I remember this date well while in uniform and thought that it would reduce the tension between East and West...it proved not to be.(Casting back,all we had was piston engined aircraft to deliver a free fall A Bomb and it would be a one way trip and there was always the ever present threat of the Soviets invading the North European plain.) Suez and the Hungarian revolution came and as a reservist,I thought the worst. The economy sapping tension went on until the satellites eventually woke and threw off the yoke. Yet Stalin is still revered by 50% of the present Russian population.I asked a Russian this question a few years ago regarding the Stalin regime and the present regime and got the impression that there was not much difference. But more importantly,I think we have to assess Stalin's impact in the light of the Second World War...our war when we were on our knees and fortunately relieved when Hitler dismissed the concept of fighting on two fronts and made the irrational decision to invade the Soviet Union without settlement in the West.This relief led to the anxiety of would Stalin stay in the war or capitulate to the Germans and sue for peace.Without doubt, had Stalin not kept Russia in the war and this was recognised by WSC as one the the highest priorities he had in 1941 and 1942,it would have been a formidable task to defeat Hitler in Europe with Great Britain standing alone.The other priority as regards alliances against Hitler was the wish by WSC for the US to enter the war again the general wishes of the US population. I think any observer being less of a realist would find it distasteful to be in the same bed as Stalin but the question has to asked,would it best for the security and existence of Great Britain, to be in bed with Hitler or Stalin.History proves that the alliance with Stalin was the best policy of ridding the world of Hitler and his Nazi regime.It cost the Russians dear,a figure of 27 million military personnel and civilians in a war of ideology. I can tell you that Stalin and the Soviet Union have been discussed many times on a personal level....served with a Polish Sergeant who would come in hard against what happened in Eastern Poland when our small group were discussing communism and Stalin. Regarding the wartime British policy to Stalin and the Soviet Union.I remember at school when first studying algebra....some might have heard of the rule for algebra when dealing with the + and - values when multiplying;+ presenting a friend and - representing, an enemy. So following the algebra rule,the enemy of my enemy, is my friend,which would explain the status of Stalin with regard to the recognition given by the wartime British Government in the alliance against Hitler. Stalin one of the worse dictators in history but his involvement in what the Russians termed the Great Patriotic War, ensured that the Nazi regime vision of lasting 1000 years was little but the dream of another dictator.