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When Stalin was the lesser of two evils

Churchill detested Stalin, but Britain and the US needed his help against an even worse enemy. Giles Milton reveals the true nature of the Big Three’s dysfunctional relationship

8 June 2024

9:00 AM

8 June 2024

9:00 AM

The Stalin Affair: The Impossible Alliance That Won the War Giles Milton

John Murray, pp.384, 25

‘We are resolved to destroy Hitler and every vestige of the Nazi regime… Any man or state who fights against Nazism will have our aid.’ These words were spoken by Winston Churchill in a BBC radio broadcast to the nation from Chequers on the evening of 22 June 1941.

Churchill detested Stalin – but he needed him to destroy Hitler

That morning, Operation Barbarossa had begun, with Hitler’s armed forces launching the biggest invasion in modern history into the heart of a country whose very existence Churchill detested: the Soviet Union.

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