GERMANY: As the Ruhr Goes . . .

For months before Allied soldiers breached Festung Europa at Normandy, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt stubbornly argued over who would occupy the industry-rich Ruhr. After the invasion, Churchill's claim was reinforced by the top-level political and military decision to give Field Marshal Montgomery command of the sweep along the lowlands toward northeast Germany. Roosevelt finally yielded, let Churchill have the Ruhr.

Had the British bitten off more than they could occupationally chew? The answer, underlined by last week's formalization of the U.S.-British zonal economic merger, was yes. The British zone had...

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