Winston Churchill on War (Then and Now)

On Victory

“You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terror. Victory, however long and hard the road may be. For without victory, there is no survival.” In a speech in the House of Commons, May 13, 1940.

On Appeasement

“You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war.” Spoken in reference to arch-appeaser Neville Chamberlain.

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

On the Will to Fight

“If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds are against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves.” From “The Gathering Storm.”

England at War

“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”

“Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war.”

“Never give in – never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

“Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.”

“One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half.”

“We (the British) have not journeyed across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy.”

“What kind of a people do they (Japan) think we are? Is it possible they do not realize that we shall never cease to persevere against them until they have been taught a lesson which they and the world will never forget?”

“We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on beaches, landing grounds, in fields, in streets and on the hills. We shall never surrender and even if, which I do not for the moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, will carry on the struggle until in God’s good time the New World with all its power and might, sets forth to the liberation and rescue of the Old.”

“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.”

“We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea and air–war with all our might and with all the strength God has given us–and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.”

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

2017-01-20T19:03:16+00:00 By |0 Comments

About the Author:

Rick Keyt has practiced law in Arizona since 1980. He flew the F-4 Phantom for five years in the United States Air Force, including combat missions over South Vietnam, North Vietnam and Laos in 1972. For more about Rick's bio including his F-4 bio see his resume on his law website. Connect with Richard at 480-664-7478 or on Google+

Leave a Reply