In 1947, even as mutual suspicions were rising, Churchill wrote to Stalin: ‘your life is not only precious to your country, which you saved, but to the friendship between Soviet Russia and the English-speaking world’. There is a significant development in reassessing the Second World War, in which Stalin played the pivotal role. Geoffrey Robert’s Stalin’s Wars is a case in point (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here). And it is being undertaken by historians who are by no means Marxists or Cold War warriors (plenty of those still around – you need only look at Germany). Roberts concludes that the contemporary assessment of Stalin is far closer to the truth than what followed. Not only did Stalin defeat Hitler and ‘save the world for democracy’, but also:

To make so many mistakes and to rise from the depths of such defeat to go on to win the greatest military victory in history was a triumph beyond compare (p. 374).