GREAT BRITAIN: Cracks in the Armor

In London's vast, cavernous Empress Hall, which is generally used as a skating rink, the leaders and rank-&-file of Britain's Tory Party met for their last conclave before the national election. Their hopes were high. Winston Churchill, firmly in the saddle as the Conservatives' leader, was once again flushed with the excitement of battle. In memoranda, terse marginal notes and snapped-out orders, he laid out Tory strategy. To describe his strategy, he revived a famed Churchillian wartime phrase: a concentrated attack "on the soft underbelly of Socialism."

Shades of Dunkirk. Explained one of his lieutenants: "The Old Man's dead against...

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