Posts Tagged ‘reginald plunkett’

Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax

Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax

Admiral the Hon. Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, KCB, DSO, JP, DL was the splendidly named British half of the Anglo-French delegation sent to Moscow in August 1939 to discuss with Stalin a possible anti-Nazi alliance. This was before the outbreak of war between Britain and Germany in September 1939.

Many historians have argued that Drax was a blimpish member of the naval hierarchy, when sending a general would be more appropriate, and that the delegation was deliberately lowly. The delegation was also sent by sea in an elderly passenger ship The City of Exeter, which took five days to get to Leningrad, arriving on 10 August. It was also said that the British Embassy in Moscow was appalled at the low status of the delegation, which ought to have been headed by Lord Halifax, the Foreign Secretary, himself, as had been previously requested by the Soviet Ambassador in London, Ivan Maisky. However before he left, Drax had been told by Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister, and Halifax, to try and spin the negotiations out until October when winter conditions would make a Nazi invasion of Poland difficult. Maisky also found out from intelligence reports that the delegation would not be able to make any decisions on the spot. Negotiations dragged on for ten days despite an invasion of Poland by Germany becoming more and more likely.

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