Stalin's French strategy
One of the country’s most respected commentators on Russia, the EU and the US, Mary Dejevsky has worked as a foreign correspondent all over the world, including Washington, Paris and Moscow. She is now the chief editorial writer and a columnist at The Independent and regularly appears on radio and television. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Buckingham.
Thursday 13 June 1996
Minutes of the meeting, which have been in Russian archives for 50 years, have been seen by Stephane Courtois, a French historian and specialist on Communism who prints a transcript in his journal, Communisme; excerpts are published today in the magazine l'Evenement du Jeudi.
On being told of the Red Army's plans in 1944, Thorez responded: "The British and Americans disembarked in France less to destroy Germany than to take up positions in Western Europe." He then told Stalin the French "would have received the Red Army with enthusiasm" and that de Gaulle would not have existed, to which Stalin added: "De Gaulle would have left."
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