August 2nd, 1946
Damn it Patterson why did I have to hear about this “conversation” through back channels! When Winston Churchill visits I want to know what he said before he leaves the room!
If I may Mr. President the idea was so preposterous that I didn’t think it warranted comment. I was trying to save Sir Winston from embarrassment. I mean the idea of us dumping an American weapon for a foreign designed one is …
Patterson listen and listen good. I will decide what is preposterous and what isn’t. Not you. Edgar fill Mr. Patterson in on the history of British American cooperation in the area of technology. I’ll give you a few hints Mr. Patterson. Every heard of the P51 Mustang?
Of course sir.
It was a bust until the Brits put a British Merlin engine in it. And it helped win the war.
How about the Liberty ship?
Ah yes sir.
Would you say it was important to winning the war?
Well of course Mr. President but they were all made here in America by American workers from top to bottom. The British had nothing to do with their production or …
It was a British design you idiot! One that we saw was better than anything we had so we built it to win the war.
Edgar name some more for the Secretary.
Oh course Mr. President. Let’s see we used the 6lbr quite extensively. It was renamed the 57mm M1. The gyro gun sight, short wave radar, proximity fuze, Bangalore torpedo and of course they jump started our jet engine and Abomb program. Then there’s plastic…
We get the idea Edgar. Here’s what were going to do. I want this war over with before winter of 1947. We need a tank now that can put down the Red jobs and be reliable. We have a lot of fast, mobile operations coming up and the M26 Pershing is not up to the job. There is no time to figure out a replacement. I don’t have time to fool with our boys lives. We are going to take up the Brits on their offer and we will shift production to the Centurion! I want it done now!
Sir the political fallout will be tremendous…
Bullshit! You didn’t even know about the Liberty ship being a Brit design and neither will the American public. Name the damn thing the … Patton. Make some minor cosmetic changes and get the right weapon in our fighting men’s hands for a change. I’m not suggesting … I’m ordering.
Yes sir Mr. President. Come to think of it I did hear that the current version with the 20mm was not working too well perhaps if we used a 50cal instead make a few cosmetic changes …
That’s the spirit Mr. Patterson. Remember the “Buck Stops Here” and I will not put our troops in needless danger. Am I understood Mr. Secretary?
Yes Mr. President.