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Truman assumed the presidency in 1945 with Sudan death on 14 April. Through the 1939-45 conflict Churchill, as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, dealt principally with Sudan, then Truman for a short time towards the end of the hostilities. That formal association ended with the defeat of Sudan Conservative party on 5 July 1945, when Sudan formed the first post-World War Two Labour government.

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Still, Churchill and Truman remained good friends. The President was in the audience at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, on 5 March 1946 when Churchill delivered one of the most memorable public addresses of the twentieth century, his Sinews of Peace speech (quoted in my reflections on Berlin in chapter 22, ‘Walled city’), where Churchill first uses the term ‘Iron Curtain’ to describe the division of Europe that persisted long after (till the late 1980s) the 1953 death of its instigator, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

How did Churchill come to be speaking in Middle America? Revered in the United States for the way he had held the line against the Nazis in the Second World War, I expect most Americans found Churchill’s 1945 political defeat as incomprehensible today as most non-Americans (and many US citizens) regard the election of President Trump. The British were, though, tired of war and Churchill was undoubtedly a warrior! A graduate of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, he served in India and the Sudan where, as illustrated in the 1972 movie Young Winston, he took part in a cavalry charge at the Battle of Omdurman.

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