Churchill and FDR - WW II. By-line Shakespeare, and in his inimitable iambs (400 words)
DISPATCH FROM CASABLANCA
Cast of Characters:
Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (WLSC)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR)
A navy mess steward
Scene One (and only)
A stateroom on a U.S. Navy Carrier. Time: November 8, 1942
Upon a storm-tossed ship, two men there were
Who, unalike in many ways, still held
‘Twixt them a single, overriding aim.
They meet upon this sea off Africa
To witness what would later come to be
“The end of the beginning,” of that march
Which at its end would silence battle’s roar.
WLSC: We set upon a noble task this day;
To rid this continent of that sly Fox
Who, with his tanks and guns and men and planes,
Has ravaged lands from Libya to the Nile.
FDR: When first our “Black Jack” Pershing hit the beach
In what, since thirty-nine, we call the First,
He summoned from the past with his fair line
That image of America’s great war
(You’ll pardon please the reference to our fight
To rid our continent of Old King George):
“We have arrived, most noble Lafayette.”
WLSC: Oh yeah, Oh yeah, a couple of good words
Can make men do what men thought they could not.
Remember my cute phrase, “so much and
So many and what is owed so few?” Damned good.
FDR: As was, I think, “Fear naught but fear”. ‘Twent far
To calm the fever of depressing times.
WLSC: But let’s get back to Operation Torch.
Who is this Eisenhower guy you’ve sent
To oversee this most important job?
Will he hold up? Is he the man who’s wise
Enough and strong enough to smash Sick Adolph’s
Corps Afrik and get us to the point where we
From Beni’s boot and England’s shore will catch
Him in the trap and end his Reich for all?
FDR: An Army man, no politician he.
A MacArthur he’s not, but he will serve,
And he will do, and he will overcome.
Noise of the fleet’s guns firing
WLSC: Hark. The battle starts. Cigars to mark the time?
FDR: I’ll have a butt, and brandy would be nice.
WLSC: Two brandies steward, please.
FDR: And my cigarette holder, please.
They are served. Their snifters clink.
WLSC: God Save the King.
FDR: God Save Us All.