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Leaders during the cold war

Churchill’s return to power in 1951, and de Gaulle’s in 1958, meant that they were faced with an international context marked by hostility between two blocs, conflicts of decolonisation and the beginning of European integration. Having coined the term “iron curtain” in 1946, Churchill devoted his time as Prime Minister until 1955 to the tightening of the alliance with the United States and reopened dialogue with the USSR. General de Gaulle, who equipped France with nuclear weapons, wanted to lead a balanced policy with respect to the two superpowers and European integration based around France and Germany.

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Clementine Churchill (1885-1977)
Copy of her answer to Charles de Gaulle
25 January 1966 - Typed paper

© Churchill Archives Centre

French constitutional referendum,
1969 : general de Gaulle's speech
25 April 1969 - Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française (ORTF)


Interview of the French historian François Kersaudy
about Winston Churchill and General de Gaulle funerals

© ECPAD / musée de l'Armée

Charles de Gaulle
Letter to Clementine Churchill commemorating
the 1st anniversary of Winston Churchill's death
22 January 1966 - Ink manuscript on paper, front

© Archives de Gaulle/Churchill Archives Centre