Fellow writes new book on Churchill
Published: 17 Oct 2017
2010 Fellow Dr Christopher Catherwood has published a new book on Sir Winston Churchill. The book, entitled ‘Churchill and Tito: SOE, Bletchley Park and Supporting the Yugoslav Communists in World War II’ will be published by Pen and Sword Books.
The book draws on findings from Christopher’s Fellowship, when he researched the OSS’ (the precursor to the CIA) secret operations in Yugoslavia in 1943-1945, in the National Archives in Washington DC.
One of Churchill’s most controversial decisions during the Second World War was to switch Special Operations Executive (SOE) support in Yugoslavia in 1943 from the Cetniks loyal to the exiled Royal Government to backing Tito and his Communist Partisan guerrillas. It led to a Communist regime in Yugoslavia which lasted until Tito’s death in 1980, and the nationalistic sentiments he had suppressed exploding into ethnic violence in the Balkan wars of the 1990s.
Until now the story has been that SOE was infiltrated by Communists in Cairo and that Fitzroy Maclean, Churchill’s personal delegate to Tito, was hoodwinked by the Communist leader, and that Churchill was duped into abandoning the royalists. However, the recently deposited papers of Sir Bill Deakin, Churchill's former assistant and an SOE operative in Yugoslavia, reveal that the decision was based upon absolutely solid evidence and in Britain's best military interests.
Christopher‘s book demonstrates that one of Churchill’s most significant and consequential decisions of the Second World War was not the terrible mistake that historians have portrayed it.
For the past two years, another of Christopher’s books, ‘Churchill: The Treasures of Winston Churchill, the Greatest Briton’ has been presented to each of our new Fellows.