WINSTON CHURCHILL AND EAST-WEST DETANTE - The efforts to end the Cold War, 1950-1953



Nikita Khrushchev said: “In fact, it was Winston Churchill’s idea to open a line of communication between the Western powers and the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death...” There is no doubt that Churchill should be remembered as the father of détente, as he deserves to be called the Warrior of the Cold War. As with many aspects of his life, Churchill’s attitude towards the Soviet Union and Communism has generated much debate. The same statesman who incited war against the Bolshevik regime in 1919, calling it ‘Bodies of unscrupulous monkeys’, or a ‘culture of infectious diseases’, also incited collaboration with Stalin in the 1930s. He spent the last years of his life in office calling for a meeting and summit to de-escalate Cold War tensions. Churchill’s idea of a summit was opposed by most Western governments. But despite strong objections from the State Department, the British Foreign Office, and many foreign ministers of Western governments, he tried to reach a modus vivendi with Moscow until the end of his career. His obsession with going down in history as ‘the greatest peacemaker’ remains admirable to this day, but his idea of a summit tended to divide the Western Allies and moreover Prime Minister Churchill lacked a policy clear to achieve his goal. Furthermore, the events of 1951-55 made a détente with Moscow impossible. Considering the events of these years, it is difficult to accept that Winston Churchill’s ideas for a summit with the Soviet Union would have improved East-West relations. However, the enthusiasm of this great statesman is to be admired, along with his desire to ease Cold War tensions, despite the opposition he faced and his poor health. In this study we will present Churchill’s obsession with détente, the views of the American government and the perspective of the British Cabinet, as well as the implications that Churchill’s ideas had on détente and his much-sought summit between the Western powers and the Soviet Union.

Keywords: Churchill, detente, Stallin, Cold War, Iron Curtain, Conference, Peace.


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How to Cite

Kurti, B., & Iseni, A. (2023). WINSTON CHURCHILL AND EAST-WEST DETANTE - The efforts to end the Cold War, 1950-1953. ANGLISTICUM. Journal of the Association-Institute for English Language and American Studies, 11(11), pp.68–87. Retrieved from



Volume 11, Nr.11, November 2022

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