Monday, August 02, 2010

No Understanding

During the summer of 1940, after losing thousands of men and virtually all of its ground armor and weapons following their evacuation from Dunkirk, many felt that -- barring a miracle -- there was no rational reason for Britain to stay in the fight. Joseph Kennedy, America's ambassador to Great Britain and father of the future president, told Americans that "democracy was finished" in England, as he sought a meeting with Hitler "to bring about a better understanding between the United States and Germany."

Britain's new prime minister, Winston Churchill, saw things quite differently and used the soaring power of oratory to restore, rally and mobilize his citizens. There was never going to be "an understanding" between democracy and the Third Reich.