OPERATION UNTHINKABLE

Winston Churchill regarded the Bolshevik revolt in 1917 as a great danger to the West, as it could spread westward. V.I. Lenin also openly declared his intentions of world revolution starting westward from Moscow. Even before he took over the War Office in January, 1919, Churchill had argued for a large-scale joint military intervention by all five principal Allies to bring down the Bolshevik regime. If the Americans were reluctant the other four should go alone – the British, the French, the Japanese and the Italians. But British Premier Lloyd George opposed it. Churchill then argued that Russia would primarily have to be saved by the Russians themselves. The White Forces could be provided with arms, ammunition, and technical services on a voluntary basis. If this did not work Allied troops could be dispatched.

Just after Germany’s defeat in the Second World War he ordered a draft contingency plan for an Anglo-American invasion of the Soviet Union. Codenamed “Operation Unthinkable” it would include the use of German troops to back up 500,000 British and American soldiers. They would attack the Russians through northern Germany. The background was the prediction that Josef Stalin would invade Turkey, Greece, Norway and the oil fields of Iraq and Iran. He would order extensive sabotage operations in France, the Netherlands and Belgium. The offensive Churchill plan was later exchanged for a defensive plan of guarding against invasion of Soviet armies.

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