I have, myself, full confidence
that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall
prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny,
if necessary for years, if necessary alone.
At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do.
That is the resolve of His Majesty's Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation.
The British Empire and the French Republic, linked
together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades
to the utmost of their strength.
Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and
famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not
flag or fail.
We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France,
we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend
our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight
in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a
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, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and
might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old." WC Speech. We Shall Fight on the Beaches, June 4, 1940 House
I referred to the emergence of inspired leadership
as another and lower aspect of divine guidance and participation. Such inspired leadership is now being given to humanity
by Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, in contradistinction to the focused leadership of the forces of materialism
through Hitler and another man in his group. EXT 301.
A little planned direction and a wisely outlined program
with this in view can and will bring about the needed change and make a sound and intelligent public opinion one of the major
factors in world reconstruction. One of the most interesting features of this war period has been the direct contact which
has been set up by some of the world leaders with the man in the street and the woman in the home, as witness the talks given
by Roosevelt and Churchill. Those given by the Axis leaders are in a totally different category, for they have been directed
to the male youth of their countries and to the man in uniform. Only the lesser leaders in Germany, for instance, talk to
the people in their homes, and then only to give them orders, to foster hate and to misrepresent the truth. EXT 380.
January 11 In "The United
States of Europe" WSC called for European unity.
January 26 WSC made his first speech in the House against his own Party's
India Policy .
January 27 WSC made a formal break with the Conservative leadership by resigning from the Party's 'Business
January 28 WSC's resignation was accepted by Stanley Baldwin.
January 30 WSC spoke to the second meeting
of the Indian Empire Society at Free Trade Hall, Manchester.
February 9 WSC challenged Party policy on India at a Conservative
Members Committee .
February 23 At a West Essex Conservative meeting, WSC denounced a meeting of the Viceroy of India
with Gandhi .
February 24 WSC received support at a meeting of National Union of Conservative Associations .
W.S.Churchill spoke in the House against the Viceroy-Gandhi negotiations.
April 4 WSC asked Brendan Bracken to help Indian
Empire Society to put questions in the House.
June 29 W.S.Churchill warned against disarmament of Britain and France.
10 WSC wrote that Germany would never accept the Treaty of Versailles.
December 1 WSC warned Conservative Party Conference
about India Policy.
December 3 In House Debate on India, WSC castigated Tories for abandoning its principles.
It is alarming and nauseating to see
Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the east, striding half naked up
the steps of the viceregal palace, while he is still organising and conducting a campaign of civil disobedience, to parlay
on equal terms with the representative of the Emperor-King. Commenting on Gandhi's meeting with the Viceroy of India, 1931.
If Gandhi were to succeed in his objective now, it
would precipitate civil war in India, sacrifice all immediate hope of freedom for that country, permit the Japanese to realize
an easy conquest of India, bring about a slaughtering of countless thousands, and permit Germany to join hands with Japan
across Asia, with the appalling probability of a totalitarian victory. EXT 368.
Gandhi and World War II
Gandhi never quite seemed
to realize that the non-violence he urged against the British would have failed horribly if applied to the Nazis. He urged
the British to surrender, and suggested that the Czechs and even the Jews would have been better off committing heroic mass
Even as late as June 1946, when the extent of the Holocaust
had emerged, Gandhi told biographer Louis Fisher: "The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should
have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs."
As the Japanese advanced into Burma (now called Myanmar),
there was a real possibility of an Axis invasion of India. Gandhi thought it was best to let the Japanese take as much of
India as they wanted, and that the best way to resist would be to "make them feel unwanted."
(In fact, the Axis was helping a buddy of Gandhi's
to raise an army of Indians that would have seized the country from the Brits, but that's another story.) www.
The Congress Party has now abandoned
in many respects the policy of non-violence which Mr. Gandhi has so long inculcated in theory, and has come into the open
as a revolutionary movement designed to paralyse the communications by rail and telegraph and generally to promote disorder,
the looting of shops and sporadic attacks upon the Indian police, accompanied from time to time by revolting atrocities-the
whole having the intention or at any rate the effect of hampering the defence of India against the Japanese invader who stands
on the frontiers of Assam and also upon the eastern side of the Bay of Bengal. It may well be that these activities by the
Congress Party have been aided by Japanese fifth-column work on a widely extended scale and with special direction to strategic
points. It is noteworthy, for instance, that the communications of the Indian forces defending Bengal on the Assam frontier
have been specially attacked.
In these circumstances the Viceroy and Government of
India, with the unanimous support of the Viceroy's Council, the great majority of which are Indians, patriotic and wise men,
have felt it necessary to proclaim and suppress the central and Provincial organs of this association which has become committed
to hostile and criminal courses. Mr. Gandhi and other principal leaders have been interned under conditions of the highest
comfort and consideration, and will be kept out of harm's way till the troubles subside.
It is fortunate, indeed, that the Congress Party has
no influence whatever with the martial races, on whom the defence of India apart from British Forces largely depends. Many
of these races are divided by unbridgeable religious gulfs from the Hindu Congress, and would never consent to be ruled by
them. Nor shall they ever be against their will so subjugated. There is no compulsory service in India, but upwards of a million
Indians have volunteered to serve the cause of the United Nations in this world struggle. The bravery of the Indian troops
has been distinguished in many theatres of war, and it is satisfactory to note that in these last two months when the Congress
has been measuring its strength against the Government of India, more than 140,000 new volunteers for the Army have come forward
in loyal allegiance to the King-Emperor, thus surpassing all records in order to defend their native land. So far as matters
have gone up to the present, they have revealed the impotence of the Congress Party either to seduce or even sway the Indian
Army, to draw from their duty the enormous body of Indian officials, or still less to stir the vast Indian masses.
India is a continent, almost as large as and actually
more populous than Europe and divided by racial and above all by religious differences far deeper than any that have separated
Europeans. The whole administration of the government of the 390,000,000 who live in India is carried on by Indians, there
being under 600 British members of the Indian Civil Service. All the public services are working. In five provinces, including
two of the greatest and comprising 110,000,000 people, provincial ministers responsible to their Legislatures stand at their
posts. In many places, both in town and country, the population has rallied to the support of the civil power. The Congress
conspiracy against the communications is breaking down. Acts of pillage and arson are being repressed and punished with incredibly
small loss of life. Less than 500 persons have been killed over this mighty area of territory and population and it has only
been necessary to move a few brigades of British troops here and there in support of the civil power. In most cases the rioters
have been successfully dealt with by the Indian police. I am sure the House would wish me to pay a tribute to the loyalty
and steadfastness of these brave Indian police as well as of the Indian official classes generally whose behaviour has been
deserving of the highest praise.
To sum up, the outstanding fact which has so far emerged
from the violent action of the Congress Party has been their non-representative character and their powerlessness to throw
into confusion the normal peaceful life of India. It is the intention of His Majesty's Government to give all necessary support
to the Viceroy and his Executive in the firm but tempered measures by which they are protecting the life of the Indian community
and leaving the British and Indian Armies free to defend the soil of India against the Japanese.
I may add that large reinforcements have reached India
and that the numbers of white soldiers now in that country, though very small compared with its size and population, are larger
than at any time in the British connection. I, therefore, feel entitled to report to the House that the situation in India
at this moment gives no occasion for undue despondency or alarm. http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/policy/1942/420910a.html
WHY FRANCE BETRAYED THE CZECHS
In one of his
most important and most carefully prepared speeches, a vast American as well as British and French public listening on the
radio or reading the printed word next day (August 25, 1941), Churchill deliberately described in these words the relation
of the French to the Czechs in 1938:
"A French government deserted their faithful ally and broke a plighted word in that
ally's hour of need." Black International No. 5. Joseph McCabe.
Today the Germans are in Russia and are surpassing
their own record of brutality. Mr. Winston Churchill does not love Russia, so when he says that he has, officially, full and
solid information about the German atrocities we have to believe him. On August 24 he said, speaking of Germany, in a carefully-prepared
"As her armies advance whole districts are being exterminated.
Scores of thousands -- literally scores of thousands -- of executions in cold blood are being perpetrated by the German police-troops.
Since the Mogul invasion of Europe in the sixteenth century there has never been methodical, merciless butchery on such a
scale or approaching such a scale."
On September 29 he spoke again about "the absolutely
frightful, indescribable atrocities which the German police-troops are inflicting on the Russian population in the rear of
the advance of their armored soldiers." Black International No. 6. Joseph McCabe.
BBC, May 19, 1940.
First Broadcast as Prime
Minister to the British People.
By May 14, the news from the front was uniformly bad.
The Germans had broken through the French defences at Sedan, and everywhere the French forces were reeling under a devastating
barrage from land and air. "At almost all points where the armies had come in contact," Churchill later wrote, "the weight
and fury of the German attack was overwhelming." Holland fell on May 15, and Churchill flew to Paris on the same day to confer
with the French leaders. It was evident that the military situation was near to catastrophic, and that the military commanders
and political leaders were resigned to overwhelming defeat. Churchill agreed to send ten fighter squadrons to France, thereby
imperilling the situation in England, as a desperate attempt to restore the spirits of his Ally. On May 19, the Cabinet was
informed that Lord Gort was "examining a possible withdrawal towards Dunkirk." In these sombre circumstances, Churchill made
this, his first broadcast as Prime Minister to the British people.
First Broadcast as Prime Minister:
I speak to you for the first time as Prime Minister
in a solemn hour for the life of our country, of our empire, of our allies, and, above all, of the cause of Freedom. A tremendous
battle is raging in France and Flanders. The Germans, by a remarkable combination of air bombing and heavily armored tanks,
have broken through the French defenses north of the Maginot Line, and strong columns of their armored vehicles are ravaging
the open country, which for the first day or two was without defenders. They have penetrated deeply and spread alarm and confusion
in their track. Behind them there are now appearing infantry in lorries, and behind them, again, the large masses are moving
forward. The re-groupment of the French armies to make head against, and also to strike at, this intruding wedge has been
proceeding for several days, largely assisted by the magnificent efforts of the Royal Air Force.
We must not allow ourselves to be intimidated by the
presence of these armored vehicles in unexpected places behind our lines. If they are behind our Front, the French are also
at many points fighting actively behind theirs. Both sides are therefore in an extremely dangerous position. And if the French
Army, and our own Army, are well handled, as I believe they will be; if the French retain that genius for recovery and counter-attack
for which they have so long been famous; and if the British Army shows the dogged endurance and solid fighting power of which
there have been so many examples in the past -- then a sudden transformation of the scene might spring into being.
It would be foolish, however, to disguise the gravity
of the hour. It would be still more foolish to lose heart and courage or to suppose that well-trained, well-equipped armies
numbering three or four millions of men can be overcome in the space of a few weeks, or even months, by a scoop, or raid of
mechanized vehicles, however formidable. We may look with confidence to the stabilization of the Front in France, and to the
general engagement of the masses, which will enable the qualities of the French and British soldiers to be matched squarely
against those of their adversaries. For myself, I have invincible confidence in the French Army and its leaders. Only a very
small part of that splendid Army has yet been heavily engaged; and only a very small part of France has yet been invaded.
There is a good evidence to show that practically the whole of the specialized and mechanized forces of the enemy have been
already thrown into the battle; and we know that very heavy losses have been inflict upon them. No officer or man, no brigade
or division, which grapples at close quarters with the enemy, wherever encountered, can fail to make a worthy contribution
to the general result. the Armies must cast away the idea of resisting behind concrete lines or natural obstacles, and must
realize that mastery can only be regained by furious and unrelenting assault. And this spirit must not only animate the High
Command, but must inspire every fighting man.
In the air -- often at serious odds, often at odds
hitherto thought overwhelming -- we have been clawing down three or four to one of our enemies; and the relative balance of
the British and German Air Forces is now considerably more favorable to us than at the beginning of the battle. In cutting
down the German bombers, we are fighting our own battle as well as that of France. May confidence in our ability to fight
it out to the finish with the German Air Force has been strengthened by the fierce encounters which have taken lace and are
taking place. At the same time, our heavy bombers are striking nightly at the tap-root of German mechanized power, and have
already inflicted serious damage upon the oil refineries on which the Nazi effort to dominate the world directly depends.
We must expect that as soon as stability is reached
on the Western Front, the bulk of that hideous apparatus of aggression which gashed Holland into ruin and slavery in a few
days will be turned upon us. I am sure I speak for all when I say we are ready to face it; to endure it; and to retaliate
against it -- to any extent that the unwritten laws of war permit. There will be many men and many women in the Island who
when the ordeal comes upon them, as come it will, will feel comfort, and even a pride, that they are sharing the perils of
our lads at the Front -- soldiers, sailors and airmen, God bless them -- and are drawing away from them a part at least of
the onslaught they have to bear. Is not this the appointed time for all to make the utmost exertions in their power? If the
battle is to be won, we must provide our men with ever-increasing quantities of the weapons and ammunition they need. We must
have, and have quickly, more aeroplanes, more tanks, more shells, more guns. there is imperious need for these vital munitions.
They increase our strength against the powerfully armed enemy. They replace the wastage of the obstinate struggle; and the
knowledge that wastage will speedily be replaced enables us to draw more readily upon our reserves and throw them in now that
everything counts so much.
Our task is not only to win the battle - but to win
the war. After this battle in France abates its force, there will come the battle for our Island -- for all that Britain is,
and all the Britain means. That will be the struggle. In that supreme emergency we shall not hesitate to take every step,
even the most drastic, to call forth from our people the last ounce and the last inch of effort of which they are capable.
The interests of property, the hours of labor, are nothing compared with the struggle of life and honor, for right and freedom,
to which we have vowed ourselves.
I have received from the Chiefs of the French Republic,and
in particular form its indomitable Prime Minister, M. Reynaud, the most sacred pledges that whatever happens they will fight
to the end, be it bitter or be it glorious. Nay, if we fight to the end, it can only be glorious.
Having received His Majesty's commission, I have formed
an Administration of men and women of every Party and of almost every point of view. We have differed and quarreled in the
past; but now one bond unites us all -- to wage war until victory is won, and never to surrender ourselves to servitude and
shame, whatever the cost and the agony may be. this is one of the most awe-striking periods in the long history of France
and Britain. It is also beyond doubt the most sublime. Side by side, unaided except by their kith and kin in the great Dominions
and by the wide empires which rest beneath their shield - side by side, the British and French peoples have advanced to rescue
not only Europe but mankind from the foulest and most soul-destroying tyranny which has ever darkened and stained the pages
of history. Behind them - behind us- behind the Armies and Fleets of Britain and France - gather a group of shattered States
and bludgeoned races: the Czechs, the Poles, the Norwegians, the Danes, the Dutch, the Belgians - upon all of whom the long
night of barbarism will descend, unbroken even by a star of hope, unless we conquer, as conquer we must; as conquer we shall.
Today is Trinity Sunday. Centuries ago words were written
to be a call and a spur to the faithful servants of Truth and Justice: "Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in
readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our
altar. As the Will of God is in Heaven, even so let it be." www.winstonchurchill.org
We Shall Fight on the Beaches:
June 4, 1940
The position of the B. E.F had now become critical
As a result of a most skillfully conducted retreat and German errors, the bulk of the British Forces reached the Dunkirk bridgehead.
The peril facing the British nation was now suddenly and universally perceived. On May 26, "Operation Dynamo "--the evacuation
from Dunkirk began. The seas remained absolutely calm. The Royal Air Force--bitterly maligned at the time by the Army--fought
vehemently to deny the enemy the total air supremacy which would have wrecked the operation. At the outset, it was hoped that
45,000 men might be evacuated; in the event, over 338,000 Allied troops reached England, including 26,000 French soldiers.
On June 4, Churchill reported to the House of Commons, seeking to check the mood of national euphoria and relief at the unexpected
deliverance, and to make a clear appeal to the United States.
From the moment that the French defenses at Sedan and
on the Meuse were broken at the end of the second week of May, only a rapid retreat to Amiens and the south could have saved
the British and French Armies who had entered Belgium at the appeal of the Belgian King; but this strategic fact was not immediately
realized. The French High Command hoped they would be able to close the gap, and the Armies of the north were under their
orders. Moreover, a retirement of this kind would have involved almost certainly the destruction of the fine Belgian Army
of over 20 divisions and the abandonment of the whole of Belgium. Therefore, when the force and scope of the German penetration
were realized and when a new French Generalissimo, General Weygand, assumed command in place of General Gamelin, an effort
was made by the French and British Armies in Belgium to keep on holding the right hand of the Belgians and to give their own
right hand to a newly created French Army which was to have advanced across the Somme in great strength to grasp it.
However, the German eruption swept like a sharp scythe
around the right and rear of the Armies of the north. Eight or nine armored divisions, each of about four hundred armored
vehicles of different kinds, but carefully assorted to be complementary and divisible into small self-contained units, cut
off all communications between us and the main French Armies. It severed our own communications for food and ammunition, which
ran first to Amiens and afterwards through Abbeville, and it shore its way up the coast to Boulogne and Calais, and almost
to Dunkirk. Behind this armored and mechanized onslaught came a number of German divisions in lorries, and behind them again
there plodded comparatively slowly the dull brute mass of the ordinary German Army and German people, always so ready to be
led to the trampling down in other lands of liberties and comforts which they have never known in their own.
I have said this armored scythe-stroke almost reached
Dunkirk-almost but not quite. Boulogne and Calais were the scenes of desperate fighting. The Guards defended Boulogne for
a while and were then withdrawn by orders from this country. The Rifle Brigade, the 60th Rifles, and the Queen Victoria's
Rifles, with a battalion of British tanks and 1,000 Frenchmen, in all about four thousand strong, defended Calais to the last.
The British Brigadier was given an hour to surrender. He spurned the offer, and four days of intense street fighting passed
before silence reigned over Calais, which marked the end of a memorable resistance. Only 30 unwounded survivors were brought
off by the Navy, and we do not know the fate of their comrades. Their sacrifice, however, was not in vain. At least two armored
divisions, which otherwise would have been turned against the British Expeditionary Force, had to be sent to overcome them.
They have added another page to the glories of the light divisions, and the time gained enabled the Graveline water lines
to be flooded and to be held by the French troops.
Thus it was that the port of Dunkirk was kept open.
When it was found impossible for the Armies of the north to reopen their communications to Amiens with the main French Armies,
only one choice remained. It seemed, indeed, forlorn. The Belgian, British and French Armies were almost surrounded. Their
sole line of retreat was to a single port and to its neighboring beaches. They were pressed on every side by heavy attacks
and far outnumbered in the air.
When, a week ago today, I asked the House to fix this
afternoon as the occasion for a statement, I feared it would be my hard lot to announce the greatest military disaster in
our long history. I thought-and some good judges agreed with me-that perhaps 20,000 or 30,000 men might be re-embarked. But
it certainly seemed that the whole of the French First Army and the whole of the British Expeditionary Force north of the
Amiens-Abbeville gap would be broken up in the open field or else would have to capitulate for lack of food and ammunition.
These were the hard and heavy tidings for which I called upon the House and the nation to prepare themselves a week ago. The
whole root and core and brain of the British Army, on which and around which we were to build, and are to build, the great
British Armies in the later years of the war, seemed about to perish upon the field or to be led into an ignominious and starving
That was the prospect a week ago. But another blow
which might well have proved final was yet to fall upon us. The King of the Belgians had called upon us to come to his aid.
Had not this Ruler and his Government severed themselves from the Allies, who rescued their country from extinction in the
late war, and had they not sought refuge in what was proved to be a fatal neutrality, the French and British Armies might
well at the outset have saved not only Belgium but perhaps even Poland. Yet at the last moment, when Belgium was already invaded,
King Leopold called upon us to come to his aid, and even at the last moment we came. He and his brave, efficient Army, nearly
half a million strong, guarded our left flank and thus kept open our only line of retreat to the sea. Suddenly, without prior
consultation, with the least possible notice, without the advice of his Ministers and upon his own personal act, he sent a
plenipotentiary to the German Command, surrendered his Army, and exposed our whole flank and means of retreat.
I asked the House a week ago to suspend its judgment
because the facts were not clear, but I do not feel that any reason now exists why we should not form our own opinions upon
this pitiful episode. The surrender of the Belgian Army compelled the British at the shortest notice to cover a flank to the
sea more than 30 miles in length. Otherwise all would have been cut off, and all would have shared the fate to which King
Leopold had condemned the finest Army his country had ever formed. So in doing this and in exposing this flank, as anyone
who followed the operations on the map will see, contact was lost between the British and two out of the three corps forming
the First French Army, who were still farther from the coast than we were, and it seemed impossible that any large number
of Allied troops could reach the coast.
The enemy attacked on all sides with great strength
and fierceness, and their main power, the power of their far more numerous Air Force, was thrown into the battle or else concentrated
upon Dunkirk and the beaches. Pressing in upon the narrow exit, both from the east and from the west, the enemy began to fire
with cannon upon the beaches by which alone the shipping could approach or depart. They sowed magnetic mines in the channels
and seas; they sent repeated waves of hostile aircraft, sometimes more than a hundred strong in one formation, to cast their
bombs upon the single pier that remained, and upon the sand dunes upon which the troops had their eyes for shelter. Their
U-boats, one of which was sunk, and their motor launches took their toll of the vast traffic which now began. For four or
five days an intense struggle reigned. All their armored divisions-or what Was left of them-together with great masses of
infantry and artillery, hurled themselves in vain upon the ever-narrowing, ever-contracting appendix within which the British
and French Armies fought.
Meanwhile, the Royal Navy, with the willing help of
countless merchant seamen, strained every nerve to embark the British and Allied troops; 220 light warships and 650 other
vessels were engaged. They had to operate upon the difficult coast, often in adverse weather, under an almost ceaseless hail
of bombs and an increasing concentration of artillery fire. Nor were the seas, as I have said, themselves free from mines
and torpedoes. It was in conditions such as these that our men carried on, with little or no rest, for days and nights on
end, making trip after trip across the dangerous waters, bringing with them always men whom they had rescued. The numbers
they have brought back are the measure of their devotion and their courage. The hospital ships, which brought off many thousands
of British and French wounded, being so plainly marked were a special target for Nazi bombs; but the men and women on board
them never faltered in their duty.
Meanwhile, the Royal Air Force, which had already been
intervening in the battle, so far as its range would allow, from home bases, now used part of its main metropolitan fighter
strength, and struck at the German bombers and at the fighters which in large numbers protected them. This struggle was protracted
and fierce. Suddenly the scene has cleared, the crash and thunder has for the moment-but only for the moment-died away. A
miracle of deliverance, achieved by valor, by perseverance, by perfect discipline, by faultless service, by resource, by skill,
by unconquerable fidelity, is manifest to us all. The enemy was hurled back by the retreating British and French troops. He
was so roughly handled that he did not hurry their departure seriously. The Royal Air Force engaged the main strength of the
German Air Force, and inflicted upon them losses of at least four to one; and the Navy, using nearly 1,000 ships of all kinds,
carried over 335,000 men, French and British, out of the jaws of death and shame, to their native land and to the tasks which
lie immediately ahead. We must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not
won by evacuations. But there was a victory inside this deliverance, which should be noted. It was gained by the Air Force.
Many of our soldiers coming back have not seen the Air Force at work; they saw only the bombers which escaped its protective
attack. They underrate its achievements. I have heard much talk of this; that is why I go out of my way to say this. I will
tell you about it.
This was a great trial of strength between the British
and German Air Forces. Can you conceive a greater objective for the Germans in the air than to make evacuation from these
beaches impossible, and to sink all these ships which were displayed, almost to the extent of thousands? Could there have
been an objective of greater military importance and significance for the whole purpose of the war than this? They tried hard,
and they were beaten back; they were frustrated in their task. We got the Army away; and they have paid fourfold for any losses
which they have inflicted. Very large formations of German aeroplanes-and we know that they are a very brave race-have turned
on several occasions from the attack of one-quarter of their number of the Royal Air Force, and have dispersed in different
directions. Twelve aeroplanes have been hunted by two. One aeroplane was driven into the water and cast away by the mere charge
of a British aeroplane, which had no more ammunition. All of our types-the Hurricane, the Spitfire and the new Defiant-and
all our pilots have been vindicated as superior to what they have at present to face.
When we consider how much greater would be our advantage
in defending the air above this Island against an overseas attack, I must say that I find in these facts a sure basis upon
which practical and reassuring thoughts may rest. I will pay my tribute to these young airmen. The great French Army was very
largely, for the time being, cast back and disturbed by the onrush of a few thousands of armored vehicles. May it not also
be that the cause of civilization itself will be defended by the skill and devotion of a few thousand airmen? There never
has been, I suppose, in all the world, in all the history of war, such an opportunity for youth. The Knights of the Round
Table, the Crusaders, all fall back into the past-not only distant but prosaic; these young men, going forth every morn to
guard their native land and all that we stand for, holding in their hands these instruments of colossal and shattering power,
of whom it may be said that
Every morn brought forth a noble chance
chance brought forth a noble knight,
deserve our gratitude, as do all the brave men who,
in so many ways and on so many occasions, are ready, and continue ready to give life and all for their native land.
I return to the Army. In the long series of very fierce
battles, now on this front, now on that, fighting on three fronts at once, battles fought by two or three divisions against
an equal or somewhat larger number of the enemy, and fought fiercely on some of the old grounds that so many of us knew so
well-in these battles our losses in men have exceeded 30,000 killed, wounded and missing. I take occasion to express the sympathy
of the House to all who have suffered bereavement or who are still anxious. The President of the Board of Trade [Sir Andrew
Duncan] is not here today. His son has been killed, and many in the House have felt the pangs of affliction in the sharpest
form. But I will say this about the missing: We have had a large number of wounded come home safely to this country, but I
would say about the missing that there may be very many reported missing who will come back home, some day, in one way or
another. In the confusion of this fight it is inevitable that many have been left in positions where honor required no further
resistance from them.
Against this loss of over 30,000 men, we can set a
far heavier loss certainly inflicted upon the enemy. But our losses in material are enormous. We have perhaps lost one-third
of the men we lost in the opening days of the battle of 21st March, 1918, but we have lost nearly as many guns -- nearly one
thousand-and all our transport, all the armored vehicles that were with the Army in the north. This loss will impose a further
delay on the expansion of our military strength. That expansion had not been proceeding as far as we had hoped. The best of
all we had to give had gone to the British Expeditionary Force, and although they had not the numbers of tanks and some articles
of equipment which were desirable, they were a very well and finely equipped Army. They had the first-fruits of all that our
industry had to give, and that is gone. And now here is this further delay. How long it will be, how long it will last, depends
upon the exertions which we make in this Island. An effort the like of which has never been seen in our records is now being
made. Work is proceeding everywhere, night and day, Sundays and week days. Capital and Labor have cast aside their interests,
rights, and customs and put them into the common stock. Already the flow of munitions has leaped forward. There is no reason
why we should not in a few months overtake the sudden and serious loss that has come upon us, without retarding the development
of our general program.
Nevertheless, our thankfulness at the escape of our
Army and so many men, whose loved ones have passed through an agonizing week, must not blind us to the fact that what has
happened in France and Belgium is a colossal military disaster. The French Army has been weakened, the Belgian Army has been
lost, a large part of those fortified lines upon which so much faith had been reposed is gone, many valuable mining districts
and factories have passed into the enemy's possession, the whole of the Channel ports are in his hands, with all the tragic
consequences that follow from that, and we must expect another blow to be struck almost immediately at us or at France. We
are told that Herr Hitler has a plan for invading the British Isles. This has often been thought of before. When Napoleon
lay at Boulogne for a year with his flat-bottomed boats and his Grand Army, he was told by someone. "There are bitter weeds
in England." There are certainly a great many more of them since the British Expeditionary Force returned.
The whole question of home defense against invasion
is, of course, powerfully affected by the fact that we have for the time being in this Island incomparably more powerful military
forces than we have ever had at any moment in this war or the last. But this will not continue. We shall not be content with
a defensive war. We have our duty to our Ally. We have to reconstitute and build up the British Expeditionary Force once again,
under its gallant Commander-in-Chief, Lord Gort. All this is in train; but in the interval we must put our defenses in this
Island into such a high state of organization that the fewest possible numbers will be required to give effective security
and that the largest possible potential of offensive effort may be realized. On this we are now engaged. It will be very convenient,
if it be the desire of the House, to enter upon this subject in a secret Session. Not that the government would necessarily
be able to reveal in very great detail military secrets, but we like to have our discussions free, without the restraint imposed
by the fact that they will be read the next day by the enemy; and the Government would benefit by views freely expressed in
all parts of the House by Members with their knowledge of so many different parts of the country. I understand that some request
is to be made upon this subject, which will be readily acceded to by His Majesty's Government.
We have found it necessary to take measures of increasing
stringency, not only against enemy aliens and suspicious characters of other nationalities, but also against British subjects
who may become a danger or a nuisance should the war be transported to the United Kingdom. I know there are a great many people
affected by the orders which we have made who are the passionate enemies of Nazi Germany. I am very sorry for them, but we
cannot, at the present time and under the present stress, draw all the distinctions which we should like to do. If parachute
landings were attempted and fierce fighting attendant upon them followed, these unfortunate people would be far better out
of the way, for their own sakes as well as for ours. There is, however, another class, for which I feel not the slightest
sympathy. Parliament has given us the powers to put down Fifth Column activities with a strong hand, and we shall use those
powers subject to the supervision and correction of the House, without the slightest hesitation until we are satisfied, and
more than satisfied, that this malignancy in our midst has been effectively stamped out.
Turning once again, and this time more generally, to
the question of invasion, I would observe that there has never been a period in all these long centuries of which we boast
when an absolute guarantee against invasion, still less against serious raids, could have been given to our people. In the
days of Napoleon the same wind which would have carried his transports across the Channel might have driven away the blockading
fleet. There was always the chance, and it is that chance which has excited and befooled the imaginations of many Continental
tyrants. Many are the tales that are told. We are assured that novel methods will be adopted, and when we see the originality
of malice, the ingenuity of aggression, which our enemy displays, we may certainly prepare ourselves for every kind of novel
stratagem and every kind of brutal and treacherous maneuver. I think that no idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered
and viewed with a searching, but at the same time, I hope, with a steady eye. We must never forget the solid assurances of
sea power and those which belong to air power if it can be locally exercised.
I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their
duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once
again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for
years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty's Government-every
man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in
their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost
of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip
of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight
in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air,
we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which
I do not for a 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, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with
all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old. www.winstonchurchill.org
Churchill differed from Roosevelt — while
both were war leaders, Churchill was uniquely stirred by the challenge of war and found his fulfillment in leading the democracies
Churchill came of a military dynasty. His ancestor
John Churchill had been created first Duke of Marlborough in 1702 for his victories against Louis XIV early in the War of
the Spanish Succession. Churchill was born in 1874 in Blenheim Palace, the house built by the nation for Marlborough. As a
young man of undistinguished academic accomplishment — he was admitted to Sandhurst after two failed attempts —
he entered the army as a cavalry officer. He took enthusiastically to soldiering (and perhaps even more enthusiastically to
regimental polo playing) and between 1895 and 1898 managed to see three campaigns: Spain's struggle in Cuba in 1895, the North-West
Frontier campaign in India 1897 and the Sudan campaign of 1898, where he took part in what is often described as the British
Army's last cavalry charge, at Omdurman. Even at 24, Churchill was steely: "I never felt the slightest nervousness," he wrote
to his mother. "[I] felt as cool as I do now." In Cuba he was present as a war correspondent, and in India and the Sudan he
was present both as a war correspondent and as a serving officer. Thus he revealed two other aspects of his character: a literary
bent and an interest in public affairs.
He was to write all his life. His life of Marlborough
is one of the great English biographies, and The History of the Second World War helped win him a Nobel Prize for literature.
Writing, however, never fully engaged his energies. Politics consumed him. His father Lord Randolph Churchill was a brilliant
political failure. Early in life, Winston determined to succeed where his father had failed. His motives were twofold. His
father had despised him. Writing in August 1893 to Winston's grandmother, the dowager Duchess of Marlborough, he said the
boy lacked "cleverness, knowledge and any capacity for settled work. He has a great talent for show-off, exaggeration and
make-believe." His disapproval surely stung, but Churchill reacted by venerating his father's memory. Winston fought to restore
his father's honor in Parliament (where it had been dented by the Conservative Party). Thirty years after Lord Randolph's
death, Winston wrote, "All my dreams of comradeship were ended. There remained for me only to pursue his aims and vindicate
Churchill entered Parliament in 1901 at age 26. In
1904 he left the Conservative Party to join the Liberals, in part out of calculation: the Liberals were the coming party,
and in its ranks he soon achieved high office. He became Home Secretary in 1910 and First Lord of the Admiralty in 1911. Thus
it was as political head of the Royal Navy at the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 that he stepped onto the world stage.
A passionate believer in the navy's historic strategic
role, he immediately committed the Royal Naval Division to an intervention in the Flanders campaign in 1914. Frustrated by
the stalemate in Belgium and France that followed, he initiated the Allies' only major effort to outflank the Germans on the
Western Front by sending the navy, and later a large force of the army, to the Mediterranean. At Gallipoli in 1915, this Anglo-French
force struggled to break the defenses that blocked access to the Black Sea. It was a heroic failure that forced Churchill's
resignation and led to his political eclipse.
It was effectively to last nearly 25 years. Despite
his readmission to office in 1917, after a spell commanding an infantry battalion on the Western Front, he failed to re-establish
the reputation as a future national statesman he had won before the war. Dispirited, he chose the issue of the Liberal Party's
support for the first government formed by the Labour Party in 1924 to rejoin the Conservatives, after a spell when he had
been out of Parliament altogether. The Conservative Prime Minister appointed Churchill Chancellor of the Exchequer, but when
he returned the country to the gold standard, it proved financially disastrous, and he further weakened his political position
by opposing measures to grant India limited self-government. He resigned office i n 1931 and entered what appeared to be a
terminal political decline.
Churchill was truly a romantic, but also truly a democrat.
He had returned to the gold standard, for instance, because he cherished, for romantic reasons, Britain's status as a great
financial power. He had opposed limited self-government for India becaus e he cherished, for equally romantic reasons, Britain's
imperial history. It was to prove more important that as a democrat, he was disgusted by the rise of totalitarian systems
in Europe. In 1935 he warned the House of Commons of the importance not only of "self-preservation but also of the human and
the world cause of the preservation of free governments and of Western civilization against the ever advancing sources of
authority and despotism." His anti-Bolshevik policies had failed. By espousing anti-N azi policies in his wilderness years
between 1933 and 1939, he ensured that when the moment of final confrontation between Britain and Hitler came in 1940, he
stood out as the one man in whom the nation could place its trust. He had decried the prewar app easement policies of the
Conservative leaders Baldwin and Chamberlain. When Chamberlain lost the confidence of Parliament, Churchill was installed
in the premiership.
His was a bleak inheritance. Following the total defeat
of France, Britain truly, in his words, "stood alone." It had no substantial allies and, for much of 1940, lay under threat
of German invasion and under constant German air attack. He nevertheless re fused Hitler's offers of peace, organized a successful
air defense that led to the victory of the Battle of Britain and meanwhile sent most of what remained of the British army,
after its escape from the humiliation of Dunkirk, to the Middle East to oppose Hitler's Italian ally, Mussolini.
This was one of the boldest strategic decisions in
history. Convinced that Hitler could not invade Britain while the Royal Navy and its protecting Royal Air Force remained intact,
he dispatched the army to a remote theater of war to open a second front against the Nazi alliance. Its victories against
Mussolini during 1940-41 both humiliated and infuriated Hitler, while its intervention in Greece, to oppose Hitler's invasion
of the Balkans, disrupted the Nazi dictator's plans to conclude German conquests in Europe by defeating Russia.
Churchill's tendency to conduct strategy by impulse
infuriated his advisers. His chief of staff Alan Brooke complained that every day Churchill had 10 ideas, only one of which
was good — and he did not know which one. Yet Churchill the romantic showed acute realism in his reaction to Russia's
predicament. He reviled communism. Required to accept a communist ally in a struggle against a Nazi enemy, he did so not only
willingly but generously. He sent a large proportion of Britain's war production to Russia by Arctic convoys, even at a time
when the convoys from America to Britain, which alone spared the country starvation, suffered devastating U-boat attacks.
From the outset of his premiership, Churchill, half
American by birth, had rested his hope of ultimate victory in U.S. intervention. He had established a personal relationship
with President Roosevelt that he hoped would flower into a war-winning alliance. Roosevelt's reluctance to commit the U.S.
beyond an association "short of war" did not dent his optimism. He always hoped events would work his way. The decision by
Japan, Hitler's ally, to attack the American Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, justified his hopes. That evening
he confided to himself, "So we had won after all."
America's entry into the Second World War marked the
high point of Churchill's statesmanship. Britain, demographically, industrially and financially, had entered the war weaker
than either of its eventual allies, the Soviet Union and the U.S. Defeats in 1940 had weakened it further, as had the liquidation
of its international investments to fund its early war efforts. During 1942, the prestige Britain had won as Hitler's only
enemy allowed Churchill to sustain parity of leadership in the anti-Nazi alliance with Roosevelt and Stalin.
Churchill understandably exulted in the success of
the D-day invasion when it came in 1944. By then it was the Russo-American rather than the Anglo-American nexus, however,
that dominated the alliance, as he ruefully recognized at the last Big Three conference in February 1945. Shortly afterward
he suffered the domestic humiliation of losing the general election and with it the premiership. He was to return to power
in 1951 and remain until April 1955, when ill health and visibly failing powers caused him to resign.
It would have been kinder to his reputation had he
not returned. He was not an effective peacetime Prime Minister. His name had been made, and he stood unchallengeable, as the
greatest of all Britain's war leaders. It was not only his own country, though, that owed him a debt. So too did the world
of free men and women to whom he had made a constant and inclusive appeal in his magnificent speeches from embattled Britain
in 1940 and 1941. Churchill did not merely hate tyranny, he despised it. The contempt he breathed for dictators — renewed
in his Iron Curtain speech at Fulton, Mo., at the outset of the cold war — strengthened the West's faith in the moral
superiority of democracy and the inevitability of its triumph.
Historian John Keegan is the defense and military specialist
for London's Daily Telegraph.
Winston Churchill Biography:
at Blenheim Palace, near the town Woodstock, Oxfordshire, Winston Churchill was a descendant of the first famous member of
the Churchill family: John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (whose father was also a "Sir Winston Churchill"). Winston's
politician father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was the third son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough: Winston's mother was Jennie
Jerome (née Jeanette Jerome) of Brooklyn, New York, a daughter of American millionaire Leonard Jerome.
In 1893 he enrolled
in the Royal Military College. He graduated two years later ranked eighth in his class. He was appointed Second Lieutenant
in the 4th Hussars cavalry. In 1895, he went to Cuba as a military observer with the Spanish army in its fight against the
independentists. He also reported for the Saturday Review. In 1898 he rode as a reporter with the 21st Lancers at the Battle
The first notable appearance of Winston Churchill was
as a war correspondent in the second Anglo-Boer war between Britain and self-proclaimed Afrikaaners in South Africa. He was
captured in a Boer ambush of a British Army train convoy, but managed a high profile escape and eventually crossed the South
African border to Lourenço Marques (now Maputo in Mozambique). Churchill used the status achieved to begin a political career
which would last a total of sixty-five years, first standing for Parliament in 1899 and serving as an MP in the House of Commons
from 1900 to 1922 and from 1924 to 1964. At first a member of the Conservative Party, he 'crossed the floor' in 1904 to join
In the 1906 general election, Churchill won a seat
in Manchester. In the Liberal government of Henry Campbell Bannerman he served as Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies.
Churchill soon became the most prominent member of the Government outside the Cabinet, and when Campbell Bannerman was succeeded
by Herbert Henry Asquith in 1908, it came as little surprise when Churchill was promoted to the Cabinet as President of the
Board of Trade. Under the law at the time, a newly appointed Cabinet Minister was obliged to seek re-election at a by-election.
Churchill lost his Manchester seat to the Conservative William Joynson-Hicks, but was soon elected in another by-election
at Dundee. As President of the Board of Trade he pursued radical social reforms in conjunction with David Lloyd George, the
new Chancellor of the Exchequer. In 1910 Churchill was promoted to Home Secretary, where he was to prove somewhat controversial.
A famous photograph from the time shows the impetuous Churchill taking personal charge of the January 1911 Sidney Street Siege,
peering around a corner to view a fierce gun battle between cornered anarchists and Scots Guards. His role attracted much
criticism. Arthur Balfour asked, "He [Churchill] and a photographer were both risking valuable lives. I understand what the
photographer was doing but what was the Right Honourable gentleman doing?"
In 1911, Churchill became First Lord of the Admiralty,
a post he would hold into the First World War. He was one of the political and military engineers of the disastrous Gallipoli
landings on the Dardanelles during World War I, which led to his description as "the butcher of Gallipoli". When Asquith formed
an all-party coalition government, the Conservatives demanded Churchill's demotion as the price for entry. For several months
Churchill served in the non-portfolio job of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, before resigning from the government feeling
his energies were not being used. He rejoined the army, though remained an MP, and served for several months on the Western
Front. During this period his second in command was a young Archibald Sinclair who would later lead the Liberal Party.
In December 1916, Asquith fell and was replaced by
Lloyd George, however the time was thought to not yet be right to risk the Conservatives' wrath by bringing Churchill back
into government. However in July 1917 Churchill was appointed Minister of Munitions. After the ending of the war Churchill
served as both Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for Air (1919-1921). Churchill suggested chemical weapons
be used "against recalcitrant Arabs as an experiment". He said, "I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas.
I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilized tribes. The moral effects should be good, and it would spread
a lively terror."
During this time (1919-1921), he undertook with surprising
zeal the cutting of military expenditure. However, the major preoccupation of his tenure in the War Office was the Allied
intervention in the Russian Civil War.Churchill was a staunch advocate of foreign intervention, declaring that Bolshevism
must be "strangled in its cradle". He secured from a divided and loosely organized Cabinet an intensification and prolongation
of the British involvement beyond the wishes of any major group in Parliament or the nation--and in the face of the bitter
hostility of labour. In 1920, after the last British forces had been withdrawn, Churchill was instrumental in having arms
sent to the Poles when they invaded the Ukraine.He became Secretary of State for the Colonies 1921 and was a signatory of
the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 which established the Irish Free State.
In October 1922, Churchill underwent an operation to
remove his appendix. When he came to he learnt that the government had fallen and a General Election was looming. The Liberal
Party was now beset by internal division and Churchill's campaign was weak. He lost his seat at Dundee, quipping that he had
lost his ministerial office, his seat and his appendix all at once. The victorious candidates for the two-member seat included
the Prohibitionist Edwin Scrymgeour. Churchill stood for the Liberals again in the 1923 general election, but over the next
twelve months he moved towards the Conservative Party, though initially using the labels "Anti-Socialist" and "Constitutionalist".
Two years later in the General Election of 1924 he was elected to represent Epping (where there is now a statue of him) as
a "Constitutionalist" with Conservative backing. The following year he formally rejoined the Conservative Party, commenting
that, "Anyone can rat [change parties], but it takes a certain ingenuity to rerat." He was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer
in 1924 under Stanley Baldwin and oversaw the UK's disasterous return to the Gold Standard, which resulted in deflation, unemployment,
and the miners' strike that led to the General Strike of 1926. During the General Strike of 1926, Churchill was reported to
have suggested that machine guns should be used on the striking miners. Churchill edited the Government's newspaper, the British
Gazette, and during the dispute he argued that "either the country will break the General Strike, or the General Strike will
break the country". Furthermore, he was to controversially claim that the Fascism of Benito Mussolini had "rendered a service
to the whole world", showing as it had "a way to combat subversive forces" — that is, he considered the regime to be
a bulwark against the perceived threat of Communist revolution.
The Conservative government was defeated in the 1929
General Election. In the next two years Churchill became estranged from the Conservative leadership over the issues of protective
tariffs and Indian Home Rule. When Ramsay MacDonald formed the National Government in 1931 Churchill was not invited to join
the Cabinet. He was now at the lowest point in his career in a period known as 'the wilderness years.' He spent much of the
next few years concentrating on his writing, including the History of the English Speaking Peoples (which was not published
until well after WWII). He became most notable for his outspoken opposition towards the granting of independence to India.
Soon though, his attention was drawn to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Germany's rearmament. For a time he was a lone voice
calling on Britain to re-arm itself and counter the belligerence of Germany. Churchill was a fierce critic of Neville Chamberlain's
appeasement of Hitler. He was also an outspoken supporter of Edward VIII during the Abdication Crisis leading to some speculation
that he might be appointed Prime Minister if the King refused to take Baldwin's advice and consequently the government resigned.
However this did not happen and Churchill found himself isolated and in a bruised position for some time after this.
At the outbreak of the Second World War Churchill was
appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. On Chamberlain's resignation in May, 1940, Churchill was appointed Prime Minister and
formed an all-party government. In response to previous criticisms that there had been no clear single minister in charge
of the prosecution of the war, he created and took the additional position of Minister of Defence. He immediately put his
friend and confidant, the industrialist and newspaper baron Max Aitken, (Lord Beaverbrook) in charge of aircraft production.
It was Aitken's astounding business acumen that allowed Britain to quickly gear up aircraft production and engineering that
eventually made the difference in the war.
His speeches at that time were a great inspiration
to the embattled United Kingdom. His famous "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat" speech was his first
as Prime Minister. He followed that closely, before the Battle of Britain, with "We shall defend our island, whatever the
cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the
streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."
His good relationship with U.S. president Franklin
Roosevelt secured the United Kingdom vital supplies via the North Atlantic Ocean shipping routes. Churchill initiated the
Special Operations Executive (SOE), under Hugh Dalton's Ministry of Economic Warfare, which established, conducted and fostered
covert, subversive and partisan operations in occupied territories with notable success; and also the Commandos which established
the pattern for most of the world's current Special Forces. The Russians referred to him as the "British Bulldog".
However, some of the military actions during the war
remain controversial. Churchill was at best indifferent and perhaps complicit in the Great Bengal Famine of 1943 which took
the lives of at least 2.5 million Bengalis. Japanese troops were threatening British India after having successfully taken
neighbouring British Burma. Some consider the British government's policy of denying effective famine relief a deliberate
and callous scorched earth policy adopted in the event of a successful Japanese invasion. Churchill supported the bombing
of Dresden shortly before the end of the war; Dresden was a mostly civilian target with many refugees from the East and of
allegedly little military value. However, the bombing was helpful to the allied Soviets. Churchill was party to treaties that
would re-draw post-WWII European and Asian boundaries. The boundary between North Korea and South Korea was proposed at the
Yalta Conference, as well as the expulsion of Japanese forces from those countries. Proposals for European boundaries and
settlements were discussed as early as 1943 by Roosevelt and Churchill; the settlement was officially agreed to by Truman,
Churchill, and Stalin at Potsdam (Article XIII of the Potsdam protocol). One of these settlements was about the borders of
Poland, i.e. the boundary between Poland and the Soviet Union, the so called Curzon line, and between Germany and Poland,
the so called the Oder-Neisse line. Despite the fact that Poland was the first country that resisted Hitler, Polish borders
and government were determined by the Great Powers without asking the voice of the Polish government in exile. Poles who had
fought alongside Britain throughout the war felt betrayed. Churchill himself opposed the effective annexation of Poland by
the Soviet Union and wrote bitterly about it in his books, but he was unable to prevent it at the conferences.
As part of the settlement was an agreement to transfer
the remaining citizens of Germany from the area. (Transfer of Poles didn't need to be approved.) The exact numbers and movement
of ethnic populations over the Polish-German and Polish-USSR borders in the period at the end of World War II is extremely
difficult to determine. This is not least because, under the Nazi regime, many Poles were replaced in their homes by the conquering
Germans in an attempt to consolidate Nazi power. In the case of the post-WWII settlement, Churchill was convinced that the
only way to alleviate tensions between the two populations was the transfer of people, to match the national borders. As Churchill
expounded in the House of Commons in 1944, "Expulsion is the method which, in so far as we have been able to see, will be
the most satisfactory and lasting. There will be no mixture of populations to cause endless trouble... A clean sweep will
be made. I am not alarmed by these transferences, which are more possible in modern conditions."
Although the importance of Churchill's role in World
War II was undeniable, he produced many enemies in his own country. His expressed contempt for ideas such as public health
care and for better education for the majority of the population in particular produced much dissatisfaction amongst the population,
particularly those who had fought in the war. Immediately following the close of the war in Europe Churchill was heavily defeated
at election by Clement Attlee and the Labour Party.
Winston Churchill was an early supporter of the pan-Europeanism
that eventually lead to the formation of the European Common market and later the European Union (for which one of the three
main buildings of the European Parliament is named in his honour). Churchill was also instrumental in giving France a permanent
seat on the United Nations Security Council (which he supported in order to have another European power to counter-balance
the Soviet Union's permanent seat).
At the beginning of the Cold War he coined the term
the "Iron Curtain," a phrase that entered the public consciousness after a 1946 speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri
when he famously declared "From Stettin on the Baltic to Trieste on the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the
continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague,
Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must
call the Soviet sphere."
Following Labour's defeat in the
General Election of 1951, Churchill again became Prime Minister. In 1953 he was awarded two major honours. He was knighted
and became Sir Winston Churchill and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature "for his mastery of historical and biographical
description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values". A stroke in June of that year led to him
being paralysed down his left side. He retired because of his health on April 5, 1955 but retained his post as Chancellor
of the University of Bristol. During the next few years he revised and finally published a History of the English Speaking
Peoples in four volumes. In 1956 he was awarded the Karlspreis of the city of Aachen in Germany, for his idea of a "United
States of Europe". In 1959 Churchill inherited the title of Father of the House, becoming the MP with the longest continuous
service — since 1924. He was to hold the position until his retirement from the Commons in 1964, the position of Father
of the House passing to Richard Austen Butler.
On September 2, 1908, at the socially desirable
St. Margaret's, Westminster, Churchill married Clementine Ogilvy Hozier (April 1 1885-December 12 1977), a dazzling but largely
penniless beauty whom he met at a dinner party that March. (He had proposed to actress Ethel Barrymore, but was turned down).
They had five children: Diana (July 11 1909-1963); Randolph (May 28 1911-June 6 1968); Sarah (October 7 1914-September 24
1982, who became an actress, co-starring with Fred Astaire in the film Royal Wedding); Marigold (November 15 1918-August 23
1921); and Mary (b. September 15 1922), who has written a book on her parents.
Clementine's mother was Lady Blanche Henrietta
Ogilvy (1852-1925), second wife of Sir Henry Montague Hozier and a daughter of the 7th Earl of Airlie. Clementine's paternity,
however, is open to healthy debate. Lady Blanche was well known for sharing her favours and was eventually divorced as a result.
She herself maintained that Clementine's biological father was Capt. William George "Bay" Middleton, a noted horseman. But
Clementine's biographer Joan Hardwick has surmised, due to Sir Henry Hozier's reputed sterility, that all Lady Blanche's "Hozier"
children were actually fathered by her sister's husband, Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford (1837-1916, better known as a grandfather
of the infamous Mitford sisters of the 1920s).
Churchill's son, Randolph, and grandson, Winston, both
followed him into Parliament.
On January 15, 1965 Churchill suffered
another stroke — a severe cerebral thrombosis — that left him gravely ill. He died nine days later on January
24, 1965. This was exactly 70 years to the day after his father's death. His body lay in State in Westminster Hall for three
days and a state funeral service was held at St Paul's Cathedral. This was the first state funeral for a commoner since that
of Field Marshal Lord Roberts of Kandahar in 1914. It was Churchill's wish that, if de Gaulle outlived him, that his (Churchill's)
funeral procession should pass through Waterloo station. As his coffin passed down the Thames on a boat, the cranes of London's
docklands bowed in salute. At Churchill's request, he was buried in the family plot at Saint Martin's Churchyard, Bladon,
near Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England.
Churchill was also a notable historian,
producing many works. Some of his twentieth century writings such as The World Crisis (detailing the First World War) and
The Second World War are highly autobiographical, telling the story of the conflict. Initially Churchill used the name Winston
Churchill for his books. However early on he discovered that there was also an American writer of the same name, who had been
published first. So as to prevent the two being confused, they agreed that the American would publish as Winston Churchill,
and the Englishman as Winston Spencer Churchill (sometimes abbreviated to Winston S Churchill).
Churchill's works include:
The River War - Published in 1899 (2 vols) Kitchner's
reconquest of the Sudan in 1898. Also published in a 1 vol abridged edn.
Savrola - Churchill's only novel. Published in
Lord Randolph Churchill - A two-volume biography of his father.
The World Crisis - Six volumes covering the Great
My Early Life - An autobiography covering the first quarter century of his career.
Marlborough - A biography of
his ancestor, John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, published in 4-, 6-, and 2-volume editions.
The Second World War
6 volumes (sometimes reprinted as 12)
A History of the English Speaking Peoples - used as the basis of the BBC radio series
This Sceptred Isle
The Scaffolding of Rhetoric - a 1,763-word essay on oratory; unpublished, written 1897.
as a Pastime- a short appreciation of painting
Churchill College, a constituent college
of the University of Cambridge, was founded in 1960 as the national and commonwealth memorial to Winston Churchill.
Churchill tank, a heavy infantry tank of World War II, was named in his honour.
Churchill is believed by several writers to have suffered
from bipolar disorder and in his last years, Alzheimer's disease; certainly he suffered from fits of depression that he called
his "black dogs", Some researchers also believe that Churchill was dyslexic, based on the difficulties he described himself
having at school. However, the Churchill Foundation strongly refutes this (Source: http://www.winstonchurchill.org ).
The United States Navy destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill
(DD-81) is named in his honour. Churchill was the first person to be made an Honorary Citizen of the United States.
Churchill was voted as "The Greatest Briton" in 2002
"100 Greatest Britons" poll sponsored by the BBC and voted for by the public. He was also named Time Magazine "Man of the
Half-Century" in the early 1950s.
The American song writer Jerome Kern was christened
Jerome because his parents lived near a park named Jerome Park. This park was in turn named after Churchill's grandfather
(the father of Churchill's mother Jennie Jerome)
Churchill's War Cabinet, May 1940 - May 1945
Churchill - Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Leader of the House of Commons.
Neville Chamberlain - Lord President
of the Council
Clement Attlee - Lord Privy Seal and effective Deputy Leader of the House of Commons.
- Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Arthur Greenwood - Minister without Portfolio
"A fanatic is one who can't change his
mind and won't change the subject."
"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants
"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed."
"Broadly speaking, the short words are the
best, and the old words best of all."
"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch
out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey.
But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb."
"I have always felt that a politician
is to be judged by the animosities he excites among his opponents."
"I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on
us. Pigs treat us as equals."
(But WC's black cat, Nelson, is reputed to have had a chair at Cabinet.)
"It is a mistake
to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time."
"Men occasionally stumble
over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."
"Never hold discussions
with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room."
"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
"Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught."
"Success is the ability
to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."
"The price of greatness is responsibility."
of modern assertions is sometimes pushed to extremes, in which the fear of being contradicted leads the writer to strip himself
of almost all sense and meaning."
"There are a terrible lot of lies going around the world, and the worst of it is half
of them are true."
"To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often."
"We make a living by what we get,
we make a life by what we give."
"When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the government
of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home."
"When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber."
"When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite."
"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for
something, sometime in your life."
"The reason for having diplomatic relations is not to confer a compliment, but to secure
"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter." Churchill.