‘Victory finds a hundred fathers but defeat is an orphan.’
Count Galeazzo Ciano
The Prime Minister had returned to London on 24 August following his gruelling trip to the Middle East and Moscow in the confident belief that the planning for Operation Torch was well underway. Instead, he found himself on the receiving end of what he described as ‘a bombshell’ from Washington – a change of heart by the American Chiefs of Staff which promised to unravel the whole operation, and thereby torpedo Churchill’s entire war strategy, which he had developed with such energetic diligence over the last six months.
While Churchill had been away, the old divisions between London and Washington over Torch had resurfaced ...