Churchill’s memoirs ignored in Newfoundland
Conspiracy theories are easy to create and they make entertaining and often absorbing reading.
Yet, some of the best of these often take root without the awareness of those at their source.
When this occurs there is little doubt - the truth is stranger than fiction.
Take for instance the summit meeting in 1941 at Ship Cove, Placentia Bay where Newfoundland history records that the Atlantic Charter was born.
This event’s 75th anniversary was recently celebrated in Newfoundland.
What if a credible claim was made today that the Atlantic Charter never existed?
What if such a declaration included comments, allegedly, made by Prime Minister Winston Churchill that the Atlantic Charter did not exist, was not a law, but a star in the sky?
What if the statement claimed that Sir Winston Churchill found evidence, and kept it hidden, and that President Franklyn D Roosevelt forged Churchill’s signature on the cover story declaration?
What if the President’s hands were tied because he had just won an election after promising to keep his country out of the war? What if England was tottering on the brink of bankruptcy and could not afford to defend itself much longer?
You might conclude that this whole idea is preposterous. Before assuming that it’s just another conspiracy theory in the making, you might ask what if the truth of the Placentia summit exposes that the best kept “Top Secret” during the Second World War “was” - the unquestionable purpose of the meeting and its effect on the outcome of the war.
Add to all this, the concept that Churchill did not intend to hide the real discussions at Placentia and wanted to make the whole thing public after the war.
That is exactly what Churchill did, yet somehow the cover story given in 1941 has replaced the genuine Churchill records as the acknowledged history.
Germany already had control of the French Navy and was on the verge of defeating Russia which would have enabled her to target England. Part of the truth being concealed was that the German Juggernaut was less than six months from defeating Britain and its European allies.
The impending German victory would have been followed by the invasion of North America through bases in Norway, Greenland and then the gathering of its major invasion forces in Newfoundland. Churchill and Roosevelt were at Argentia to overcome the above described obstacles and to rapidly change the course of certain defeat to one towards victory.
If by now you are beginning to think that this alleged truth of history is starting to sound like something out of a James Bond Movie - hold onto your seat!
The staggering truth here is - that what you have just read is not theory but authentic history. It can all be found in archival records at London, Washington and Berlin.
A much easier path to follow to confirm the truth would be to visit MUN’s QEII Library and read the memoirs of Sir Winston Churchill published in 1953. The whole story with its many twists and turns can also be found in my book “Battlefront Newfoundland” published in 2006.
How did this escape public scrutiny all this time? Frankly put, the cover story had been so successful it became “the truth” in the public mind.
In writing his memoirs, Churchill explained that almost every General, Admiral and Commanding Officer who served in the war will want to contribute their versions of the war but “I was the only person who knew the truth and I needed to write it so history would not be distorted.”
Only Churchill knew the authentic truth! Only Churchill told it! The two Churchill books confirming these facts are: “Triumph and Tragedy,” 1953, pages 392, 393 and “The Great Alliance,” 1953, p476.
An added interesting part of Churchill’s memoirs referred to the utter disdain he held towards General Haig whom Newfoundland honoured after the First World War. Churchill blamed Haig for the loss of soldiers at Beaumont Hamel because the General knew that the Germans were waiting over the hill with machine guns ready to mow them down.
His defence of this seemingly cold-blooded action was that the sacrifice was necessary.
When Churchill visited Haig while researching his memoirs he was bold and upfront in telling Haig how he felt about that decision. The interview proceeded on a friendly basis and Churchill felt Haig had treated him graciously.
Churchill listened to Haig then returned home to complete his memoirs.
The Placentia Bay meeting made all the difference in the outcome of the Second World War. Until this genuine story of what took place in Newfoundland at the Churchill-FDR Summit in 1941 is recognized, Newfoundland’s true role in the Second World War history will remain unknown.