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Churchill, SACLANT and the politics of opposition

Marsh, Steve ORCID: 2013. Churchill, SACLANT and the politics of opposition. Contemporary British History 27 (4) , pp. 445-465. 10.1080/13619462.2013.825566

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Agreement of Supreme Allied Command Atlantic (SACLANT) was an emotive public issue in Britain and became wrapped up in Party politics in a General Election year. In Opposition Winston Churchill used the SACLANT issue to attack the Attlee government, which had accepted the Atlantic Command. Once returned to power Churchill pursued SACLANT to a summit meeting with President Truman and afterwards claimed to have extracted significant concessions. Labour Party MPs dismissed these claims as mere face saving devices. This article investigates these contending claims. Ultimately it argues three things. Firstly, Churchill persecuted the Attlee government with SACLANT more successfully than he convinced the Americans of his views on how naval cooperation in the Atlantic ought to be conducted. Secondly, the concessions on SACLANT that Churchill laid before Parliament in 1952 were inflated in their significance. Finally, Churchill did obtain more important concessions/clarifications than critics allowed, this apparent contradiction being explained by the fact that these were private Anglo-American understandings that could not be publicly disclosed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
E History America > E151 United States (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: SACLANT, Churchill, Attlee, General Election, Truman Administration
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1361-9462
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 10:14

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