber command. That is why an RAAF Lancaster holds pride of place at the
AWM in Canberra.
As a point of order on Singapore. The now notorious "we couldn't turn the heavy guns to the enemy" routine is something of a falacy. There are
various other versions of the story including that they only had armor piercing shells, but the real reason is sheer panic and paralysis that lead to
the guns not being fired at all and instead in the breakdown of millitary discipline and control, they were blown up. From what I have heard there was
no reason why the guns couldn't be traversed around and infact this had been suggested by both British and Australian troops on the island. Seems the
story was concocted to cover someone's ass! As a further point, Darwin was not bombed just the once, but 64 times. This information remained a state
secret for many years, and only in the last ten or so has the full story come out, so you can seen why Curtin was a little displeased with
Like many leaders Churchill was far from perfect, he had many personal flaws and could be an arrogant, dissmisive SOB, but I feel he arrived at the
right time for Britain, and in a way he is indirectly more responsible for the modern foundation of Australia than any other person. His blunder at
Gallipoli forged the modern myth of the ANZAC and the Australian/New Zeland soldier. His legally claimless refusal to send Australian troops home when
ordered by their supreme commander led to the modern Australia/US alliance and ANZUS. And his actions in both world wars forced our politicians to
take charge of their country.