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

„Unless Germany is beaten in a manner which leaves no room for doubt or dispute, unless she is convinced by the terrible logic of events that the glory of her people can never be achieved by violent means, unless her war-making capacity after the war is sensibly diminished, a renewal of the conflict, after an uneasy and malevolent truce, seems unavoidable.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

The War by Land and Sea, Part IV, The London Magazine, January 1917.
Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol I, Churchill at War, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 147-8.
Early career years (1898–1929)
Context: The German hope is that if the frontiers can be unshakeably maintained for another year, a peace can be obtained which will relieve Germany from the consequences of the hideous catastrophe in which she has plunged the world, and leave her free to scheme and prepare a decisive stroke in another generation. Unless Germany is beaten in a manner which leaves no room for doubt or dispute, unless she is convinced by the terrible logic of events that the glory of her people can never be achieved by violent means, unless her war-making capacity after the war is sensibly diminished, a renewal of the conflict, after an uneasy and malevolent truce, seems unavoidable.

„The salvation of the common people of every race and of every land from war or servitude“

—  Winston S. Churchill

Speech at Zurich University (September 19, 1946) ( partial text http://www.churchill-society-london.org.uk/astonish.html) ( http://www.peshawar.ch/varia/winston.htm).
Post-war years (1945–1955)
Context: The salvation of the common people of every race and of every land from war or servitude must be established on solid foundations and must be guarded by the readiness of all men and women to die rather than submit to tyranny.

„How many wars have been averted by patience and persisting good will!“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The Second World War

The Second World War, Volume I : The Gathering Storm (1948) Chapter 17 (The Tragedy of Munich), p .287 http://books.google.de/books?id=HzlT3t05OHoC&pg=PA287&dq=churchill+the+gathering+storm+have+been+averted+by+patience+and+persisting+good+will!&hl=de&sa=X&ei=1355T-39C4jHsgb0t-mWBA&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
Post-war years (1945–1955)
Context: Those who are prone, by temperament and character, to seek sharp and clear-cut solutions of difficult and obscure problems, who are ready to fight whenever some challenge comes from a foreign power, have not always been right. On the other hand, those whose inclination is to bow their heads, to seek patiently and faithfully for peaceful compromise, are not always wrong. On the contrary, in the majority of instances they may be right, not only morally, but from a practical standpoint. How many wars have been averted by patience and persisting good will! Religion and virtue alike lend their sanctions to meekness and humility, not only between men but between nations. How many wars have been precipitated by firebrands! How many misunderstandings which led to wars could have been removed by temporizing! How often have countries fought cruel wars and then after a few years found themselves not only friends but allies!

„This is a War of the Unknown Warrior“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The Second World War

Broadcast (14 July 1940), quoted in Martin Gilbert, Finest Hour: Winston S. Churchill, 1939–1941 (London: Heinemann, 1983), p. 665
The Second World War (1939–1945)
Context: 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 Warrior; but let all strive without failing in faith or in duty, and the dark curse of Hitler will be lifted from our age.

„The story of the human race is war. Except for brief and precarious interludes, there has never been peace in the world; and before history began, murderous strife was universal and unending.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

Mankind is Confronted by One Supreme Task, News of the World, 14 November 1937
Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol IV, Churchill at Large, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 421.
The 1930s

„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 realise that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

Source: My Early Life: A Roving Commission (1930), Chapter 18 (With Buller To The Cape), p. 246
Quoted in This Time It's Our War http://www.forward.com/articles/7759/ (2003) by Leonard Fein in The Forward (July 25, 2003).
Context: 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 realise that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events. Antiquated War Offices, weak, incompetent, or arrogant Commanders, untrustworthy allies, hostile neutrals, malignant Fortune, ugly surprises, awful miscalculations — all take their seats at the Council Board on the morrow of a declaration of war. Always remember, however sure you are that you could easily win, that there would not be a war if the other man did not think he also had a chance.

„The wars of peoples will be more terrible than those of kings.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

House of Commons, 13 May 1901, Hansard vol. 93 col. 1572. http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1901/may/13/army-organisation
Early career years (1898–1929)
Context: In former days, when wars arose from individual causes, from the policy of a Minister or the passion of a King, when they were fought by small regular armies of professional soldiers, and when their course was retarded by the difficulties of communication and supply, and often suspended by the winter season, it was possible to limit the liabilities of the combatants. But now, when mighty populations are impelled on each other, each individual severally embittered and inflamed—when the resources of science and civilisation sweep away everything that might mitigate their fury, a European war can only end in the ruin of the vanquished and the scarcely less fatal commercial dislocation and exhaustion of the conquerors. Democracy is more vindictive than Cabinets. The wars of peoples will be more terrible than those of kings.

„How many wars have been precipitated by firebrands! How many misunderstandings which led to wars could have been removed by temporizing! How often have countries fought cruel wars and then after a few years found themselves not only friends but allies!“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The Second World War

The Second World War, Volume I : The Gathering Storm (1948) Chapter 17 (The Tragedy of Munich), p .287 http://books.google.de/books?id=HzlT3t05OHoC&pg=PA287&dq=churchill+the+gathering+storm+have+been+averted+by+patience+and+persisting+good+will!&hl=de&sa=X&ei=1355T-39C4jHsgb0t-mWBA&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
Post-war years (1945–1955)
Context: Those who are prone, by temperament and character, to seek sharp and clear-cut solutions of difficult and obscure problems, who are ready to fight whenever some challenge comes from a foreign power, have not always been right. On the other hand, those whose inclination is to bow their heads, to seek patiently and faithfully for peaceful compromise, are not always wrong. On the contrary, in the majority of instances they may be right, not only morally, but from a practical standpoint. How many wars have been averted by patience and persisting good will! Religion and virtue alike lend their sanctions to meekness and humility, not only between men but between nations. How many wars have been precipitated by firebrands! How many misunderstandings which led to wars could have been removed by temporizing! How often have countries fought cruel wars and then after a few years found themselves not only friends but allies!

„In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Good Will.“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The Second World War

Post-war years (1945–1955)
Source: The Second World War, Volume I : The Gathering Storm (1948) Moral of the Work, p. ix http://books.google.de/books?id=HzlT3t05OHoC&pg=PR9#v=onepage&q&f=false

„One day President Roosevelt told me that he was asking publicly for suggestions about what the war should be called. I said at once 'The Unnecessary War.“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The Second World War

The Second World War, Volume I : The Gathering Storm (1948).
Post-war years (1945–1955)

„In war-time,’ I said, ‘truth is so precious she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

Discussion of Operation Overlord with Stalin at the Teheran Conference (November 30, 1943); in The Second World War, Volume V : Closing the Ring (1952), Chapter 21 (Teheran: The Crux), p. 338.
Post-war years (1945–1955)
Variant: In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.

„Jellicoe was the only man on either side who could lose the war in an afternoon.“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The World Crisis

The World Crisis, 1916-1918 Part I : Chapter V (Jutland: The Preliminaries), Churchill, Butterworth (1927), pp. 112.
Early career years (1898–1929)

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