Hastings Ismay

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We are consciously and deliberately determined to make history

Hastings Lionel "Pug" Ismay (21 June 188717 December 1965) was a British soldier and diplomat, remembered primarily for his role as Winston Churchill's chief military assistant during the Second World War and his service as the first Secretary General of NATO from 1952 to 1957. He also helped oversee the partition of India as Lord Mountbatten of Burma's chief of staff.


  • On the Festival of Britain, "We are consciously and deliberately determined to make history."
    • "Scope of 1951 Festival". The Times: p. 3a. 9 June 1949.
  • On NATO "I am convinced that the present solution is only a partial one, aimed at guarding the heart. It must grow until the whole free world gets under one umbrella."
    • As Secretary General of NATO (1952 - 1957). See Smith, Robert. The NATO International Staff/Secretariat, 1952-1957. London: Oxford University Press, 1967, p. 65


  • On the purpose of NATO: “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”
    • In 1949, prior to serving as Secretary General of NATO (1952–1957).
    • See David Reynolds ed., “Introduction,” in The Origins of the Cold War in Europe: International Perspectives (Yale University, 1994), p. 13, citing Peter Hennessy, Whitehall (London, 1989), p. 412.


  • "Churchill owed more, and admitted that he owed more [to Ismay] than to anybody else, military or civilian, in the whole of the war."
    • Colville, John. Winston Churchill and His Inner Circle. New York: Wyndham Books, 1981. p. 161

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