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

„I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

Christopher Soames, speech at the Reform Club (28 April 1981), reported in Martin S. Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill. Volume Eight: Never Despair: 1945–1965. p. 304
Post-war years (1945–1955)
Variant: I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
Context: [Christopher Soames, Churchill's future son-in-law, remembered] Churchill showing him around Chartwell Farm [around 1946]. When they came to the piggery Churchill scratched one of the pigs and said: I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

„For myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use to be anything else.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

Lord Mayor’s Banquet, Guildhall, London (9 November 1954) The Unwritten Alliance, page 195, Columbia University, NY (1966),page 195,
Post-war years (1945–1955)

„What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?“

—  Winston S. Churchill

Speech at Kinnaird Hall, Dundee, Scotland ("Unemployment"), October 10, 1908, in Liberalism and the Social Problem (1909), Churchill, Echo Library (2007), p. 87
Early career years (1898–1929)
Context: What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone? How else can we put ourselves in harmonious relation with the great verities and consolations of the infinite and the eternal? And I avow my faith that we are marching towards better days. Humanity will not be cast down. We are going on swinging bravely forward along the grand high road and already behind the distant mountains is the promise of the sun.

„We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle, nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job.“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The Second World War

BBC radio broadcast, February 9, 1941. In The Churchill War Papers : 1941 (1993), ed. Gilbert, W.W. Norton, pp. 199–200
The Second World War (1939–1945)
Context: Here is the answer which I will give to President Roosevelt: Put your confidence in us. … We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle, nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job.

„The true characteristic of all British strategy lies in the use of amphibious power.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

The Great Amphibian, The Sunday Pictorial, 23 July 1916.
Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol I, Churchill at War, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 101.
Early career years (1898–1929)
Context: The true characteristic of all British strategy lies in the use of amphibious power. Not the sea alone, but the land and the sea together: not the Fleet alone, but the Army in the hand of the Fleet.

„If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground.“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The Second World War

Speech to the Cabinet (28 May 1940), quoted in Martin Gilbert, Finest Hour: Winston S. Churchill, 1939–1941 (London: Heinemann, 1983), p. 420
The Second World War (1939–1945)
Context: I have thought carefully in these last days whether it was part of my duty to consider entering negotiations with That Man. But it was idle to think that, if we tried to make peace now, we should get better terms than if we fought it out. The Germans would demand our fleet—that would be called 'disarmament'—our naval bases, and much else. We should become a slave state, though a British Government which would be Hitler's puppet would be set up—under Mosley or some such person. And where should we be at the end of all that? On the other hand, we had immense reserves and advantages. And I am convinced that every man of you would rise up and tear me from my place if I were for one moment to contemplate parley or surrender. If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground.

„It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

Statement as president of the Air Council, War Office Departmental Minute (1919-05-12); Churchill Papers 16/16, Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge.
Early career years (1898–1929)
Context: I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gases: gases can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected … We cannot, in any circumstances acquiesce to the non-utilisation of any weapons which are available to procure a speedy termination of the disorder which prevails on the frontier.

„This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

Speech https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1938/oct/05/policy-of-his-majestys-government#column_373 in the House of Commons (5 October 1938) against the Munich Agreement
The 1930s
Context: I do not grudge our loyal, brave people, who were ready to do their duty no matter what the cost, who never flinched under the strain of last week—I do not grudge them the natural, spontaneous outburst of joy and relief when they learned that the hard ordeal would no longer be required of them at the moment; but they should know the truth. They should know that there has been gross neglect and deficiency in our defences; they should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road; they should know that we have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of Europe has been deranged, and that the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies: "Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting." And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.

„We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The Second World War

Speech to the House of Commons (October 28, 1943), on plans for the rebuilding of the Chamber (destroyed by an enemy bomb May 10, 1941), in Never Give In! : The best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches (2003), Hyperion, p. 358 ISBN 1401300561
The Second World War (1939–1945)

Citát „It's no use saying, "We are doing our best." You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.“

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

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The Second World War

Speech in the House of Commons, June 18, 1940 "War Situation" http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1940/jun/18/war-situation#column_60.
The Second World War (1939–1945)
Source: Never Give In!: The Best of Winston Churchill's Speeches
Context: Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us now. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.

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