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Talking Strategy

Jan 30, 2024

The relationship between Winston Churchill and his leading military advisor, the abrasive General ‘Shrapnel’ Alan Brooke (1883–1963), was one of the most productive yet tensest in the history of civil-military relations. This episode delves into some of their strategic debates.

Viscount Alanbrooke’s relationship with Churchill was famously rocky, yet the two leaders trusted one another. It was due to Brooke’s influence that the Americans were persuaded to drop their plan to liberate Italy by starting off with a campaign to take Sardinia and to go for Sicily instead, and he also talked Churchill into dropping plans for an operation in Indonesia.

The guest for this episode is Dr Andrew Sangster, an historian and Anglican priest and the author of 17 books, including an acclaimed biography of Alanbrooke. His next book, From Plato to Putin, discusses the causes and ethical dilemmas of war.