News & Opinion | October 28, 2018 5:00 am

Diary Entries Reveal Winston Churchill’s Secret Hostility To The U.S.

King George VI's diaries show that Churchill regularly expressed searing criticism of the United States.

Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill at his seat in the Cabinet Room at No. 10 Downing Street, London, circa 1940. (Cecil Beaton/ IWM via Getty Images)

Winston Churchill believed that he personified what he personally described as the “special relationship” between the United Kingdom and the United States. He made it a theme of his career, and started making speeches on the subject of Anglo-American unity of action in 1900. In 1932, Churchill had signed a contract for his book, A History of the English-Speaking Peopels, which emphasized a similar idea.

But while working on a new biography entitled Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny, writer Andrew Roberts discovered that Churchill often took a very different stance in private. Roberts found through a variety of new sources, including the wartime diaries of King George VI in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle, that Churchill often expressed searing criticism of the United States. This seemed especially clear during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt in World War II.

The newly published diaries of Ivan Maisky, the Soviet ambassador in London from 1932 to 1943, as well as War Cabinet records that can be found at the Churchill Archives and papers from Churchill’s family all provide confirmation of this criticism.