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Destiny in the Desert: The road to El Alamein - the Battle that Turned the Tide by Jonathan Dimbleby

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– TWELVE –ROOSEVELT JOINS THE FRAY

‘Trust me to the bitter end.’

Franklin D. Roosevelt to Winston Churchill

By January 1942, Auchinleck’s victory was almost forgotten, overtaken by the most momentous news of the war since the invasion of Russia the previous June. On 7 December, the very day that Tobruk was finally liberated, 353 Japanese aircraft launched an attack against the US Pacific Fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. On that Sunday evening, Churchill was staying at Chequers with the American ambassador, John Winant, and Roosevelt’s unofficial ambassador, Averell Harriman. They were alone at dinner when they heard the news on the wireless but the three men had been too absorbed in their own conversation to be certain of the facts. ...

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