Answers to Questions by Yair Davidiy (14 September 2017, 23 Elul, 5777)
What are Winston Churchill's most epic sayings?
In July, 1911, the Germans sent a gunboat, the "Panther", to Agadir a port in Morocco considered the sphere of France.
The Moroccans were in rebellion and the German action was viewed as a move on their behalf and against both France and Britain who together dominated the Mediterranean Sea. The Germans backed down on Agadir but continued their arms race and naval armament against the British Empire. It seemed obvious that War was almost inevitable as indeed it broke out in 1914.
Subsequently,Churchill was asked (in 1911, after the Agadir incident) by Prime Minister Asquith to become First Lord of the Admiralty, which he accepted. The post involved preparing the fleet for the coming war which at that time already seemed inevitable.
In "The World Crisis" Church has described the end of the day on which he became First Lord of the Admiralty: '
That night when I went to bed I saw a large Bible lying on a table in my bedroom. My mind was dominated by the news I had received of the complete change in my station and of the task entrusted to me. I thought of the peril of Britain, peace-loving, unthinking, little prepared, of her power and virtue, and of her mission of good sense and fair play. I thought of mighty Germany, towering up in the splendour of her Imperial State and delving down in her profound, cold, patient, ruthless calculations... I opened the book at random and in the 9th Chapter of Deuteronomy I read:
1 Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven,
2 A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak!
3 Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee.
It seemed a message of reassurance. #
"The World Crisis" pp.130-131.
quoted in "Winston Churchill, An Intimate Portrait" by Violet Bonham Carter, 1965, p.190.
I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this Government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many long months of toil and struggle.
You ask what is our policy. I will say, it is to wage war with all our might, with all the strength that God can give us, to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime.
You ask what is our aim? I can answer in one word: 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.
House of Commons, 4 June 1940, following the evacuation of British and French armies from Dunkirk as the German tide swept through France:
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!
It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.
There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true.
Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.
The price of greatness is responsibility.
In the course of my life I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.
We live in a country where the people own the Government and not in a country where the Government owns the people.
Churchill described how he would end his speech if Germany invaded Britain (John Colville's diary entry for January 25, 1941). In The Churchill War Papers : 1941 (1993), ed. Gilbert, W.W. Norton, pp. 132-133
The hour has come; kill the Hun.
When I was younger I made it a rule never to take strong drink before lunch. It is now my rule never to do so before breakfast.
"It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time."
Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.
BBC Broadcast, London, 14 July 1940:
This is no war of chieftains or of princes, of dynasties or national ambition; it is a war of peoples and of causes. There are vast numbers, not only in this island but in every land, who will render faithful service in this war but whose names will never be known, whose deeds will never be recorded. This is a war of the Unknown Warriors; but let all strive without failing in faith or in duty, and the dark curse of Hitler will be lifted from our age.
The gratitude of every home in our island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
"We reject with scorn all these learned and laboured myths that Moses was
but a legendary figure. We believe that the most scientific view, the most
up to date and rationalistic conception, will find its fullest satisfaction
in taking the Bible literally. We may be sure that all these things happened
as they are set out in Holy Writ. In the words of a forgotten work of Mr.
Gladstone, we rest with assurance upon 'the impregnable rock of Holy
Scripture...' Let the men of science and of learning expand their knowledge
and probe with their researches every detail of the records which have been
preserved to us from these dim ages. All they do is to fortify the grand
simplicity and essential accuracy of the recorded truths which have lighted
so far the pilgrimage of man".
Answer requested by Vinuja Anusara