Quotes / Winston Churchill

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.
—Speech in the House of Commons after the Munich agreement, 5 October 1938

I would say to the House as I said to those who have joined this government: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering.
You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs—Victory in spite of all terror—Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.
— First speech in the House of Commons after becoming Prime Minister, 13 May 1940

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the Old.
— Speech in the House of Commons, 4 June 1940

The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. 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 freed 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.
— Speech in the House of Commons, 18 June 1940

"The entire history of modern imperialism, so firm and self-confident when Queen Victoria of Great Britain died, had lasted no longer than a single lifetime — say, that of Winston Churchill (1874-1965)."
Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes

"In case you've forgotten, he's the UK PM with Hitchcock's physique and Castro's capacity for oral tobacco intake."

Mud: [Hearing a recording of Churchill reading his autobiography] What is that?
Dennis: Winston Churchill. The Jimi Hendrix of the spoken word.

For over five years this man [Churchill] has been chasing around Europe like a madman in search of something he could set on fire. Unfortunately he again and again finds hirelings who open the gates of their country to this international incendiary.

"When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite."
Winston Churchill

Bessie Braddock MP: Winston, you're drunk.
Winston Churchill MP: Bessie, you're ugly. But tomorrow I will be sober.

Nancy Langhorne, the Viscountess Astor: If you were my husband, I'd poison your tea.
Winston Churchill MP: Madam, if you were my wife, I'd drink it!

"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 - a tremendous whack."
Winston Churchill

[One evening with a few friends someone mentions that Germany and Japan are doing better economically than Britain despite losing WWII and then someone else suggests going to war and losing as a solution to Britain's economic difficulties].
Winston Churchill: And whom do you propose we should fight against?
[The response suggests the USA].
Winston Churchill: Well... Yes, but, you see, we wouldn't lose.