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Churchill and Marshall: Letters of Admiration

WASHINGTON SOCIETY FOR CHURCHILL
Dodona Manor, Leesburg, Virginia, 16 May 2010

On May 16, 2010 three members of the Executive Board of the Washington Society for Churchill participated in the opening of an exhibit entitled “With Affection and Admiration – The Letters of George C. Marshall and Winston Churchill”, at the George C. Marshall International Center, Dodona Manor, in Leesburg, Virginia. The exhibit opening was arranged in association with the Washington Society for Churchill.

The event began at the Loudoun County Government Center with brief introductory remarks about the Washington Society for Churchill, its role and history and those of The Churchill Centre. This was followed by an illuminating talk presented by the exhibit curator, Rachel Thompson, about the enduring partnership based on deep mutual respect between the US Army Chief of Staff, who was President Roosevelt’s foremost military advisor at wartime conferences, and the British Prime Minister, despite backgrounds and personalities that seemed diametrically opposite one another. (Full disclosure: Mrs. Thompson was guest speaker at a Washington Society for Churchill event last year.)

 

She emphasized the nature of their fundamental disagreement regarding the Allied strategy to ensure victory in Europe, with Churchill’s emphasis on indirect attacks from the Mediterranean, and Marshall’s position that only a massive cross-channel invasion would lead to the destruction of the German army – a plan subsequently embodied in the Normandy invasion. It was clear from their postwar exchange of letters and telegrams that both men understood the importance of their powerful Anglo-American association to victory in Europe. Their extensive correspondence reflects their deepening friendship grounded upon a remarkable wartime collaboration.

 

After a short stroll from the Government Center to Dodona Manor ( Marshall’s home from 1941 until his death in 1959), the guests were treated to an elegant reception on the Marshall’s patio before viewing the exhibit. “With Affection and Admiration” will continue on display until the end of September.

 

Burt Weisman

Washington Society for Churchill

 

 

Editor’s Note: Finest Hour 147 contains “The Boss and the Paragon,” a fine article on Churchill and Marshall by Bob Pilpel, author of Churchill in America 1895-1961. See page 46. The exhibit at Dodona Manor was constructed with the assistance of the Churchill Archives Centre at Churchill College, Cambridge.

 

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