Winston S. Churchill quotes

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Winston S. Churchill

Birthdate: 30. November 1874
Date of death: 24. January 1965

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a British statesman, army officer, and writer. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. As a Member of Parliament , he represented five constituencies over the course of his career. As Prime Minister, Churchill led Britain to victory during the Second World War. He led the Conservative Party for fifteen years from 1940 to 1955.

Churchill was born into an aristocratic family, the son of an English politician and American socialite. Joining the British Army, he saw action in British India, the Anglo–Sudan War, and the Second Boer War, gaining fame as a war correspondent and writing books about his campaigns. Moving into politics, before the First World War, he served as President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary, and First Lord of the Admiralty as part of Asquith's Liberal government. During the war, Churchill departed from government following the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign. He briefly resumed active army service on the Western Front as a battalion commander in the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He returned to government under Lloyd George as Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War, Secretary of State for Air, then Secretary of State for the Colonies. After two years out of Parliament, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in Baldwin's Conservative government of 1924–1929, controversially returning the pound sterling in 1925 to the gold standard at its pre-war parity, a move widely seen as creating deflationary pressure on the UK economy.

Out of office during the 1930s, Churchill took the lead in warning about Nazi Germany and in campaigning for rearmament. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was again appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Following Neville Chamberlain's resignation in May 1940, Churchill became Prime Minister. His speeches and radio broadcasts helped inspire British resistance, especially during the difficult days of 1940–41 when the British Commonwealth and Empire stood almost alone in its active opposition to Adolf Hitler. He led Britain as Prime Minister until after the German surrender in 1945. After the Conservative Party's defeat in the 1945 general election, he became Leader of the Opposition to the Labour Government. He publicly warned of an "Iron Curtain" of Soviet influence in Europe and promoted European unity. He was re-elected Prime Minister in the 1951 election. His second term was preoccupied by foreign affairs, including the Malayan Emergency, Mau Mau Uprising, Korean War, and a UK-backed Iranian coup. Domestically his government laid great emphasis on house-building. Churchill suffered a serious stroke in 1953 and retired as Prime Minister in 1955, although he remained an MP until 1964. Upon his death, he was given a state funeral.

Named the Greatest Briton of all time in a 2002 poll, Churchill is among the most influential people in British history, consistently ranking well in opinion polls of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom. As a writer, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for his overall, lifetime body of work. His highly complex legacy continues to stimulate intense debate amongst writers and historians.

Works

The Second World War
The Second World War
Winston S. Churchill
The World Crisis
The World Crisis
Winston S. Churchill
My Early Life
My Early Life
Winston S. Churchill
The River War
The River War
Winston S. Churchill
Lord Randolph Churchill
Lord Randolph Churchill
Winston S. Churchill

„You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour and you will have war.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

The 1930s
Source: [Winston Churchill Quotes Military History Matters, https://www.military-history.org/feature/winston-churchill-quotes.htm, www.military-history.org, 2010-11-20, 2022-03-09, en-US, Military History, Matters]

„Germany will recover and Russian will rise... our policy must be directed to prevent a union between German militarism and Russian Bolshevism.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

Early career years (1897–1929)
Source: The Fortnightly Review, July 1919, William Harbutt Dawson, "The Liabilities of the Treaty," p. 10, speech in Dundee on May 14, 1919

„The best way to insure against unemployment is to have no unemployment. ... Idlers at the top make idlers at the bottom.“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The Second World War

The Second World War (1939–1945)
Source: Broadcast (21 March 1943), quoted in The Times (22 March 1943), p. 6

„He was a cut flower in a vase; fair to see, yet bound to die, and to die very soon if the water was not constantly renewed.“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The World Crisis

Concerning Admiral von Spee’s East Asia Squadron
The World Crisis, 1911–1914 : Chapter XIII (On The Oceans), Churchill, Butterworth (1923), p. 295
The World Crisis (1923–1931)

„By noon it was clear that the Socialists would have a majority.“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The Second World War

The Second World War (1948–1953)
Source: On the (July 26, 1945) landslide electoral defeat that turned him out of office near the end of WWII, in The Second World War, Volume VI: Triumph and Tragedy (1953), Chapter 40 (The End of My Account), p. 583.
Context: At luncheon my wife said to me, 'It may well be a blessing in disguise. 'I replied, 'At the moment it seems quite effectively disguised.'

„Taxes are an evil—a necessary evil, but still an evil, and the fewer of them we have the better.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

Churchill By Himself: The Definitive Collections of Quotations, ed. Richard Langworth, 2008, p. 424, (1907, 12 February)
Early career years (1898–1929)

„You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

Often attributed to Churchill, this thought was originally expressed by the French author Victor Hugo in Villemain (1845), as follows: You have enemies? Why, it is the story of every man who has done a great deed or created a new idea. It is the cloud which thunders around everything that shines. Fame must have enemies, as light must have gnats. Do not bother yourself about it; disdain. Keep your mind serene as you keep your life clear.
Villemain is a brief segment taken from Hugo's Choses Vues (Things Seen), a running journal Hugo kept of events he witnessed. The original French versions of these journals were published after Hugo's death.
Misattributed

„The Dark Ages may return, the Stone Age may return on the gleaming wings of Science, and what might now shower immeasurable material blessings upon mankind, may even bring about its total destruction. Beware, I say; time may be short.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

Post-war years (1945–1955)
Source: The Sinews of Peace https://www.nato.int/docu/speech/1946/s460305a_e.htm speech, Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, March 5, 1946.

„I am finished.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

On losing his position at the Admiralty in 1915. Said to Lord Riddell, as cited in Maxims and Reflections, Chapter I (On Himself), Churchill, Houghton Mifflin Company (1947).
Early career years (1898–1929)

„It may be said, therefore, that the military opinion of the world is opposed to those people who cry 'Democratize the army!'“

—  Winston S. Churchill

and it must be remembered that an army is not a field upon which persons with Utopian ideas may exercise their political theories, but a weapon for the defence of the State.
British Cavalry, The Anglo-Saxon Review, March 1901.
Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol I, Churchill at War, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 60. ISBN 0903988429
Early career years (1898–1929)

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