February 3, 2024

The World of Churchill Collectables


This paper placard measures 8 x 10 inches and was made in the United States in 1942. The Second World War era American flag badges were placed on the placard by someone to embellish it. Oddly, this 1942 placard refers to President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill as the “Victory Twins.” It is an odd reference and one not seen prior to acquiring this placard. The war began to turn in favor of the Allies in 1943. So, why refer to Roosevelt and Churchill as the “Victory Twins” the year prior?

It is possible this American piece was made to show support for the Second Washington Conference, held 19-25 June 1942. A series of military planning sessions took place between the American and British delegations lead by their respective leaders, Roosevelt and Churchill. On 19-20 June, the two met privately at the President’s residence in Hyde Park, New York.

In Washington, the conference attendees discussed how best to aid the Soviet Union’s war efforts. The Americans expressed an interest in opening a second front in France. The British proposed a joint effort to attack Italy as the “soft underbelly” of the Axis. While no consensus was reached, the American and British delegations did agree to begin preparations for Operation Torch, the invasion of the North African colonies held by Vichy France. On 25 June, Roosevelt appointed General Dwight Eisenhower as Commander-in-Chief of US Forces in the European Theatre. In this capacity, Eisenhower would command Operation Torch and have a significant role in its planning.

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As Prime Minister, Churchill visited the United States four times between 1941 and 1944. His presence in Washington in 1942 boosted excitement and patriotic fervor and certainly warranted a placard. Operation Torch, planned at this conference by the “Victory Twins,” would mark the first time US troops saw combat against German forces. It also trapped Rommel’s Afrika Corps, allowing Field Marshal Montgomery’s eventual victory at El-Alamein.

Brian Krapf’s forthcoming book A Churchill Treasury: Sir Winston’s Public Service through Memorabilia will be published on March 30 in the UK and June 30 in the US.

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