WINSTON Churchill disccused dropping nuclear bombs on Russia during the Cold War in 1951, a new memorandum reveals.
The then leader of the opposition is said to have wanted his war strategy to involve using nuclear strikes to bomb Russia and China into submission.
He thought the best way to end the conflict was to give Russia an “ultimatum” and if they refused, he would threaten 20 to 30 cities with atom bombs.
Churchill then wanted to warn Russia it was “imperative” the civilian population of each named city was “immediately evacuated”.
He was convinced Russia would refuse their terms so he discussed plans to bomb “one of the targets, and if necessary, additional ones”.
Churchill hoped that by the third attack the Kremlin would eventually meet their terms.
The bombshell plans have come to light in a memorandum written by the New York Times general manager Julius Ochs Adler, according to The Times.
In it, he describes a conversation the pair had during lunch at Churchill’s home in Kent on Sunday, April 29, 1951.
The 76-year-old was given Pol Roger champagne in a glass “of unusual shape and size” which he said “held at least twice as much as those in front of the other places”.
He then said Churchill described the UK-US joint policy on Russia as being “weak, rather than aggressive”.
Mr Adler, a former US army officer, wrote: “Somewhat abruptly, he asked me the official figure of our atom bomb stockpile and our estimate of Russia’s available supply.
Upon their refusal, the Kremlin should be informed that unless they reconsidered, we would atom bomb one of 20 or 30 cities.”
“I replied that happily I was not in the inner circles of the government and therefore was not burdened with that awesome secret.
“He then startled us a second time by stating that if he were prime minister and could secure the agreement of our government, he would lay down certain conditions to Russia in the form of an ultimatum.
“Upon their refusal, the Kremlin should be informed that unless they reconsidered, we would atom bomb one of 20 or 30 cities.
“Simultaneously we should warn them it was imperative that the civilian population of each city named be immediately evacuated.
“He believed they would again refuse to consider our terms. Then we should bomb one of the targets, and if necessary, additional ones.
“Such panic would ensue (certainly by the third attack) not only among the Russian people but within the Kremlin, that our terms would be met.”
Mr Adler then told the former prime minister he did not feel the American people would “ever consent to such a form of preventative war and would only use our atom bombs in retaliation”.
He also added that the UK and US had “many partners to consider who might be averse to such a policy”.
Richard Toye, head of history of the University of Exeter, found the note in papers belonging to the New York Times Company.
He said Churchill recommended a threat like this in 1949 when the Soviet Union did not have nuclear weapons.
However, he added that it was a revelation he was still contemplating a similar threat two years later.
He told The Times: “One can question his judgment at this point.”
Professor Toye admitted his atom bomb approach was not a “brilliant” one but added that the “strategy he pursued in office was rather better”.