Col. Gault (Military Assistant to General Eisenhower, 29 April 1945): “John Peck, is that you? The General told me to ask you if the war is over.”
Peck: “I beg your pardon?”
Gault: “Seriously, we’ve got a press message here which says quite clearly that it’s all over. If so, nobody has told the General and he thought you would be the most likely to know at your end.”
Peck: “Well, if it has ended, nobody has told the Prime Minister either.”
Gault: “Do you think we had better carry on?”
Peck: “Yes, I think so.” [John then went back to sleep, and the war went on.]
Yet those poor Lithuanian partisans who fought a hopeless guerrilla campaign against the Soviet occupation after 1945 kept waiting for us to show up,” Mead cointinues. “Apparently they made the mistake of believing all those fine words that Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill wrote in The Atlantic Charter.
I have no doubt that Roosevelt and Truman were right to avoid war with the Soviet Union after World War Two…But war over eastern Europe in 1945 was unthinkable; containment was the best we could do.…