Quotes

Sir Winston Churchill is perhaps best remembered for his powerful speeches, particularly those he gave during the Second World War. Famous quotes from these speeches and other memorable moments in his life are still used today.

Find quotes using the filters and search by theme, period or place and learn what Churchill thought about food, film, aging and animals!

Discover more about the history behind Churchill’s speeches, his role as a screenwriter and his Nobel Prize for mastery of the written and spoken word in The Man of Words.

Quotations from Churchill’s writings and speeches appear here by kind permission of Curtis Brown on behalf of the Estate of Winston S. Churchill. For more information or for permission to use any of these quotations, please contact http://www.curtisbrown.co.uk/client/winston-churchill or send an email to churchillpermissions@curtisbrown.co.uk.

(With thanks to Richard M. Langworth, editor of
Churchill: In His Own Words, the most accurate and complete collection of Churchill’s quotes, upon which some of the content below draws.)

There never will be enough for everything while the world goes on. The more that is given the more there will be needed.

Churchill, June 1926 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

I never 'worry' about action, but only about inaction.

Churchill, 1940s (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

[Photographer: “I hope, sir, that I will shoot your picture on your hundredth birthday.”] I don’t see why not, young man. You look reasonably fit and healthy.

Churchill, 30 November 1949, Hyde Park Gate, London (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

I do not think we are likely to learn much from the liquor legislation of the United States.

Churchill, 11 April 1927 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Dogs look up to you, cats look down on you. Give me a pig! He looks you in the eye and treats you as an equal.

Churchill, c 1952, as relayed by Sir Anthony Montague Browne to Richard (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Keep cool, men! This will be interesting for my paper!

Churchill, 15 November 1899 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Bolshevism is not a policy; it is a disease. It is not a creed; it is a pestilence.

Churchill, 29 May 1919

Books, in all their variety, offer the human intellect the means whereby civilisation may be carried triumphantly forward.

Churchill, 8 November 1937, Statement for the National Book Fair (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Those who serve supreme causes must not consider what they can get but what they can give.

Churchill, 11 August 1950, Council of Europe, Strasbourg (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

I could not live without Champagne. In victory I deserve it. In defeat I need it.

Churchill to Odette Pol-Roger, 1946, reported by Christian Pol-Roger to Richard M. cited in Langworth: Churchill: In His Own Words)

First things first. Get the champagne.

Churchill, 1931, New York (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

There is nothing wrong in change, if it is in the right direction. To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to have changed often.

Churchill, 23 June 1925 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

I expect you will find that change is the best kind of rest.

Churchill, 17 December 1939 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

How much easier it is to join bad companions than to shake them off!

Churchill, 31 August 1943 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Hess or no Hess, I’m going to watch the Marx Brothers.

Churchill, during an air raid, 11 May 1941, Ditchley Park

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

Churchill, 20 August 1940

For defeat there is only one answer … victory.

Churchill, 10 June 1941 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

You will never get to the end of the journey if you stop to shy a stone at every dog that barks.

Churchill, 3 December 1923, Shepherd's Bush Empire, London (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

In politics when you are in doubt what to do, do nothing … when you are in doubt what to say, say what you really think.

Churchill, 26 July 1905, North-West Manchester (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

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.

Churchill, 31 January 1952: Ismay (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

[Bessie Braddock MP: “Winston, you are drunk, and what’s more you are disgustingly drunk.”] Bessie, my dear, you are ugly, and what’s more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly.

Churchill, 1946 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

The facilities for advanced education must be evened out and multiplied. No one who can take advantage of a higher education should be denied this chance. You cannot conduct a modern community except with an adequate supply of persons upon whose education, whether humane, technical, or scientific, much time and money have been spent.

Churchill, 21 March 1943

In the twinkling of an eye, I found myself without an office, without a seat, without a party, and without an appendix.

Churchill, 1931, ‘Election Memories’, Strand Magazine

If the British Empire is fated to pass from life into history, we must hope it will not be by the slow process of dispersion and decay, but in some supreme exertion for freedom, for right and for truth.

Churchill, 20 April 1939, Canada Club, London

Evils can be created much quicker than they can be cured.

Churchill, 2 October 1951, Liverpool (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

You must look at facts, because they look at you.

Churchill, 7 May 1925 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

[A politician needs…] the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year—and to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.

Churchill, 1902 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

One always measures friendships by how they show up in bad weather.

Churchill, 10 July 1948, Woodford, Essex (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

The future is unknowable, but the past should give us hope.

Churchill, 1958 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.

Churchill, speaking at Harvard University, 6 September 1943

I trust and believe that this College, this seed that we have sown, will grow to shelter and nurture generations who may add most notably to the strength and happiness of our people, and to the knowledge and peaceful progress of the world. 'The mighty oak from an acorn towers; A tiny seed can fill a field with flowers.'

Churchill, 17 October 1959

It is a fine game to play – the game of politics – and it is well worth a good hand – before really plunging.

Churchill, in a letter to his mother, 16 August 1895

One of the most remarkable features of the British army for a great number of years had been its number of generals.

Churchill, 24 February 1903 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

… the best generals are those who arrive at the results of planning without being tied to plans.

Churchill, 1930 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

It will be better to engage Germany on new frontiers … Naval command of the Baltic must be secured.

Memo by Churchill, 31 December 1914

[My ideal of a good dinner] is to discuss good food, and, after this good food has been discussed, to discuss a good topic – with myself the chief conversationalist.

Churchill, 1925, “Ephesian” [Roberts C. Bechhofer] in Winston Churchill (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Do not let us speak of darker days; let us rather speak of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days—the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.

Churchill, 29 October 1941, Harrow School

To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.

Churchill, 29 September 1959, Woodford, Essex (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

To be really happy and really safe, one ought to have at least two or three hobbies, and they must all be real.

Churchill, ‘Hobbies’, Pall Mall Gazette, Dec 1925 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Happy are the painters for they shall not be lonely. Light and colour, peace and hope, will keep them company to the end, or almost to the end, of the day.

Churchill, Hobbies, written in 1925 and perhaps reflecting the solace painting had provided him since the death of his daughter Marigold.

Nourish your hopes, but do not overlook realities.

Churchill, 31 May 1935 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong; and a boy deprived of a father’s care often develops, if he escape the perils of youth, an independence and vigour of thought which may restore in after life the heavy loss of early days.

Churchill, 1902 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

It is a very fine thing to refuse an invitation, but it is a good thing to wait till you get it first.

Churchill, 22 February 1911 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Justice moves slowly and remorselessly upon its path, but it reaches its goal eventually.

Churchill, 23 July 1929 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

…I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.…

Churchill, 4 November, 1952 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Nothing makes a man more reverent than a library.

Churchill, December 1921 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

A lie will gallop halfway round the world before the truth has time to pull its breeches on.

Churchill, 1940s (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true.

Churchill, 22 February 1906 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Here life itself, life at its best and healthiest, awaits the caprice of the bullet. Let us see the development of the day. All else may stand over, perhaps for ever. Existence is never so sweet as when it is at hazard.

Churchill, 4 February 1900 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

It always looks so easy to solve problems by taking the line of least resistance.

Churchill, 24 May 1946 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

You never can tell whether bad luck may not after all turn out to be good luck.

Churchill, 1930 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Unteachable from infancy to tomb — There is the first and main characteristic of mankind.

Churchill, 21 May 1928 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

[Nancy Astor: “If I were married to you, I’d put poison in your coffee.”] If I were married to you, I’d drink it.

Churchill to Nancy Astor c.1912, Blenheim Palace (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

There is no doubt the charge was an awful gamble and that no normal precautions were possible. The issue as far as I was concerned had to be left to Fortune or to God – or to whatever may decide these things. I am content and shall not complain.

Churchill, in a letter to his mother, 17 September 1898

The present war has revised all military theories about the field of fire … The question to be solved … is the actual getting across of 100 or 200 yards of open space and wire entanglements.

Churchill in a letter to Asquith, 5 January 1915

Men may make mistakes, and learn from their mistakes. Men may have bad luck, and their luck may change.

Churchill, 2 July 1942 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

It is no use saying, “We are doing our best.” You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.

Churchill, 7 March 1916 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.

Churchill, address to the boys at Harrow School, 29 October 1941

It is better to be making the news than taking it; to be an actor rather than a critic.

Churchill, 1898 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

…everyone has his day, and some days last longer than others

Churchill, 29 January 1952 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

For myself I am an optimist — it does not seem to be much use being anything else.

Churchill, 9 November 1954, Guildhall, London (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

This picture … is about as presentable as anything I can produce. It shows the beautiful panorama of the snow-capped Atlas mountains in Marrakech. This is the view I persuaded your predecessor [Roosevelt] to see before he left North Africa after the Casablanca Conference [in 1943].

Churchill’s note, accompanying the painting, to Truman, 1948

The object of Parliament is to substitute argument for fisticuffs.

Churchill, 6 June 1951 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

It must be remembered that the function of Parliament is not only to pass good laws, but to stop bad laws.

Churchill, 4 April 1944 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Thus we arrive, by our ancient constitutional methods, at practical working arrangements which show that Parliamentary democracy can adapt itself to all situations and can go out in all weathers.

Churchill, House of Commons, 8 September 1942

Nothing is perfect on the human stage…

Churchill, 16 November 1948 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Can a people tax themselves into prosperity? Can a man stand in a bucket and lift himself up by the handle?

Churchill, 1904, Free Trade Hall, Manchester (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Any clever person can make plans for winning a war if he has no responsibility for carrying them out.

Churchill, 1951 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Things are not always right because they are hard, but if they are right one must not mind if they are also hard.

Churchill, 9 October 1948, Llandudno, Wales (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Perhaps it is better to be irresponsible and right than to be responsible and wrong.

Churchill, 26 August 1950, Party Political Broadcast (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

The true guide of life is to do what is right.

Churchill, 15 October 1951, Huddersfield (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

You must put your head into the lion’s mouth if the performance is to be a success.

Churchill, 19 February 1900 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

You have to run risks. There are no certainties in war. There is a precipice on either side of you — a precipice of caution and a precipice of over-daring.

Churchill, 21 September 1943 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

'Safety first' is the road to ruin in war, even if you had the safety, which you have not.

Churchill, 3 November 1940 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

How often in life must one be content with what one can get!

Churchill, 26 December 1943 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

I have in my life concentrated more on self-expression than self-denial.

Churchill, 8 August, 1953 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

All the greatest things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: Freedom; Justice; Honour; Duty; Mercy; Hope.

Churchill, 14 May 1947, United Europe Meeting, Albert Hall, London (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Quit murdering and start arguing.

2 October 1920; Churchill’s advice to Sinn Fein, as told to his cousin, Shane Leslie (cited in Langworth: Churchill: In His Own Words)

It is pretty tough to reshape human society in an after-dinner speech.

Churchill, March 1941 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Nothing should be done for spite’s sake.

Churchill, 26 May 1944 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Success always demands a greater effort.

Churchill to Robert Menzies, Prime Minister of Australia, 13 December 1940, (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Enough is as good as a feast.

Churchill, 25 April 1918 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

I am a man of simple tastes—I am quite easily satisfied with the best of everything.

Churchill, 1930s (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

One can usually put one’s thoughts better in one’s own words.

Churchill, 19 July 1940 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

It is a great mistake to suppose that thrift is caused only by fear; it springs from hope as well as from fear; where there is no hope, be sure there will be no thrift.

Churchill, 10 October 1908 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Tidiness is a virtue, symmetry is often a constituent of beauty…

Churchill, 22 October 1945 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

No one should waste a day.

Churchill, 30 April 1948, Albert Hall, London (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.

Churchill, 13 May 1940 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

I am an English Liberal. I hate the Tory party, their men, their words and their methods. I feel no sort of sympathy with them – except to my own people at Oldham.

Churchill to Lord Hugh Cecil (unsent), 24 October 1903

This truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it, ignorance may deride it, malice may distort it, but there it is.

Churchill, 17 May 1916 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Let no one swerve off the high road of truth and honour.

Churchill, 14 February 1945, Athens (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Always be on guard against tyranny, whatever shape it may assume.

Churchill, 15 November 1945, Brussels University (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

The privilege of a university education is a great one; the more widely it is extended the better for any country.

Churchill, 12 May 1948, University of Oslo

Once you are so unfortunate as to be drawn into a war, no price is too great to pay for an early and victorious peace.

Churchill, 13 May 1901 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

I cannot but think we have much to be thankful for, and more still to hope for in the future.

Churchill to David Lloyd George, 9 December 1918 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Whatever else they may say of me as a soldier, at least nobody can say I have ever failed to display a meet and proper appreciation of the virtues of alcohol.

Churchill, 1916, Belgium; in Taylor: Winston Churchill: An Informal Study in Greatness

There is only one thing certain about war, that it is full of disappointments and also full of mistakes.

Churchill, 27 April 1941, Broadcast, London (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

War is mainly a catalogue of blunders.

Churchill, 1950 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

The war had been fought to make sure that the smallest state should have the power to assert its lawful rights against even the greatest, and this will probably be for several generations an enduring fact.

Churchill, 1929 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Nothing would induce me to vote for giving women the franchise. I am not going to be henpecked into a question of such importance.

Churchill in a letter to his assistant private secretary, Eliot Crawshaw-Williams, 1909

This war effort could not have been achieved if the women had not marched forward in millions and undertaken all kinds of tasks and work for which any other generation but our own…would have considered them unfitted; work in the fields, heavy work in the foundries and in the shops, very refined work on radio and precision instruments, work in the hospitals, responsible clerical work of all kinds, work throughout the munitions facto- ries, work in the mixed batteries…. Nothing has been grudged, and the bounds of women’s activities have been definitely, vastly, and permanently enlarged.

Churchill, 29 September 1943, Royal Albert Hall, London (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

It has been said words are the only things which last forever.

Churchill, 10 June 1909, Press conference, Foreign Office, London (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

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.

Churchill, 1940s (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

It is no use doing what you like; you have got to like what you do.

Churchill, December 1925 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Before the war it had seemed incredible that such terrors and slaughters, even if they began, could last more than a few months. After the first two years it was difficult to believe that they would ever end.

Churchill, 1927 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow-worm.

Churchill, 1906, cited in Violet Bonham Carter’s Winston Churchill; An Intimate Portrait (1965)

Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy, then an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then it becomes a tyrant and, in the last stage, just as you are about to be recon- ciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

Churchill, 2 November 1949, Grosvenor House, London (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Writing a long and substantial book is like having a friend and companion at your side, to whom you can always turn for comfort and amusement, and whose society becomes more attractive as a new and widening field of interest is lighted in the mind.

Churchill, 1948 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

I like things to happen, and if they don’t happen I like to make them happen.

Churchill, undated; as Richard Langworth explains in his Churchill: In His Own Words, Arthur Ponsonby quoted this phrase of Churchill’s in a letter to Eddie Marsh, explaining that Churchill said this ‘many years ago’.

I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.

Churchill, ‘Churchill the Conversationalist’ in Eade's Churchill by his Contemporaries (cited in cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

This fulfils my ambition. I still have my father’s robe as Chancellor. I shall be proud to serve you in this splendid office.

Churchill to Baldwin, as recalled by Churchill; Churchill and Gilbert, Official Biography, Volume 5

Unduly stocked with peppery, pugnacious, proud politicians and theologians.

Churchill on the Arab states (Churchill and Gilbert, Official Biography, Volume 4)

At Blenheim I took two very important decisions: to be born and to marry. I am content with the decision I took on both occasions.

Churchill, undated, quoted by Virginia Cowles (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

A day away from Chartwell is a day wasted.

Churchill (as reported by Grace Hamblin, cited in Churchill: In His Own Words)

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Attributed to Churchill (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

It was at “Little Lodge” I was first menaced with Education. The approach of a sinister figure described as ‘the Governess’ was announced.

Churchill, My Early Life

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

Attributed to Churchill (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

A fanatic is someone who won’t change his mind, and won’t change the subject.

Attributed to Churchill (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

If you’re going through hell, keep going.

Attributed to Churchill (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Just to paint is great fun … Try it if you have not done so – before you die.

Churchill, Painting as a Pastime

In all the twelve years I was at school no one ever succeeded in making me write a Latin verse or learn any Greek except the alphabet.

Churchill, My Early Life

You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.

Churchill (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

My ability to persuade my wife to marry me [was] quite my most brilliant achievement.…

Churchill (passim) (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

My nurse was my confidante. Mrs. Everest it was who looked after me and tended all my wants. It was to her that I poured out my many troubles…

Churchill, My Early Life

One is quite astonished to find how many things there are in the landscape, and in every object in it, one never noticed before. And this is a tremendous new pleasure and interest which invests every walk or drive with an added object. So many colours on the hillside, each different in shadow and in sunlight; such brilliant reflections in the pool, each a key lower than what they repeat; such lovely lights gilding or silvering surface or outline, all tinted exquisitely with pale colour, rose, orange, green or violet.

Churchill, Painting as a Pastime

… painting a picture is like fighting a battle; and trying to paint a picture is, I suppose, like trying to fight a battle. It is, if anything, more exciting than fighting it successfully. But the principle is the same.

Churchill, Painting as a Pastime

Have not Manet and Monet, Cézanne and Matisse, rendered to painting something of the same service which Keats and Shelley gave to poetry after the solemn and ceremonious literary perfections of the eighteenth century? They have brought back to the pictorial art a new draught of joie de vivre; and the beauty of their work is instinct with gaiety, and floats in sparkling air. I do not expect these masters would particularly appreciate my defence, but I must avow an increasing attraction to their work.

Churchill, Painting as a Pastime

I was shown a picture by Cézanne of a blank wall of a house, which he had made instinct with the most delicate lights and colours.

Churchill, Painting as a Pastime

Do not turn the superior eye of critical passivity upon these efforts .... We must not be ambitious. We cannot aspire to masterpieces. We may content ourselves with a joy ride in a paint-box.

Churchill, Painting as a Pastime

When I get to heaven I mean to spend a considerable portion of my first million years in painting, and so to get to the bottom of the subject.

Churchill, Painting as a Pastime

Like a sea-beast fished up from the depths, or a diver too suddenly hoisted, my veins threatened to burst from the fall in pressure. I had great anxiety and no means of relieving it ... And then it was that the Muse of Painting came to my rescue — out of charity and out of chivalry ... — and said, “Are these toys any good to you? They amuse some people.”

Churchill, Painting as a Pastime

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

Churchill (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Anyone can rat, but it takes a certain amount of ingenuity to re-rat.

Sir John Colville’s diary, The Fringes of Power, paraphrases this well-known phrase of Churchill’s, which may in fact be manufactured since no direct attribution can be found, but Richard M. cited in Langworth, editor of Churchill: In His Own Words, feels that ‘re-rat’ has been mentioned by too many sources to doubt that Churchill coined it.

How I hated this school, and what a life of anxiety I lived there for more than two years.

Churchill, My Early Life

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

Attributed to Churchill (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Attributed to Churchill (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

We are the masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.

Attributed to Churchill (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

It is one thing to see the forward path and another to be able to take it. But it is better to have an ambitious plan than none at all.

Churchill, The Second World War, Vol 3

Time passes swiftly, but is it not joyous to see how great and growing is the treasure we have gathered together, amid the storms and stresses of so many eventful and to millions tragic and terrible years?

Letter from Churchill to Clementine, 23 January 1935, quoted in Official Biography by Gilbert

We have a deep animal love for one another but every time we meet we have a bloody row.

Churchill in Gilbert, Never Despair: Winston S. Churchill, 1945–1965

There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained.

Churchill, 16 November 1948, on the birth of Prince Charles

This is no time for ease and comfort. It is the time to dare and endure.

Churchill, 27 January 1940.

God alone knows how great it is. All I hope is that it is not too late. I am very much afraid that it is. We can only do our best.

Churchill to his bodyguard, Detective Walter H. Thompson, 10 May 1940; in I was Churchill’s Shadow, cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory – victory at all costs, victory in spite of terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

Churchill, 13 May 1940, in his first speech as Prime Minister

We must be careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations.

Churchill, speech of 4 June 1940

I felt as if I were walking with Destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial.

Churchill, The Second World War

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.

Churchill, as quoted in Hugh Dalton’s Second World War Diary, entry for 28 May 1940

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.

Churchill, 4 June 1940

Whilst writing, a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy, then an amusement, then it becomes a mistress and then it becomes a master and then it becomes a tyrant and, in the last stage, just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

Churchill, Grosvenor House, London, 2 November, 1949

I feel devoutly thankful to have been born fond of writing.

Churchill, Authors’ Club, London, 17 February 1908

I was very glad that Mr Attlee described my speeches in the war as expressing the will not only of Parliament but of the whole nation. Their will was resolute and remorseless and, as it proved, unconquerable. It fell to me to express it, and if I found the right words you must remember that I have always earned my living by my pen and by my tongue. It was a nation and race dwelling all round the globe that had the lion heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.

Churchill, Westminster Hall, London, 30 November 1954

Of all the talents bestowed upon men, none is so precious as the gift of oratory. He who enjoys it wields a power more durable than that of a great king.

Churchill, ‘The Scaffolding of Rhetoric’, his unpublished essay of 1897

[T]he shorter words of a language are usually the more ancient ... Their meaning is more ingrained in the national character and they appeal with greater force to simple understanding.

Churchill, ‘The Scaffolding of Rhetoric’, 1897

If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time.

Churchill, 1919 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

He is a remarkable fellow – perhaps the finest orator in America, with a gigantic C. J. [Charles James] Fox head – & a mind that has influenced my thought in more than one important direction.

Churchill, writing about Bourke Cockran in a letter to Clementine, 30 May 1909, in Soames, Speaking for Themselves

There is nothing that gives greater pleasure to a speaker than seeing his great points go home. It is like the bullet that strikes the body of the victim.

Churchill, 28 April 1927

This picture … is about as presentable as anything I can produce. It shows the beautiful panorama of the snow-capped Atlas mountains in Marrakech. This is the view I persuaded your predecessor [Roosevelt] to see before he left North Africa after the Casablanca Conference [in 1943].

Churchill’s note, accompanying the painting, to Truman, 1948

Sometimes a slight and not unpleasing stammer or impediment has been of some assistance in securing the attention of the audience.

Churchill, ‘The Scaffolding of Rhetoric’, 1897

I have always earned my living by my pen and by my tongue.

Churchill, Westminster Hall, London, 30 November 1954

I got into my bones the essential structure of the ordinary British sentence – which is a noble thing ... I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat. But the only thing I would whip them for is not knowing English.

Churchill, My Early Life

It is a fine game to play – the game of politics – and it is well worth a good hand – before really plunging

Churchill, in a letter to his mother, 16 August 1895

Fighting is vigorously proceeding, and we shall see who can stand the bucketing best — Briton or Boer.

Churchill, London to Ladysmith via Pretoria

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

Churchill, broadcast, 18 June 1940

Here is the answer which I will give to President Roosevelt. Put your confidence in us – give us your faith and your blessing and under Providence all will be well. We shall not fail or falter, we shall not weaken or tire – neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long drawn trails of vigilance or exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job.

Churchill, speech, 9 February 1941

The meeting was therefore symbolic … It symbolizes … the deep underlying unities which stir and at decisive moments rule the English-speaking peoples throughout the world … the marshalling of the good forces of the world against the evil forces which are now so formidable and triumphant …

Churchill, The Atlantic Charter, broadcast speech, 24 August 1941

We will mete out to the Germans the measure and more than the measure that they have meted out to us. We will have no truce or parley with you, or the grisly gang who work your wicked will. You do your worst and we will do our best.

Churchill, speech at County Hall, London, 7 July 1941

No American will think it wrong of me if I proclaim that to have the United States at our side was to me the greatest joy… So we had won after all!

Churchill, The Second World War

… to me the best tidings of all is that the United States, united as never before, have drawn the sword for freedom and cast away the scabbard.

Churchill, speech to Congress, 26 December 1941

Hope has returned to the hearts of scores of millions of men and women, and with that hope there burns the flame of anger against the brutal, corrupt invader … In a dozen famous ancient States now prostrate under the Nazi yoke, the masses of the people … await the hour of liberation … That hour will strike, and its solemn peal will proclaim that the night is past and that the dawn has come.

Churchill, speech to Congress, 26 December 1941

… I doubt whether anyone feels greater sorrow or pain than those who are responsible for the general conduct of our affairs.

Churchill, 2 July 1942, following the fall of Tobruk

We shall go forward together. The road upwards is stony. There are upon our journey dark and dangerous valleys through which we have to make and fight our way. But it is sure and certain that if we persevere – and we shall persevere – we shall come through these dark and dangerous valleys into a sunlight broader and more genial and more lasting than mankind has ever known.

Churchill, speech in Leeds, 16 May 1942

Now… we have a new experience. We have victory – a remarkable and definite victory. The bright gleam has caught the helmets of our soldiers and warmed and cheered all our hearts.

Churchill, speech at Lord Mayor’s Luncheon, Mansion House, London, 10 November 1942

…this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is perhaps the end of the beginning.

Churchill, speech at the Lord Mayor’s Luncheon, Mansion House, London, 10 November 1942

When I was at Teheran, I realized for the first time what a very small country this is. On one hand the big Russian bear with its paws outstretched – on the other the great American Elephant – & between them the poor little English donkey – who is the only one that knows the right way home.

Churchill to Violet Bonham-Carter several months after the Conference, in her diary entry for 1 August 1944, Champion Redoubtable: The Diaries and Letters of Violet Bonham-Carter, 1914–45

The systematic cruelties to which the Jewish people – men, women and children – have been exposed under the Nazi regime are amongst the most terrible events of history.

Churchill, cited in Gilbert, The Road to Victory

I know there are vast numbers of Jews serving with our Forces ... but it seems to me indeed appropriate that a special Jewish unit, a special unit of that race which has suffered indescribable torments from the Nazis, should be represented as a distinct formation amongst the forces gathered for the final overthrow.

Churchill, 28 September 1944, cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words

It is alarming … 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 Vice-regal Palace while he is still organising and conducting a campaign of civil disobedience.

Churchill, 23 February 1931

I shall endeavor to marshal British opinion against a course of action which would bring in my opinion the greatest evils upon the people of India, upon the people of Great Britain and upon the British Empire itself.

Churchill, 23 February 1931

One would have thought that if there was one cause in the world which the Conservative party would have hastened to defend, it would be the cause of the British Empire in India … Our fight is hard. It will also be long … But win or lose, we must do our duty. If the British people are to lose their Indian Empire, they shall do so with their eyes open.

Churchill, 18 March 1931

Danger gathers upon our path. We cannot afford – we have no right – to look back. We must look forward… The stronger the advocate of monarchical principle a man may be, the more zealously he must now endeavor to fortify the Throne and to give to His Majesty’s successor that strength which can only come from the love of a united nation and Empire.

Churchill, 10 December 1936

The most formidable people in the world, and now the most dangerous, people who… lay down the doctrine that every frontier must be the starting out point for invasion.

Churchill, 14 November 1933 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

We should lay aside every hindrance and endeavour by uniting the whole force and spirit of our people to raise again a great British nation standing up before all the world; for such a nation, rising in its ancient vigour, can even at this hour save civilization.

Churchill, 24 March 1938

I will begin by saying what everybody would like to ignore or forget... we have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat... All is over. Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into the darkness… We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude which has befallen Great Britain and France. Do not let us blind ourselves to that… Do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning.

Churchill, 5 October 1938

They [the dictators] are afraid of words and thoughts: words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home – all the more powerful because forbidden – terrify them.

Churchill, 16 October 1938

These guarantees were not worth the paper they were written on, or the breath that uttered them. What is the position now? The CZ [Czech] Republic is being broken up before our eyes. Their gold is being stolen by the Nazis. The Nazi system is to blot out every form of internal freedom.

Churchill, 14 March 1939

Nowadays we are assailed by a chorus of horrid threats. The Nazi government exudes through every neutral state inside information about the frightful vengeance they are going to wreak upon us, and they also bawl it around the world by their propaganda machinery. If words could kill, we shall be dead already.

Churchill, broadcast to the nation, 12 November 1939

I must tell you that in spite of all our victories a rough road lies ahead. What a shame it would be, and what a folly, to add to our load the bitter quarrels with which the extreme socialists are eager to convulse and exploit these critical years. For the sake of the country and of your own happiness I call upon you to march with me under the banner of freedom towards the beacon lights of national prosperity and honour which must ever be our guide.

Churchill, 21 June 1945

No Socialist Government conducting the entire life and industry of the country could afford to allow free, sharp, or violently worded expressions of public discontent. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance.

Churchill, 4 June 1945 broadcast, London

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.

Churchill, 5 March 1946

I do not wish to withdraw or modify a single word.

Churchill, speech at the Waldorf-Astoria, New York, March 1946

I am now going to say something that will astonish you. The first step in the recreation of the European family must be the partnership between France and Germany.

Churchill, 19 September 1946, ‘The Tragedy of Europe’

We see nothing but good and hope in a richer, freer, more contented European commonalty. But we have our own dreams and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked, but not comprised. We are interested and associated, but not absorbed.

Churchill, 19 September 1946, ‘The Tragedy of Europe'

It is with deep grief I watch the clattering down of the British Empire with all its glories and all the services it has rendered to mankind.

Churchill, 6 March 1947: ‘Europe Unite’ speech

In handing over the Government of India to these so-called political classes, we are handing over to men of straw, of whom, in a few years, no trace will remain.

Churchill, ‘Europe Unite’, speech of 5 March 1947

I feel like an aeroplane at the end of its flight, in the dusk, with the petrol running out, in search of a safe landing.

Churchill, 12 March 1954, to R. A. Butler

If I stay on for the time being, bearing the burden at my age, it is not because of love for power or office. I have had an ample share of both. If I stay it is because I have a feeling that I may, through things that have happened, have an influence about what I care about above all else, the building of a sure and lasting peace.

Churchill, 10 October 1953

I am now nearing the end of my journey ... I hope I still have some service to render. However that may be, whatever may befall, I am sure I shall never forget the emotions of this day.

Churchill, 30 November 1954

I look like a down-and-out drunk who has been picked out of the gutter in the Strand.

Churchill to Montague Browne, as reported by Montague Browne in Long Sunset

Our moral and military support of the United States and our possession of nuclear weapons of the highest quality and on an appreciable scale, together with their means of delivery, will greatly reinforce the deterrent power of the free world, and will strengthen our influence in the free world.

Churchill, 1 March 1955

The day may dawn when fair play, love for one’s fellow men, respect for justice and freedom, will enable tormented generations to march forth serene and triumphant from the hideous epoch in which we have to dwell. Meanwhile, never flinch, never weary, never despair.

Churchill, 1 March 1955

By the time you get this ... I shall have resigned my Office ... To resign is not to retire, and I am by no means sure that other opportunities may not come upon me to serve and influence those causes for which we have both of us worked so long. Of these the first is Anglo-American brotherhood, and the second is the arrest of the Communist menace. They are, I believe, identical.

Churchill to Eisenhower, letter dated ‘April 1955’

On the whole I feel that we Changed Guard at Buckingham Palace at the right time and in the right way.

Churchill to Eisenhower, 18 July 1955

I am not the man I was. I could not be Prime Minister now.

Churchill to Lord Moran, 26 November 1956 (cited in Langworth Churchill: In His Own Words)

I am weary of a task which is done and I hope I shall not shrink when the aftermath ends. My only wish is to live peacefully out the remaining years – if years they be.

Churchill to Clementine, 21 May 1957, in Speaking for Themselves edited by Mary Soames

I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.

Churchill, 30 November 1949

Death is only an incident, and not the most important one which happens to us in the state of being … look forward, feel free, rejoice in life, cherish the children, guard our memory. God bless you.

Churchill to Clementine, 17 July 1915, in a letter to be opened in the event of his death, during the First World War

To sit at one’s table on a sunny morning, with four clear hours of uninterruptible security, plenty of nice white paper, and a Squeezer pen – that is true happiness.

Churchill, speech at the Author’s Club, London, 17 February 1908. By a ‘squeezer’ pen, he means a fountain pen – those, new at the time, that have an inflatable rubber ‘balloon’ that takes up ink from an inkwell when the squeezed balloon is released (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all Parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history myself.

Churchill, 23 January 1948

Writing a long and substantial book is like having a friend and companion at your side, to whom you can always turn for comfort and amusement.

Churchill, The Second World War, Vol I

I devoured Gibbon. I rode triumphantly through it from end to end and enjoyed it all. I scribbled all my opinions on the margins of the pages ... From Gibbon I went to Macauley. I had learnt The Lays of Ancient Rome by heart, and loved them; and of course I knew he had written a history; but I had never read a page of it ... I accepted all Macauley wrote as gospel, and I was grieved to read his harsh judgements upon the Great Duke of Marlborough.

Churchill, My Early Life

English literature is a glorious inheritance which is open to all – there are no barriers, no coupons, and no restrictions. In the English language and in its great writers there are great riches and treasures, of which, of course, the Bible and Shakespeare stand along on the highest platform.

Churchill, Grosvenor House, London, 2 November 1949

I do not believe in another world; only in black velvet – eternal sleep.

Churchill, 2 July 1953, as cited in Moran, Churchill: Taken from the Diaries of Lord Moran

I am not a pillar of the church but a buttress – I support it from the outside.

Churchill, c.1954, as remembered by Sir Anthony Montague Browne, cited in Richard M. Langworth’s Churchill: In His Own Words

Few people practice what they preach, and no one less so than Mr Bernard Shaw ... He is at once an acquisitive capitalist and a sincere Communist.

Churchill, August 1929, Pall Mall Gazette

Let him go to hell – as soon as there’s a vacant passage.

Churchill on P. G. Wodehouse, who made anti-British broadcasts to the US on German radio, 6 December 1944

In the Spring of 1899, I became conscious of the fact that there was another Winston Churchill, who also wrote books; apparently he wrote novels, and very good novels, too ... I received from many quarters congratulations on my skill as a writer of fiction. I thought at first that this was due to a belated appreciated of the merits of Savrola.

Churchill, My Early Life, writing about Savrola

I have consistently urged my friends to abstain from reading it.

Churchill, My Early Life, writing about Savrola

I myself find waiting more tiring than action.

Churchill to Sir Stafford Cripps, 22 September 1942, as reported in The Second World War

I shall endeavor to marshal British opinion against a course of action which would bring in my opinion the greatest evils upon the people of India, upon the people of Great Britain and upon the British Empire itself.

Churchill, 23 February 1931

One would have thought that if there was one cause in the world which the Conservative party would have hastened to defend, it would be the cause of the British Empire in India … Our fight is hard. It will also be long … But win or lose, we must do our duty. If the British people are to lose their Indian Empire, they shall do so with their eyes open.

Churchill, 18 March 1931

Even [man’s] greatest neglects or failures may bring him good. Even his greatest achievements may work him ill.

Churchill, 1936 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

the most formidable people in the world, and now the most dangerous, people who … lay down the doctrine that every frontier must be the starting out point for invasion.

Churchill, 14 November 1933 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Danger gathers upon our path. We cannot afford – we have no right – to look back. We must look forward

Churchill, 10 December 1936

Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.

Churchill, 11 November 1937 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

… I think it would be so much better for me to learn something which would be useful to me in the army, as well as affording me exercise and amusement.

Churchill to his mother, Lady Randolph, 5, October 1889

[With the Malakand Field Force in 1897] I wore my long cavalry sword well sharpened. After all, I had won the Public Schools fencing medal.

Churchill, My Early Life

Never in the history of Indian polo had a cavalry regiment from Southern India won the inter-regimental cup. We knew it would take two or three years of sacrifice, contrivance and effort. But if all other diversions were put aside, we did not believe that success was beyond our compass.

Churchill, My Early Life

The Golcondas were considered incomparably the best team in Southern India ... [But] we defeated [them] by 9 goals to 3. On succeeding days we made short work of all other opponents, and established the record, never since broken, of winning a first-class tournament within fifty days of landing in India.

Churchill, My Early Life

Luckily ... there were Zulus and Afghans, also the Dervishes in the Soudan. Some of these might, if they were well-disposed, ’put up a show’ some day.

Churchill, My Early Life

You would not have thought it was a game at all, but a matter of life and death ... Far graver crises cause less keen emotion.

Churchill, writing about polo, in My Early Life

For the first time I heard shots fired in anger, heard bullets strike flesh or whistle through the air.

Churchill, My Early Life

Here was a place where real things were going on. Here was a scene of vital action. Here was a place where anything might happen. Here was a place where something would certainly happen. Here I might leave my bones.

Churchill, My Early Life

I could not help reflecting that the bullet which had struck the chestnut [horse] had certainly passed within a foot of my head. So at any rate I had been ‘under fire.’ That was something.

Churchill, My Early Life

I’m not a statesman. You aren’t a statesman until you’re dead – and I’m not dead yet!

Churchill, Sheffield, undated (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

I play for high stakes and given an audience - there is no act too daring or too noble.

Churchill to his mother, Lady Randolph, 19 September 1897

... [F]iring got so hot that my grey pony was unsafe ... I remained till the last and here I was perhaps very near my end ... I was close to both officers when they were hit almost simultaneously and fired my revolver at a man at 30 yards who tried to cut up Poor Hughes' body. He dropped but came on again. A subaltern -Bethune by name and I carried awounded sepoy for some distance and might perhaps, had there been any gallery, have received some notice. My pants are still stained with the mans blood... I felt no excitement and very little fear. All the excitement went out when things became really deadly ... I rode on my grey pony all along the skirmish line where everyone else was lying down in cover. Foolish perhaps - but I play for high stakes and givenan audience - there is no act too daring or too noble.

Churchill to his mother, Lady Randolph, 19 September 1897

[N]ext time I go into the action - I shall command a hundred men - & possibly I may bring off some coup. Besides I shall have some other motive for taking chances than merely "love of adventure".

Churchill to his mother, Lady Randolph, 2 October, 1897

A deep crease in the ground - a dry watercourse, a khor - appeared where all had seemed smooth, level plain; and from it there sprang, with the suddenness of a pantomime effect and a high-pitched yell, a dense white mass of men nearly as long as our front and about twelve deep. A score of horsemen and a dozen bright flags rose as if by magic from the earth.

Churchill, The River War

There is no doubt the charge was an awful gamble and that no normal precautions were possible. The issue as far as I was concerned had to be left to Fortune or to God – or to whatever may decide these things. I am content and shall not complain.

Churchill in a letter to his mother, Lady Randolph, 17 September 1898

Here life itself, life at its best and healthiest, awaits the caprice of the bullet ... Existence is never so sweet as when it is at hazard.

Churchill, 4 February 1900 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

Everything trends towards catastrophe & collapse. I am interested, geared up & happy. Is it not horrible to be built like that?

Churchill to Clementine, 28 July 1914 (in Soames, Speaking for Themselves)

We are defeated at sea because our admirals have learned – where I know not– that war can be made without running risks.

Napoleon, quoted by Churchill in a note intended for Fleet Admiral Lord Fisher, 8 April 1915

I’m finished ... I’m done. What I want above all things is to take some active part in beating the Germans ... I’d go out to the Front at once.

Churchill to Violet Asquith, in Champion Redoubtable: The Diaries and Letters of Violet Bonham Carter, 1914–1945 (ed. Pottle)

I am happy here … I always get on with soldiers. I do not certainly regret the step I took … I know that I am doing the right thing out here … Do you know I am quite young again?

Churchill to his mother, Lady Randolph, 24 November 1915

Last night ... I had a splendid walk ... all over the top of the ground ... You cannot show yourself here by day, but in the bright moonlight it is possible to move about without danger (except from random bullets) & to gain a vy clear impression ... We also went out in from of our own parapet into the No man’s land & prowled about looking at our wire & visiting our listening posts. This is always exciting.

Churchill, in a letter to Clementine, 15 February 1916, from Soames, Speaking for Themselves

I am writing in one of the Keepers’ Lodges to wh I have returned after stalking & where I am waiting for the Prince of Wales. Quite the best day’s sport I have had in this country – 4 good stags & home early!

Churchill in a letter to Clementine, from Balmoral Castle, 20 September 1913, from Soames, Speaking for Themselves

the rhinoceros stood … about five hundred yards away … not a twentieth-century animal at all, but an odd, grim straggler from the Stone Age.

Churchill, My African Journey

I built with my own hands ... a large swimming-pool which was filtered to limpidity and could be heated to supplement our fickle sunshine.

Churchill, The Second World War

When danger is far off we may think of our weakness; when it is near we must not forget our strength.

Churchill, 28 June 1939 (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

The tired parts of the mind can be rested and strengthened not merely by rest, but by using other parts.

Churchill, ‘Hobbies’, 1925

Hitler’s success, and, indeed, his survival as a political force, would not have been possible but for the lethargy and folly of the French and British Governments since the War.

Churchill, ‘The Truth about Hitler’, Strand Magazine, November 1935.

When Hitler began, Germany lay prostrate at the feet of the Allies. He may yet see the day when what is left of Europe will be prostrate at the feet of Germany.

Churchill, ‘The Truth about Hitler’, Strand Magazine, November 1935.

It may seem strange that a great advance in the world in industry, in controls of all kinds, should be made in time of war ... War has taught us to make these vast strides forward towards a far more complete equalisation of the parts to be played by men and women in society.

Churchill, 29 September 1943, Royal Albert Hall, London

The German war is … at an end … [A]lmost the whole world was combined against the evil-doers, who are now prostrate before us … Advance, Britannia! Long live the cause of freedom! God save the King!

Churchill, BBC broadcast, 8 May 1945

Democracy is no harlot to be picked up in the street by a man with a tommy gun. I trust the people, the mass of the people, in almost any country, but I like to make sure that it is the people and not a gang of bandits from the mountains or the countryside who think that by violence they can overturn constituted authority.

Churchill, 8 December 1944

…we would rather see London laid in ruins and ashes than that it should be tamely and abjectly enslaved.

14 July 1940, cited in Richard M. Langworth’s Churchill: In His Own Words

What a slender thread the greatest of things can hang by.

10 August 1940, cited in Richard M. Langworth’s Churchill: In His Own Words

What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the battle of Britain is about to begin.

18 June 1940, cited in Richard M. Langworth’s Churchill: In His Own Words