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Winston Churchill Poster

Biography

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Overview (5)

Born in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, UK
Died in Hyde Park Gate, London, England, UK  (following a stroke)
Birth NameWinston Leonard Spencer Churchill
Nicknames Winnie
The British Bulldog
The Father of Europe
Height 5' 6½" (1.69 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Blenheim Palace, the residence of his grandfather, the 7th Duke of Marlborough. His father was the Duke's third son, Lord Randolph Churchill. His mother, Jennie Jerome, was the daughter of an American financier.

After passing through famous English public schools such as Harrow, he went on to fulfill his ambition for a life in the army. He fought in various parts of the British Empire until in 1900 when he won the Conservative seat in Oldham in the general election. From here until 1929 he held various offices in British Parliament.

The 1930s saw fascism grow in strength throughout Europe with dictators such as Italy's Benito Mussolini, Germany's Adolf Hitler and Spain's Francisco Franco. When the UK and France declared war on Germany in 1939, Neville Chamberlain was British Prime Minister. On May 10, 1940 Hitler's forces invaded Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg in order to invade France. Chamberlain was seen by many as a weak leader and they longed for a more forceful leader with whom Britain could feel safe. Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, was chosen to become Prime Minister (at the age of 65). It could be said that Churchill's fiery energy had never been experienced before in British politics and suddenly it seemed as though Britain could face the Nazis and the fascists. He made a speech on 13 May: "You ask: 'What is our policy?' I will say: 'It is to wage war by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark lamentable catalog of human crime.' That is our policy. 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.'"

The United States officially entered the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The US's participation was excellent news to Churchill and after success on D-Day and as the Nazi forces were gradually forced back, the war in Europe gradually drew to a close. He lost the 1945 General Election by a landslide, lost again in 1950, but was re-elected as Prime Minister in 1951 despite receiving fewer votes than Labour. Due to deteriorating health he retired in 1955. He died at Hyde Park Gate, London, on January 24, 1965 at the age of 90. He had succeeded in the uniting of thought and deed. He had succeeded in uniting everyone in the common purpose, inspiring them with fortitude and strength to face whatever hardships that would have to be incurred in the process of first surviving and ultimately winning the war. His daughter Mary wrote to him on his death bed: "I owe you what every Englishman, woman, and child owes you - liberty itself."

As one of the most significant British politicians of the 20th century, Churchill remains one of the country's most widely recognized figures. He has been played by an almost incalculable number of actors on screen, but three of the most notable and acclaimed screen portrayals were by Robert Hardy in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981) (which covers Churchill's life from 1929 to 1939), Albert Finney in The Gathering Storm (2002) (also set in the 1930s before he became Prime Minister) and Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour (2017) (set in May 1940).

As well as a politician, Churchill was also an author and a prolific artist, who painted over 500 canvases, exhibited at the Royal Academy and at Paris, and sold paintings.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Matthew Stephenson <stephenn@pavilion.co.uk>

Spouse (1)

Clementine Churchill (12 September 1908 - 24 January 1965) ( his death) ( 5 children)

Trade Mark (5)

Top hat and Cigar
Low speaking voice
Fiercely energetic public speeches with heavy emphasis on determination
Dry sarcastic wit
Always (deliberately) mispronounced the word "Nazi" in his wartime speeches.

Trivia (232)

The atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, "Fat Man", was christened by US Gen. Leslie Groves with Churchill in mind. The Hiroshima bomb, "Little Boy", was originally called "Thin Man", in honor of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
He is buried in a modest churchyard in Bladon, not far from his birthplace at Blenheim Palace. Chartwell, his country house, is open to the public. Much of his painting was done there.
The first American combat ship named after a foreigner, the guided-missile cruiser USS Winston S. Churchill, was launched on 17 April 1999.
In 1963, by Act of Congress, he was granted honorary US citizenship, the first recipient since Lafayette. He was too infirm to travel to Washington, DC, to receive the honor in person, which was collected by his son and grandson.
He was created a Knight of the Most Noble Order of Garter on 24 April 1953. The award was not made in any of the usual Honours Lists. Both he and his Foreign Secretary Sir Anthony Eden had declined this honor in 1945, feeling it inappropriate following the landslide General Election defeat.
Credited with this exchange with Bessie Braddock: "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".
Nancy Astor once said to Churchill, "If I was your wife I'd poison your coffee!" He replied, "If I was your husband I'd drink it.".
Married at St. Margaret's, Westminster, England. Clementine was a decade younger than him.
That Hamilton Woman (1941) is reported to have been his favorite movie.
Awarded the 1953 Nobel Prize in literature, he was allegedly disappointed that it wasn't the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to prevent the Cold War between the East and West from deteriorating into nuclear conflict.
He declined to be created the Duke of London after his final resignation as Prime Minister in 1955, ostensibly to allow his son to contest a seat in the House of Commons. In reality it was because Churchill himself wanted to remain in the House of Commons.
Was a member of The Tuna Club in southern California, the oldest fishing club in the United States. Its members at one time also included Theodore Roosevelt, George S. Patton, Charles Chaplin, and Bing Crosby.
Pictured on a 5¢ USA commemorative postage stamp issued in his honor, 13 May 1965.
Pictured on a 5¢ Canadian commemorative postage stamp issued in his honour 12 August 1965.
Early in his life, he briefly worked as a greeting card designer for Hallmark.
Born prematurely in a bedroom during a party at Blenheim Palace. Answering speculation that Winston was conceived before her marriage, Lady Randolph later said, "Although present on the occasion, I have no clear recollection of the events leading up to it.".
Time Magazine's "Man of the Year" (1940 & 1949)
Father of Diana Churchill; Randolph Churchill; Sarah Churchill; Marigold Frances (15 November 1918 - 23 August 1921) and Lady Mary Soames.
First gained fame in England as a war correspondent during the Boer War in 1899-1900. While covering the conflict (as what amounted to an "embedded" journalist, long before the term was coined) he was captured by Boer guerrillas and taken as a prisoner of war. Along with a few other prisoners, Churchill hatched a bold scheme to escape. The success of this plan catapulted him to fame and helped him along on his political career.
In 2004 he came in first place in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. This followed a telephone vote campaign by the Churchill Society.
His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, died on 24 January 1895, exactly 70 years to the day before Winston himself passed away.
He was already 65 years of age when he became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1940. He suffered a mild heart attack in Washington in December 1941, a few days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and was very ill with bronchitis around Christmas 1943. In 1949, as Leader of the Opposition, he suffered his first stroke while vacating in France; in June 1953, three weeks after the Coronation, he had a severe stroke which would have ended his second premiership had not Foreign Secretary Sir Anthony Eden been hospitalized in America following three unsuccessful gall bladder operations. Following another stroke in April 1955, Churchill's health remained reasonably good until a fall from his bed at the Hotel Paris in 1962. Thereafter there was no subsequent recovery, although he remained a Member of Parliament until the 1964 General Election, finally standing down a month before his 90th birthday.
Proposed marriage to Ethel Barrymore. She refused him, but they remained friends.
Early in his writing career, he was often mistaken for American novelist Winston Churchill. Churchill wrote to his counterpart, and told him he was thereafter going to sign all his published works 'Winston Spencer Churchill' to avoid confusion. The two actually met in Boston in 1899, and became fast friends.
His mother, Jennie Jerome, was born in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, NY. Her father, Leonard Jerome, was a financier and business partner of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Jennie and Lord Randolph Churchill, son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough, were introduced by the future King Edward VII in August 1873 (the prince was reportedly one of her lovers; she and his consort, Queen Alexandra, later became good friends). Engaged three days after meeting, the wedding was delayed for months while the Duke and Jerome hammered out financial terms. Jennie and Lord Randolph were married on April 15, 1874, at the British Embassy in Paris. As was the custom of the day, Jennie played a limited role in the upbringing of Winston and his brother John (1880-1947). Winston worshiped his mother, but she rarely visited him at school, despite his numerous letters begging her to. After he became an adult, they forged a strong friendship to the point where he regarded her as more of a big sister than his mother. Well-respected and influential in the highest circles, Jennie was instrumental in launching Winston's career. Five years after Randolph's death, she married George Cornwallis-West, a captain in the Scots Guards, who was 26 days older than Winston. Contrary to popular belief, she did not have a tattoo of a snake around her left wrist. She has been played by Anne Bancroft, Hilde Krahl, Georgie Glen, and Lee Remick.
He was awarded the O.M. (Order of Merit) and C.H. (Companion of Honour), and created a Knight of the Garter (KG), but allegedly declined a dukedom.
Greta Garbo attended his funeral, as an extremely rare 1965 photograph proves.
His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, allegedly died of syphilis.
When Churchill was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1924, his robes of office were the same ones his father had used a generation earlier.
Almost missed proposing to Clementine Ogilvy. He had promised to take her for a walk around the Blenheim Palace grounds, then overslept. His cousin Charles took Clementine for a carriage ride to prevent her from leaving, and sent a servant to roust Churchill out of bed.
His relationship with his wife was strained by the fact that she rose early every morning and he slept late. As a result they usually left notes and small letters to each other to maintain the intimacy.
All members of the Churchill family had animal nicknames. Wife Clementine was "Cat", son Randolph was "Rabbit", daughter Mary was "Mouse", to name a few.
May have had Alzheimer's disease in later life. Although the Churchill Museum maintains his reduced mental capacity was the result of multiple minor strokes since 1949, his symptoms were consistent with the illness.
When traveling abroad during World War II, he would travel under the alias "Col. Walden" for security reasons.
While a young student at Harrow, he and some friends blew up a wooden shed using homemade gunpowder.
He was portrayed by Ian McNeice in the original production of the play "Never So Good", by Howard Brenton , which premiered at the National Theatre, London, UK in March 2008.
Father-in-law of Pamela Harriman during her marriage to Randolph; Vic Oliver and Anthony Beauchamp during their marriages to Sarah; and Christopher Soames during his marriage to Mary.
Risked his career by trying to find a way for the Duke of Windsor to remain on the throne after marrying the Duchess of Windsor. This strained relations so badly between Churchill and the future King George VI that George originally did not want Churchill to be Prime Minister, and would prefer instead to have E.F.L. Wood (Lord Halifax). However Halifax was not a member of the House of Commons, and so Churchill became Prime Minister. He earned the King's respect through his leadership during World War II.
Is descended from John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough, through the female line. Due to this, for many years the family's name was actually Spencer. Churchill was added back to the family name to emphasize their descent from Lord Churchill. In fact, Winston's full name includes the Spencer family name as well. Through the Spencer side of the family, Churchill is also related to Earl Charles Spencer and Princess Diana.
By a decree of 18 June 1958 (anniversary of the famous BBC-broadcasted speech to France in 1940), he was named "Compagnon de la Libération", the prestigious Order initiated by Charles de Gaulle during World War II.
Pictured on one of a set of eight British commemorative postage stamps honoring Prime Ministers, issued 14 October 2014. Other prime ministers featured in the set were William Pitt the Younger, Charles Grey, Robert Peel, William Gladstone, Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson, and Margaret Thatcher. Price of the Churchill, Attlee, Wilson, and Thatcher stamps on day of issue was 97p each.
As a representative for the UK government, he helped draft the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which created the Irish Free State and ended the Anglo-Irish War. He heavily armed the Irish National Army against the anti-Treaty Irish Republican Army during the Irish Civil War.
Befriended Consuelo Vanderbilt, who became the Duchess of Marlborough upon her marriage to his cousin, Charles. Consuelo's great-grandfather, Cornelius Vanderbilt, was a business partner of Winston's maternal grandfather, Leonard Jerome.
On 10 May 1940, the day he became Prime Minister, Churchill ordered the RAF to begin bombing German cities. The first raid took place that night at Dortmund, with another raid taking place on the following evening at Monchengladbach.
Pictured on a set of three postage stamps issued by the Isle of Guernsey 22 January 2015. Stamps were in a single souvenir sheet; each stamp had a denomination of £1.
At the end of World War II he tried to publicly disassociate himself from the blitzing of German cities, due to the immense controversy following the destruction of Dresden. Churchill had began bombing German cities on 11 May 1940, four months before Adolf Hitler retaliated by ordering the London Blitz in response.
He was a vocal supporter of destroying Germany as an economic and industrial power before and during World War II.
He publicly praised Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin's invasions of Poland on 17 September 1939 and of the Baltic states on 14 June 1940. After World War II ended it was confirmed that the joint German-Soviet invasion had been secretly agreed in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on 23 August 1939.
He repeatedly rejected offers from Adolf Hitler to end World War II, most notably on 26 May 1940 during the evacuation from Dunkirk, on 19 July 1940 after the Fall of France, and in May 1941 before the start of the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union.
He considered withdrawing all British troops from India in 1942 in response to the "Quit India" movement, so India would be overrun by the Japanese.
During his wartime premiership the UK ceased to be a superpower due to the economic cost of World War II and Lend Lease. The Atlantic Charter promised self-determination to all the colonies of the British Empire.
He was a major proponent of aerial bombing in World War I, the North Russia Intervention, the Third Anglo-Afghan War and the 1920 Iraqi Revolt.
As First Lord of the Admiralty he was responsible for imposing naval blockades on Germany from 1914-19 and 1939-45. Both were illegal under international law.
His first action as Prime Minister was to overrun neutral Iceland on 10 May 1940, to prevent the country from being used as a launching base for an invasion of the UK.
During World War I his decision to use passenger ships like RMS Lusitania to transport munitions for the war effort proved highly controversial. It was speculated that Churchill wanted American passengers to be killed in order to bring the United States into the war.
Suffered a mild heart attack in December 1941, and a bout of pneumonia in December 1943.
US President Lyndon B. Johnson did not attend Churchill's funeral, officially due to a heavy cold. Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower did attend.
As First Lord of the Admiralty he was responsible for the bombing raids on German cities carried out by the Royal Naval Air Service from 22 September 1914, four months before the first Zeppelin raid on the UK.
Despite his later reputation as an opponent of appeasement, Churchill did not begin to regularly speak out against Nazi Germany until May 1938.
Churchill was criticized for making almost no reference in his radio broadcasts to Jews being killed by Axis forces in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.
Several respected historians have blamed Churchill for the starvation of three million people in one year in the Bengal Famine of 1943. The devastation of the famine has been likened to a genocide. Among those historians is David Olusoga, who claimed in 2018 that Churchill was "largely responsible" for the famine.
His Conservative Party received fewer votes than the Labour Party in the 1951 General Election but won more parliamentary seats and therefore became the government.
He was reported to have regretted World War II, particularly the destruction of the British Empire and the Soviet occupation of eastern Europe, remarking, "We have slaughtered the wrong pig". However it is unconfirmed whether he really made this remark.
The destruction of Dresden in February 1945 led to calls for Churchill to be tried for war crimes.
As Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for Air, Churchill was responsible for air strikes on civilians in Russia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 1947 he advocated a decapitating nuclear strike on the Soviet Union to Republican US Sen. Styles Bridges.
An unpublished article from 1937 attributed to Churchill led to accusations of anti-Semitism, although some historians maintain the article was written by others.
He was largely responsible for the failure of the Norwegian Campaign in April-May 1940, which brought down Neville Chamberlain. Ironically Churchill replaced Chamberlain as Prime Minister on 10 May.
Ordered the destruction of the French navy at Mers-el-Kebir on the coast of French Algiers on 3 July 1940. 1,297 French sailors were killed and 350 wounded. The French had already promised Churchill they would not allow their ships to be captured by the Germans or by the Italians. Recruitment for the Free French movement plummeted, and some French politicians and military leaders even considered joining the Axis Powers and declaring war on the UK. In the event Adolf Hitler wished for France to remain neutral in 1940, although the French bombed Gibraltar. The scuttling of the French fleet at Toulon on 27 November 1942 suggested to many people that Churchill's actions in 1940 had been unnecessary.
There was due to be a General Election in 1940, but it was suspended due to World War II. It is likely that Churchill would have lost an election at any time during the war.
Advocated using poison gas against civilians.
Ordered the construction of London Central Mosque in 1940, in recognition of all the Muslim servicemen who were fighting against the Axis Powers. The Viceroy of British India had declared the country was at war with Germany before the Indian parliament could even debate the matter.
May have provoked Adolf Hitler into launching the Blitz by deliberately bombing German cities from May 1940. After the Dunkirk evacuation and the subsequent fall of France there were many people in the UK who wanted to end the war.
He helped cover up the Katyn massacre by the Soviets in Poland.
In a secret memorandum on 28 March 1945 Churchill admitted Dresden was bombed only in order to terrorize the city's civilian population. The city itself had no military significance.
Authorized the use of diphenylaminechloroarsine on villages in northern Russia in August-September 1919.
Three of the most notable and acclaimed screen portrayals of Churchill were by Robert Hardy in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981) (which covers Churchill's life from 1929 to 1939), Albert Finney in The Gathering Storm (2002) (also set in the 1930s before he became Prime Minister) and Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour (2017) (which is set in May 1940).
Churchill was always far more popular in the US than he was in the UK. Churchill's popularity with the British public during the Second World War is often exaggerated and opinion polls suggested that he would actually have lost an election at any stage during the war.
Secret documents declassified in 2011 by MI5 revealed how Churchill overthrew the elected government of British Guiana (now Guyana) in a surprise military coup on 9 October 1953 because he feared its left-wing Prime Minister Gagan Chedda would lead the British colony into an alliance with the Soviet Union.
The bombing of Mannheim by the RAF on 15 December 1940 is often described as the first deliberate terror bombing of World War II.
In 1910, Churchill was a vocal advocate of eugenics, which later caused great controversy in view of Nazi eugenics. Churchill publicly advocated the use of labor camps and forced sterilization to deal with the mentally ill, whom he described as degenerate Britons.
Donated funds for the defense of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein on charges of war crimes.
After World War II Churchill claimed that the German invasion of the Rhineland in March 1936 was the moment Adolf Hitler should have been "stood up to", only he did not say that at the time. Churchill's views about defense and weaponry were often less well-informed than popular mythology would have people believe.
Sent the Black and Tans--a paramilitary police force noted for its brutality--to Ireland in 1920.
Conspiracy theories persist that Churchill knew about the impending Japanese attack on the US naval bases at Pearl Harbor and allowed it to happen.
Publicly defended the use of concentration camps in South Africa during the Second Boer War.
Caused lasting hatred in south Wales by sending troops to maintain order in response to the Tonypandy riots during the coal miners strike of November 1910.
The London dockers were paid to lower their cranes as Churchill's coffin was taken along the River Thames.
Put tanks on the streets of Glasgow during a strike in 1919. This was known as the Battle of George Square.
He had publicly praised both Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini before World War II.
Planned to use mustard gas and phosgene to help repel an Axis invasion in 1940-41, and had there been an invasion he intended to also deploy it against German cities.
Although Churchill was widely condemned for allowing Poland to be overrun by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II, he had in fact publicly defended the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939.
His decision as First Lord of the Admiralty to use passenger liners to transport war munitions during World War I violated the Geneva Convention.
Shortly before Christmas 1954 he told a visitor to 10 Downing Street that he believed in white supremacy.
Churchill was one of the only British politicians to praise Tsar Nicholas II at the time of his abdication in 1917. His decision to militarily intervene in the Russian Civil War has been blamed for the Soviet Union becoming more extreme and isolationist in the 1920s under Joseph Stalin.
During his last visit to the United States in 1961 he was too infirm to accept an offer from President John F. Kennedy to be flown to Washington.
He was against the European Coal and Steel Community, which he saw as a Franco-German project. Churchill did not believe the UK should join as it still had an empire in the early 1950s.
Used concentration camps in Kenya in the 1950s during the Mau Mau Uprising.
There were plans to bomb the Soviet Union during 1940-41, due to the German-Soviet Commercial Agreement. Having consolidated Britain's control of Syria and Lebanon, Churchill seriously considered using the RAF in Iraq to bomb the oilfields in Baku on 12 June 1941, just ten days before the European Axis Powers invaded the Soviet Union.
His second premiership was notorious for its crackdown on homosexuals. Homosexuality was not legalized in the UK until 1967.
He never met Adolf Hitler, although they came close to meeting in Munich in 1932. However, he did meet Hitler's ambassador to London Joachim von Ribbentrop in May 1937.
Churchill strongly supported the Treaty of Versailles, which severely punished Germany following the end of World War I, and he supported the French occupation of the Ruhr district of Germany in 1923. Many historians believe that these contributed to the eventual outbreak of World War II due to a feeling of injustice in Germany and the resultant growth in support for German nationalism, in particular the far-right National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party), which had become the largest elected party in the German "Reichstag" parliament by 1933, resulting in Hitler being made Chancellor of Germany.
Personally destroyed thousands of top secret documents from World War II.
It is believed his wartime speeches were sometimes read by actor Norman Shelley, as the House of Commons was not fitted with recording equipment at that time. Churchill rerecorded all his wartime speeches at Chartwell in 1949.
He seriously considered ending the war on 26 May 1940 during the War Cabinet Crisis, saying he was willing to give up the British colonies of Malta and Gibraltar and some African colonies.
His beloved poodle was named Rufus.
On the documentary Bomber Boys (2012), former RAF personnel accused Churchill of betraying Bomber Command and its leader, Arthur Harris, by deliberately distancing himself from the very policy he had advocated as Prime Minister and neglecting to thank Bomber Command for its role in winning the Second World War. Churchill is believed to have thrown his hands up in horror and asked aloud "Are we beasts?" after seeing footage of the destruction of Dresden in 1945, a bombing raid which he himself had sanctioned. While Churchill was lauded as a war hero and given a state funeral upon his death in 1965, the 55,573 lost members of Bomber Command did not receive a memorial until 2012.
Publicly defended the Eisenhower administration's coup d'état in Guatemala in June 1954, but was annoyed by the disinclination of the Americans to pressure Egypt into signing the Suez Canal Base Agreement.
Used the M Device, a highly secret chemical weapon, against Russian Bolsheviks. 50,000 were taken up in planes and then dropped on Bolshevik Red Army positions and Bolshevik-controlled villages in northern Russia between August and September 1918. The number of casualties is unknown.
Jewish biographer Sir Martin Gilbert, who was accused of being too favorable towards the wartime leader in his books, nevertheless conceded that Churchill did hold anti-Semitic views.
His decision to use the army during the Llanelli riots of 1911 caused lasting hatred of him in Wales.
During the Allied intervention in Russia Churchill, passionately anti-Bolshevik, secured from a divided and loosely organized Cabinet an intensification and prolongation of the British involvement beyond the wishes of any major group in Parliament or the nation - and in the face of the bitter hostility of the Labour Party. In 1920, after the last British forces had been withdrawn, Churchill was instrumental in having arms sent to the Poles when they invaded the Ukraine.
In 1936, he opposed helping the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. The Republican defeat in 1939 led to the establishment of a fascist state under Francisco Franco.
Had he fought the 1955 General Election as leader of the Conservative Party he intended to use "Keep England White" as a campaign slogan.
As many as 635,000 civilians died in German cities such as Dresden, Hamburg and Cologne during the strategy of "area-bombing" carried out by RAF Bomber Command under Churchill's orders.
Even during World Ward II, there was public opposition to the area bombing policy from the Bishop of Chichester and there have been numerous iconoclastic historians who have used the bombing strategy to attack Churchill's reputation.
Knowing how impossible Chamberlain's position was, Churchill later admitted he was glad not to have been Prime Minister in 1938-39.
Although many people still believe the Germans bombed British cities first in World War II, the RAF actually began bombing German cities on the day Churchill replaced Chamberlain as Prime Minister. The first raid took place against Dortmund on the night of 10 May 1940.
Announced in June 1940 the "Declaration of Union" between the United Kingdom and France. However France collapsed before it could be realized.
Due to widespread anti-Semitism in the UK he refused to reappoint Leslie Hore-Belisha to the War Cabinet in May 1940.
In 2018, the journalist, broadcaster and human rights worker Afua Hirsch, a fierce critic of British imperialism and the legacy of the British Empire that Churchill strongly supported and played a major part in, claimed in an article for The Guardian that she was working on a documentary about "the inconvenient parts of Churchill's legacy".
While Churchill is now often rated as the greatest British Prime Minister of all time for speaking out against Nazi Germany and opposing Neville Chamberlain's appeasement in the late 1930s, his decision to continue with the war in 1940, which is depicted in the Oscar-winning film Darkest Hour (2017), ironically led to economic disaster for the UK and hastened the end of his beloved British Empire. Following the war, the UK required economic aid from the United States to recover and became a satellite state which followed US orders, proved by the Suez Crisis in 1956.
Churchill later praised the Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco in the House of Commons for not joining the Axis in 1940. In reality Franco had been very keen to join the war and seize British-occupied Gibraltar, but knew his armed forces were unprepared for a major war and would struggle to defend Spanish Morocco and the Canary Islands. The Spanish Civil War had only ended in 1939, leaving the country bankrupted and its cities in ruins. Franco wrote to Adolf Hitler offering to join the war on 19 June 1940, but annoyed the Germans by demanding Cameroon which Admiral Erich Raeder wanted for his Plan Z (the re-equipment and expansion of the Kriegsmarine). Spain would have been entirely dependent on Germany for fuel, weapons and ammunition. By the end of 1940 Hitler had begun to believe that Vichy France was a more useful ally than Spain, particularly following the Battle of Dakar, and Franco began to have doubts over joining the war, although he continued to believe the Axis would win until late in the conflict. In May 2013 documents were released showing that Churchill authorized MI6 to spend the present-day equivalent of more than $200 million bribing senior Spanish military officers, ship owners and other agents to keep Spain from joining World War II after the Fall of France.
Churchill tried to have documents destroyed which showed that the Nazis had plans to restore the Duke of Windsor to the throne if they defeated the UK. Churchill had strongly opposed his abdication as King Edward VIII in 1936. Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were great admirers of the British aristocracy. Windsor had made a controversial visit to Germany in 1937, met Hitler, given Nazi salutes during his visit and inspected the SS.
Resisted pressure from the United States to give the Suez Canal to Egypt following the Egyptian revolution of 1952.
His role in the Siege of Antwerp in October 1914 caused much controversy.
After World War II Churchill wrote that when Hitler began to rearm he should and could have been defeated, in 1934, in 1936, and again in 1938. This is why he wrote the war was the most unnecessary in history. However, it is extremely doubtful if Churchill ever directly gave any such advice at these particular times. He did not say this anywhere. He later said he thought so, which was a very different thing. Churchill was profoundly distrusted. His whole temper and attitude as expressed in the Siege of Sidney Street, the Antwerp adventure and the agitation on India were not only discreditable and compromising to himself and to his party, this supposed readiness to engage the enemy in the circumstances of 1934-39 could have precipitated the destruction of the British Empire earlier than it was ultimately destroyed.
Churchill wrote that the Allied nations never should have disarmed after World War I. In the economic crisis that followed 1929 any government that tried to maintain the burden of armaments would have been thrown out of office. The British people would not have stood for it - least of all from the pro-Mussolini, pro-Franco, erratic Churchill.
Churchill instantly knew what Pearl Harbor meant for the British. He later wrote that when he heard the news that now that the United States was "in the war, up to the neck and in to the death" he felt the "greatest joy" because it meant that "we had won after all" and "England would live; Britain would live; the Commonwealth of Nations and the Empire would live".
In a 1933 speech he praised Italy "with her ardent Fascisti, her renowned Chief, and stern sense of national duty", and Mussolini, whom he saw as "the Roman genius", "the greatest lawgiver among living men".
As late as 1931, Churchill still considered Soviet Russia the main threat to peace in Europe and the principal obstacle to disarmament.
At the request of the Soviet Union, Churchill helped block an investigation into the Katyn massacre by the International Red Cross in 1943.
As First Lord of the Admiralty during World War I he controversially allowed hospital ships to carry war munitions.
He authorized the Warsaw Airlift in August 1944. However more than 50% of the supplies sent fell into German hands.
He threatened to censor Polish newspapers in the UK in order to prevent them from publishing details of the Katyn massacre.
He believed the Destroyers for Bases Agreement in September 1940 gave grounds for Germany and Italy to declare war on the United States.
His open association with anti-Semites during the 1920s and 1930s damaged his reputation.
Chamberlain was able to deter some of Churchill's more extreme plans as First Lord of the Admiralty in World War II, such as Operation Catherine, which would have sent three heavily armored battleships into the Baltic Sea with an aircraft carrier and other support vessels as a means of stopping shipments of iron ore to Germany.
During the Warsaw Uprising Churchill refused to airlift in Polish troops who had taken refuge in the UK and wanted to join their countrymen's struggle. This resulted in the Polish government requesting an apology from the UK in 2004.
He has been blamed for the sinking of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse on 10 December 1941, as they were not provided with air cover.
He prevented General Reginald Dyer from being prosecuted following the Amritsar massacre.
He was treated for pneumonia in February 1943 and August-September 1944, but both times his illnesses were downplayed to the public.
He is credited with inventing the phrase "terminological in-exactitude" in 1906. A question relating to this was used for an episode of the quiz show Mastermind (1972).
During the Korean War Churchill condemned the widespread use of napalm by the United States as being "very cruel," saying the US was "tortur[ing] great masses of people" by 'splashing it all over the civilian population.'".
On 28 May 1945 he controversially agreed to the repatriation of Cossacks to the Soviet Union after World War II.
He was initially not welcomed as leader in 1940 by Conservative MPs, many of whom would have preferred Halifax. Some of his great speeches to the chamber, such as "We shall fight on the beaches," met with only half-hearted enthusiasm or even silence.
His public condemnation in a radio broadcast of Ireland for remaining neutral during World War II caused controversy, especially as he paid tribute in the House of Commons to Spain for not officially joining the Axis or invading Gibraltar in 1940.
His imperialist views and comments on race, as well as his sanctioning of human rights abuses in the suppression of anti-imperialist movements seeking independence from the British Empire, generated considerable controversy.
In September 1939, the Indian Congress movement had offered to support the British war effort in exchange for moves towards independence. Chamberlain had been favorable to this suggestion, but Churchill was strongly opposed to it.
He is listed today as one of the founding fathers of the European Union.
He refused to condemn the Soviet suppression of the East German uprising of 1953.
Around 1912 he became enthusiastic regarding the eugenicist idea of sterilizing the disabled.
He strongly opposed returning Weihaiwei to China in October 1930, even though the colony was considered worthless.
The Republic of Ireland deliberately did not broadcast his state funeral on television.
He was initially strongly opposed to the Morgenthau Plan to permanently disarm and deindustrialize Germany after World War II, but later changed his mind, allegedly after a proposal of credits to Britain totaling six and half billion dollars.
In July 1940 he welcomed reports of the emerging conflict between the Muslim League and the Indian Congress, hoping "it would be bitter and bloody".
He has been blamed for the death of World War II code-breaker Alan Turing in 1954.
He opposed suggestions to decriminalize homosexuality during his second premiership.
He was heavily condemned for agreeing to the Bleiburg repatriations in May 1945.
He continued to praise the Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini until Italy declared war on the UK in June 1940.
At the Yalta Conference he agreed to Operation Keelhaul, the forced repatriation of former Soviet Armed Forces POWs of Germany to the Soviet Union. It was later carried out in northern Italy by British and American forces between 14 August 1946 and 9 May 1947.
He was largely to blame for the disastrous Dodecanese campaign in September-November 1943.
After World War II he strongly condemned Poland for taking part in the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia in October 1938.
Several writers believe that Benito Mussolini's death was part of a British special forces operation. The aim was supposedly to retrieve compromising "secret agreements" and correspondence with Churchill that Mussolini had allegedly been carrying when he was captured.
In 1941 he publicly promised the RAF would drop chemical weapons on German cities if the Axis armies used chemical weapons on the Eastern Front.
In his "Finest Hour" speech on 18 June 1940 Churchill paid tribute to the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. Ironically Churchill had backed Franco and argued against intervention in Spain, and had also given full support for Fascist Italy.
The first half of his second premiership was notorious for its increase in the prosecutions of gay men. The campaign was led by the Home Secretary Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe. However it lost considerable public support after the actor Sir John Gielgud was arrested in October 1953.
He tried to have the Marburg Files destroyed in 1953 in order to protect the Duke of Windsor.
He strongly opposed the British Nationality Act 1948 which allowed black Commonwealth citizens to freely enter the UK without special documentation, and pushed for amendments to the act.
In 1954, Churchill's Cabinet invited the Home Secretary Gwilym Lloyd-George and the Colonial Secretary Alan Lennox-Boyd to prepare a draft bill restricting immigration, and the Foreign Secretary Sir Anthony Eden seriously considered placing it before Parliament.
As First Lord of the Admiralty in 1912 he publicly promised the UK would build two battleships for every one built by Germany.
During the Bengal Famine of 1943-45 Churchill refused to direct food supplies to the region. He raged that it was their own fault for "breeding like rabbits". At other times, he said the plague was "merrily" culling the population.
As a young MP he demanded a rolling program of more conquests, based on his belief that "the Aryan stock is bound to triumph". In some of his private correspondence, he appeared to genuinely believe the natives were helpless children who will "willingly, naturally, gratefully include themselves within the golden circle of an ancient crown".
When Mahatma Gandhi launched his campaign of peaceful resistance to British rule, Churchill raged that he "ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new Viceroy seated on its back.".
In British India he described the natives as deranged jihadists whose violence was explained by a "strong aboriginal propensity to kill".
He jeered at the Palestinians as "barbaric hoards who ate little but camel dung," while he was appalled that the Israelis "take it for granted that the local population will be cleared out to suit their convenience".
Although Churchill denounced the "cruel and relentless" persecution of the Jews, he also criticized German Jewish refugees in England for their willingness to work for less pay than non-Jewish laborers, which he claimed caused anti-Semitism.
He deliberately suppressed an offer from Adolf Hitler to end the war after the Norwegian Campaign, even though the German leader offered to withdraw from Denmark and Norway as well as western Europe. Churchill prevented this offer from being seen by the UK parliament as he feared many MPs would be swayed by it.
His 1920 article "Zionism versus Bolshevism" has been widely criticized as fundamentally flawed and anti-Semitic.
For much of his life he advocated an alliance between the United States and the British Empire. However most American politicians were not interested in such an alliance, and instead intended to dismantle the European colonial empires.
He hated the portrait by Graham Sutherland so much that he had it destroyed.
Embargoed shipments of oil to Spain on 27 July 1940 to deter the Franco regime from officially joining the Axis.
In his postwar memoirs Churchill lumped Poland and Hungary, both of which had annexed parts of Czechoslovakia in October 1938 and March 1939 containing Polish and Hungarian nationals, with Germany as "vultures upon the carcass of Czechoslovakia".
By 1952, the White House was becoming increasingly frustrated at what it saw as Churchill's attempts to undermine the emerging rapprochement between France and Germany.
He declined offers from King George VI to be made a Knight of the Garter and the Duke of Dover in 1945, feeling it would be inappropriate following his party's landslide defeat at the General Election.
He strongly defended King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson throughout the Abdication Crisis.
He supported the military uprising led by Francisco Franco in 1936 as he thought him better than a Communist-leaning Spanish government under somebody like Largo Caballero.
Several myths about Churchill (such as his supposed ordering of the murder of Wladyslaw Sikorski, promoted by notorious Holocaust denier David Irving) are circulated by Nazi sympathizers.
He ordered an incendiary-intensive raid on the German city of Mannheim on 16 December 1940, considering it a kind of retaliation for the German raid on Coventry. This was the start of a British drift away from precision attacks on military targets and towards area bombing attacks on whole cities.
The starvation blockade he imposed in August 1914 resulted in the Turnip Winter in Germany in 1916-17.
In February 1911, Churchill spoke in the House of Commons about the need to introduce compulsory labour camps for "mental defectives." As for "tramps and wastrels," he said, "there ought to be proper labour colonies where they could be sent for considerable periods and made to realize their duty to the State.".
His decision to reject Hitler's peace proposals in 1940 arguably led to the Holocaust, as the Royal Navy's blockade of Germany prevented the Madagascar Plan from being carried out.
He strongly opposed Home Rule for British India in the 1930s, and violently suppressed the Quit India movement in 1942-43.
He prevented Coco Chanel from being prosecuted after World War II for her active support for Nazi Germany.
Under Churchill's direction between a third and half of the entire British war effort was directed at bombing German cities from February 1942.
In the 1920s he opposed extending the franchise to women 21-30, fearing it would increase the Labour vote. In the 1930s, with dictatorship on the rise, he again expressed doubts about universal suffrage.
The historical record shows that Churchill was a great admirer of fascism. This information can not only be found in private letters and diary entries, but in his speeches and articles he produced in the 1920s and 1930s. As the author of the highly sympathetic biography, "Churchill: A Study in Greatness" (2001) pointed out, Churchill was "not an anti-Fascist until very late in the day".
Churchill is often said to have remarked, "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last." However, he did not actually say that. What he said was, "Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last.".
In a speech at the Conservative Party conference on 7 October 1937 he made it clear that he opposed the government's policy on India, but supported its appeasement policy with regard to Germany and Italy. He continued to support appeasement after the Anschluss in March 1938.
In March 1927 he opposed a move to allow the enfranchisement of nearly five million women between the ages of twenty-one and thirty. Churchill lost the argument and in Cabinet and asked for a formal note of dissent to be entered in the minutes.
Churchill remained a loyal supporter of Mussolini throughout the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. He told the Anti-Socialist Union that Mussolini was "the greatest lawgiver among living men". He also wrote in The Sunday Chronicle that Mussolini was "a really great man".
He favored the Hoare-Laval Pact in 1935.
He publicly ended his support for appeasement in a speech in the House of Commons on 5 October 1938, two days after the Labour leader Clement Attlee had condemned the Munich Agreement.
At least as early as 1942, along with the Polish and Czechoslovak governments-in-exile in London, Churchill helped devise the plan for the forced expulsion of ethnic Germans from eastern and central Europe that was carried out between 1944 and 1950.
It has been occasionally noted that Churchill's opposition to Hitler was not different in kind from his refusal to accept Dominion status for India, which might have preserved a kind of Empire for much longer than actually happened.
In the 1920s, Churchill approved of Mussolini and Italian Fascism because he had been prepared to do much the same in Britain, if it had been necessary. He opposed Hitler as part of the same anti-German struggle that he had helped launch in 1914. It was only later that mainstream opinion chose to re-define the war as anti-Fascist, at a time when Germans were needed as Cold War allies.
He was a lifelong Francophile and a great admirer of Napoleon I.
For two years he maintained an expedition of five thousand men willing to invade the Canary Islands in case Gibraltar was invaded, either by the Germans or by the Spanish.
Due to distrust of the Soviets he opposed Operation Frantic in 1944.
His Area Bombing Directive of 14 February 1942 was contradictory to Article 25 of the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, and sparked international debate as to whether the directive could be classified as a legalization of war crimes against the German civilian population.
He was greatly dismayed by Harold Macmillan's "Wind of Change" speech in South Africa in February 1960.
He referred to Palestinians as "barbaric hordes who ate little but camel dung".
There is evidence to suggest Churchill was a white supremacist. He referred to British imperialism as being for the good of the "primitive" and "subject races". When quashing insurgents in the Sudan in his early military career, Churchill boasted of killing three "savages.".
Churchill was allegedly confident Britain would be victorious over Nazi Germany due to his belief in the superiority of the British "race", over the Prussians, a formerly "barbarous tribe".
By introducing the Ten Year Rule in 1919 Churchill effectively disarmed Britain throughout the 1920s.
From the late 20th century onward, his views on race resulted in a widespread reappraisal of his life achievements and work by both British historians and the general.
His statue in Parliament Square had to be boarded up after it was attacked in June 2020.
During the Bengal Famine of 1943-45 he prioritized stockpiling food for Europeans, rather than feeding Britain's Indian subjects.
During the George Floyd protests in the United Kingdom in June 2020, a statue of Churchill in Parliament Square was spray-painted with the words "was a racist", raising further public discussion of his views on race.
The Royal Navy's blockade which he imposed as First Lord of the Admiralty in August 1914 was maintained after World War I had ended, until the German government had signed the Treaty of Versailles. The blockade caused an estimated 100,000 civilian deaths in Germany from November 1918 to June 1919.
The bombing of Bulgaria was Churchill's idea, and he remained the driving force behind the argument that air raids would provide a quick and relatively cheap way of forcing the country to change sides. In reality the operation proved to be a complete disaster until the Soviets overran the country in September 1944 and installed a regime dominated by the Bulgarian Communist Party.
Like his friend Lord Cherwell, Churchill supported eugenics and held the working class, homosexuals, and blacks in contempt and advocated the forced sterilization of the mentally incompetent.
Since the beginning of the 21st century there has been considerable controversy regarding Churchill's support for eugenics.
Though a lifelong anti-Communist, it has been argued that he actually saved Communism by extending Lend-Lease to the Soviet Union in 1941 following the Axis invasion.
By signing the Atlantic Charter on 14 August 1941 Churchill destroyed the British Empire and ended the UK's independence in foreign policy, as demonstrated by the Suez Crisis.
His actions during World War II helped make the UK a multicultural society, although this was not his intention and he fought to restrict black immigration during the 1950s.
He authorized the Japanese attack on Qingdao, a German colony in China, in 1914. The Japanese successfully overrun Germany's colonies in China and the Pacific, which helped set the stage for World War II.
The British government was divided on whether Japan should be allowed to overrun German colonies in China and the Pacific in 1914. However Churchill was adamant that all of Germany's colonies in the Far East should be conquered by Japan.
His famous speech on the Battle of Britain, entitled "Never was so much owed by so many to so few", referred to Fighter Command, not the ordinary pilots.
During the Phoney War of 1939-40 he devised plans to invade neutral countries Sweden and Norway.

Personal Quotes (198)

[commenting on the Battle of Britain] Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
We shall not flag or fail. 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, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender.
[(speech, 30 March 1940)] Although the fate of Poland stares them in the face, there are thoughtless dilettanti or purblind wordlings who sometimes ask us, "What is it that Britain and France are fighting for?" To this I answer, "If we left off fighting you would soon find out!"
Golf is a game whose aim it is to hit a very small ball into an even smaller hole with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose.
History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.
I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.
When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite.
Writing a book is an adventure: it begins as an amusement, then it becomes a mistress, then a master, and finally a tyrant.
Already by 1900 I could boast I had written as many books as Moses.
We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.
Democracy is an awful way to run a country, but it's the best system we have.
[on the Soviet Union] It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.
[upon hearing of the love affair between Princess Margaret and Peter Townsend] What a delightful match. A lovely young royal lady married to a gallant young airman, safe from the perils and horrors of war.
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
[on his deathbed] I'm so bored with it all.
It is impossible to obtain a conviction for sodomy from an English jury. Half of them don't believe that it can physically be done, and the other half are doing it.
It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.
Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
Some regard private enterprise as if it were a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look upon it as a cow that they can milk. Only a handful see it for what it really is--the strong horse that pulls the whole cart.
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
We have our own dream 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.
[his view on never finishing a sentence with a preposition] Up with this stupidity I will not put.
Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party.
Politics are almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous. In war you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.
Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.
How I hated this school, and what a life of anxiety I lived there for more than two years. I made very little progress in my lessons, and none at all at games. I counted the days and the hours to the end of every term, when I should return home from this hateful servitude and range my soldiers in line of battle on the nursery floor. The greatest pleasure I had in those days was reading. When I was nine and a half my father gave me "Treasure Island", and I remember the delight with which I devoured it. My teachers saw me at once backward and precocious, reading books beyond my years and yet at the bottom of the form. They were offended. They had large resources of compulsion at their disposal, but I was stubborn. Where my reason, imagination or interest were not engaged, I would not or I could not learn.
A socialist policy is abhorrent to British ideas on freedom. A socialist state could not afford to suffer opposition--no socialist system can be established without a political police.
[responding to an accusation that he was conceived out of wedlock] Although present on the occasion, I have no recollection of the events leading up to it.
Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.
I like a man who grins when he fights.
[when told by Nancy Astor {aka Lady Astor) that if she were his wife she would poison his tea] If I were your husband, I would drink it.
[on bravery] Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.
[on father/mother] Where does a family start? It starts with a young man in love with a girl--no superior alternative has yet to be found.
If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future.
There are two things that are more difficult than making an after-dinner speech: climbing a wall which is leaning toward you and kissing a girl who is leaning away from you.
[of England, contemplating the significance of the Wright brothers' 1903 success at Kitty Hawk] You came into big things as an accident of naval power when you were an island. The world had confidence in you. You became the workshop of the world. You populated the island beyond its capacity. Through an accident of air power you will probably cease to exist.
[in his first statement to the House of Commons as Prime Minister, May 13, 1940] I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.
You can always count on Americans to do the right thing--after they've tried everything else.
[to an aide who advised, "We must kiss America on both cheeks"] Yes, but not on all four.
I have often had to eat my words and, on the whole, I have found them to be a nourishing diet.
[in Montreal, 1929] How splendid is our common inheritance. It was a thrill that, after crossing for several days the great wastes of the Atlantic, I landed in a new world, in a new hemisphere, and found myself at home.
[in Newfoundland, 1941] Meeting [Franklin D. Roosevelt] was like uncorking your first bottle of champagne.
[observation, 1935] When the situation was manageable, it was neglected. Now that it is thoroughly out of hand, we apply the remedies which then might have effected a cure. Nothing new in this story, until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong--these are the features that constitute the endless repetition of history.
[13 August 1938] I think we shall have to choose in the next few weeks between war and shame, and I have very little doubt what the decision will be.
[on his Chiefs of Staff, 1944] They may say I lead them up the garden path, but at every stage of the garden they have found delectable fruit and wholesome vegetables.
The territories of the future are the territories of the mind.
[on the destruction of Dresden] It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed . . . I feel the need for more precise concentration upon military objectives such as oil and communications behind the immediate battle-zone, rather than on mere acts of terror and wanton destruction, however impressive.
I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.
I am strongly in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes . . . [It] would spread a lively terror.
If an atomic bomb could be dropped on the Kremlin wiping it out, it would be a very easy problem to handle the balance of Russia, which would be without direction.
America knows that 52% of Russia's motor industry is in Moscow and could be wiped out by a single bomb. It might mean wiping out three million people, but they would think nothing of that . . . They think more of erasing an historical building like the Kremlin.
If you got home only once with the gas you would find no more Bolshies this side of Vologda.
I could not help being charmed, like so many other people have been, by Signor [Benito Mussolini]'s gentle and simple bearing and by his calm, detached poise in spite of so many burdens and dangers. Secondly, anyone could see that he thought of nothing but the lasting good, as he understood it, of the Italian people, and that no lesser interest was of the slightest consequence to him. If I had been an Italian I am sure that I should have been wholeheartedly with you from the start to finish in your triumphant struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism. I will, however, say a word on an international aspect of fascism. Externally, your movement has rendered service to the whole world. The great fear which has always beset every democratic leader or a working class leader has been that of being undermined by someone more extreme than he. Italy has shown that there is a way of fighting the subversive forces which can rally the masses of the people, properly led, to value and wish to defend the honor and stability of civilized society. She has provided the necessary antidote to the Russian poison. Hereafter no great nation will be unprovided with an ultimate means of protection against the cancerous growth of Bolshevism.
The part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution by these international and for the most part atheistic Jews . . . is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of [V.I. Lenin], the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from Jewish leaders . . . The same evil prominence was obtained by Jews in Hungary and Germany, especially Bavaria. Although in all these countries there are many non-Jews every whit as bad as the worst of the Jewish revolutionaries, the part played by the latter in proportion to their numbers in the population is astonishing. The fact that in many cases Jewish interests and Jewish places of worship are excepted by the Bolsheviks from their universal hostility has tended more and more to associate the Jewish race in Russia with the villainies which are now being perpetrated.
While all those formidable transformations were occurring in Europe, Corporal [Adolf Hitler] was fighting his long, wearing battle for the German heart. The story of that struggle cannot be read without admiration for the courage, the perseverance and the vital force which enabled him to challenge, defy, conciliate or overcome all the authorities or resistances which barred his path. He, and the ever increasing legions who worked with him, certainly showed at this time, in their patriotic ardor and love of country, that there was nothing that they would not dare, no sacrifice of life, limb or liberty that they would not make themselves or inflict upon their opponents.
I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.
[on the Suez Crisis] I would never have done it without squaring the Americans, and once I'd started I'd never have dared stop.
The Western democracies, now armed and arming heavily, have much to give these harassed dictators, if they would only prove that they mean to be the friends and not the bane of our common humanity. If the true concert of Europe were re-established, our collective remonstrances would not go unheeded in the Far East.
But he has one important political force in reserve. M. Blum will not fail the cause of European freedom. His influence with the Socialist party is commanding. He will certainly give loyal aid.
But 300,000 Jews in Vienna present a problem of large dimensions and intractable quality to a policy of extirpation ... The tale of their tribulation spreads widely through the world, and it is astonishing that the German rulers are not more concerned at the tides of abhorrence and anger which are rising ceaselessly against them through the heavily-arming United States.
Here we must recognize the services which Soviet Russia is rendering in the Far East to civilization and also to British and United States interests.
I wonder whether the French people realize how bitter and persistent is the pro-German propaganda in this island? The strongest point, repeatedly made, is that France is on the verge of collapse. She is portrayed as about to go down the same bloody sewer as Spain has done. All the 'Heil Hitler' brigade in London society exploit and gloat over what they are pleased to call 'the Parliamentary impotence of the French democracy.'
No single power, except after long preparation, could impose its will upon Japan in the Yellow Sea. If the United States and Great Britain acted together jointly for several years, and if they were supported by Soviet Russia, representations could no doubt be made to which Japan would have to defer. We have created great establishments and businesses in China which have done nothing but good to the Chinese ... European and American missionaries have carried their message fearlessly into the recesses of China.
But this is not the end. The underlying realities and verities of Europe will increasingly assert themselves. In a short time we shall know whether Mr. Chamberlain's hope of detaching Mussolini from Hitler will be realized. If it is not realized, nothing else that Mussolini could give us is of the slightest value. If Mussolini is willing to separate from Hitler, to take his stand with France and Britain, and help sustain the independence of Austria, there will be an undoubted gain.
The first step is to find out which of the Powers of the second rank in Europe would be willing to join with Great Britain and France for special action, not excluding armed resistance, under the Covenant of the League.
If France broke, everything would break, and the Nazi domination of Europe, and potentially of a large part of the world, would seem to be inevitable.
I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.
Famine or no famine, Indians will breed like rabbits.
[from a radio speech, August 20, 1940] The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world - except in the abodes of the guilty - goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
[Bernard L. Montgomery has just refused alcohol offered to him by Churchill by telling him, "Never touch the stuff. Don't drink, don't smoke - and I'm one hundred per cent fit!"] Well, I drink as much brandy as I can get and I smoke cigars and I'm two hundred per cent fit!
I would be grateful to get out of our present difficulties on such terms, provided we retained the essentials and the elements of our vital strength, even at the cost of some territory. (26 May 1940)
[on Adolf Hitler in 1937] One may dislike Hitler's system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as admirable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations. I have on more than one occasion made my appeal in public that the Führer of Germany should now become the Hitler of peace.
This movement among the Jews is not new. From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxembourg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (United States) ... this worldwide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the 19th century; and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.
[on India] A godless land of snobs and bores.
I will not pretend that, if I had to choose between Communism and Nazism, I would choose Communism.
It is alarming and nauseating 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 viceregal palace, while he is still organising and conducting a campaign of civil disobedience, to parlay on equal terms with the representative of the Emperor-King.
When I look round to see how we can win the war, I see that there is only one sure path ... an absolutely devastating, exterminating attack by very heavy bombers from this country upon the Nazi homeland.
[to the London Polish government, October 1944] You are callous people who want to wreck Europe - you do not care about the future of Europe, you have only your own miserable interests in mind.
[1937] It would be easy to ascribe it to the wickedness of the persecutors, but that does not fit all the facts. It exists even in lands, like Great Britain and the United States, where Jew and Gentile are equal in the eyes of the law, and where large numbers of Jews have found not only asylum, but opportunity. These facts must be faced in any analysis of anti-Semitism. They should be pondered especially by the Jews themselves. For it may be that, unwittingly, they are inviting persecution - that they have been partly responsible for the antagonism from which they suffer.
The choice was clearly open: crush them with vain and unstinted force, or try to give them what they want. These were the only alternatives and most people were unprepared for either. Here indeed was the Irish spectre - horrid and inexorcisable.
So far as Britain and Russia were concerned, how would it do for you to have 90% of Romania, for us to have 90% of the say in Greece, and go 50/50 about Yugoslavia?
[during World War I] Perhaps the next time round the way to do it will be to kill women, children and the civilian population.
[on aerial bombing] Now everyone's at it. It's simply a question of fashion - similar to that of whether short or long dresses are in.
[to General Smuts] You are responsible for all our troubles in India - you had Gandhi for years and did not do away with him.
I do not see why the disgusting stertorous slumber of the Boche should remain undisturbed.
[on the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union] It came from God - we did nothing about it.
[on the Poles] These heroic people dogged by their maladroitness in political affairs for three hundred years.
The conflict between good and evil which proceeds unceasingly in the breast of man nowhere reaches such an intensity as in the Jewish race. The dual nature of mankind is nowhere more strongly or more terribly exemplified. We owe to the Jews in the Christian revelation a system of ethics which, even if it were entirely separated from the supernatural, would be incomparably the most precious possession of mankind, worth in fact the fruits of all other wisdom and learning put together. On that system and by that faith there has been built out of the wreck of the Roman Empire the whole of our existing civilization.
[after the sinking of RMS Lusitania] It is most important to attract neutral shipping to our shores in the hope especially of embroiling the United States with Germany ... For our part we want the traffic - the more the better; and if some of it gets into trouble, better still.
There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution, by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews, it is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders. Thus Tchitcherin, a pure Russian, is eclipsed by his nominal subordinate Litvinoff, and the influence of Russians like Bukharin or Lunacharski cannot be compared with the power of Trotsky, or of Zinovieff, the Dictator of the Red Citadel (Petrograd) or of Krassin or Radek - all Jews. In the Soviet institutions the predominance of Jews is even more astonishing. And the prominent, if not indeed the principal, part in the system of terrorism applied by the Extraordinary Commissions for Combating Counter-Revolution has been taken by Jews, and in some notable cases by Jewesses. The same evil prominence was obtained by Jews in the brief period of terror during which Bela Kun ruled in Hungary. The same phenomenon has been presented in Germany (especially in Bavaria), so far as this madness has been allowed to prey upon the temporary prostration of the German people. Although in all these countries there are many non-Jews every whit as bad as the worst of the Jewish revolutionaries, the part played by the latter in proportion to their numbers in the population is astonishing.
Gandhi should not be released on the account of a mere threat of fasting. We should be rid of a bad man and an enemy of the Empire if he died.
[on Neville Chamberlain] In one phase, men seem to have been right; in another, they seem to have been wrong. Then again, when the perspective of time has lengthened, all stands in a different setting. There is a new proportion, there is another scale of values.
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 gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effect on most of those affected.
It fell to Neville Chamberlain in one of the supreme crises of the world to be contradicted by events, to be disappointed in his hopes, and to be deceived and cheated by a wicked man. But what were these hopes in which he was disappointed? What were these wishes in which he was frustrated? What was that faith that was abused? They were surely among the most noble and benevolent instincts of the human heart - the love of peace, the toil for peace, the strife for peace, the pursuit of peace, even at great peril, and certainly to the utter disdain of popularity or clamor. Whatever else history may or may not say about these terrible, tremendous years, we can be sure that Neville Chamberlain acted with perfect sincerity according to his lights and strove to the utmost of his capacity and authority, which were powerful, to save the world from the awful, devastating struggle in which we are now engaged. This alone will stand him in good stead as far as what is called the verdict of history is concerned.
Germany's unforgivable crime before World War II was its attempt to loosen its economy out of the world trade system and to build up an independent exchange system from which the world-finance couldn't profit anymore ... We butchered the wrong pig.
We will force this war upon Hitler, if he wants it or not.
I propose that 100,000 degenerate Britons should be forcibly sterilized and others put in labour camps to halt the decline of the British race.
[on RMS Lusitania] The poor babies who perished in the ocean struck a blow at German power more deadly than could have been achieved by the sacrifice of 100,000 men.
[to Benito Mussolini] If I had been an Italian, I am sure I should have been whole-heartedly with you from the start to finish in your triumphant struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism.
Eventually, the Moslems will become master, because they are warriors, while the Hindus are windbags. Yes, windbags! Oh, of course, when it comes to fine speeches, skilfully balanced resolutions and legalistic castles in the air, the Hindus are real experts! They're in their element! When it comes to business, when something must be decided on quickly, implemented, executed - here the Hindus say 'pass'. Here they immediately reveal their internal flabbiness.
How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property - either as a child, a wife, or a concubine - must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.
We must endeavour by patience and faithful service to prepare for the day when there will be an effective world government resting on the main groupings of mankind.
The French Foreign Minister, M. Schuman, declared in the French Parliament this week that, 'Without Britain there can be no Europe.' This is entirely true. But our friends on the Continent need have no misgivings. Britain is an integral part of Europe, and we mean to play our part in the revival of her prosperity and greatness.
We are prepared to consider and, if convinced, to accept the abrogation of national sovereignty, provided that we are satisfied with the conditions and the safeguards ... national sovereignty is not inviolable, and it may be resolutely diminished for the sake of all men in all the lands finding their way home together.
The whole movement of the world is towards an interdependence of nations. We feel all around us the belief that it is our best hope, if independent, individual sovereignty is sacrosanct and inviolable, how is it that we are wedded to a world organisation? How is it that we have undertaken this immense obligation for the defence of Western Europe? It can only be justified and even tolerated because on either side of the Atlantic it is felt that interdependence is part of our faith and the means of our salvation.
The two governments declare that France and Great Britain shall no longer be two nations, but one Franco-British Union. The constitution of the Union will provide for joint organs of defence, foreign, financial and economic policies. Every citizen of France will enjoy immediately citizenship of Great Britain; every British subject will become a citizen of France.
[on becoming Prime Minister in 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 this trial.
We cannot aim at anything less than the Union of Europe as a whole, and we look forward with confidence to the day when that Union will be achieved.
Indeed, but for the fact that the great Republic across the Atlantic Ocean has at length realised that the ruin or enslavement of Europe would involve their own fate as well, and has stretched out hands of succour and guidance, the Dark Ages would have returned in all their cruelty and squalor. They may still return. Yet all the while there is a remedy which, if it were generally and spontaneously adopted, would as if by a miracle transform the whole scene, and would in a few years make all Europe, or the greater part of it, as free and as happy as Switzerland is today. What is this sovereign remedy? It is to re-create the European Family, or as much of it as we can, and provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom. We must build a kind of United States of Europe. In this way only will hundreds of millions of toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life worth living. The process is simple. All that is needed is the resolve of hundreds of millions of men and women to do right instead of wrong, and gain as their reward, blessing instead of cursing.
We may be sure that the cause of united Europe, in which the mother country must be a prime mover, will in no way be contrary to the sentiments which join us all together with our dominions in the august circle of the British crown.
There is no reason for us not to succeed in achieving our goal and laying the foundation of a United Europe. A Europe whose moral design will win the respect and acknowledgement of all humanity, and whose physical strength will be such that no person will dare to disturb it as it marches peacefully towards the future.
I think that the Government are right to apply to join the European Economic Community. (August 1961)
Hard as it is to say now ... I look forward to a United States of Europe, in which the barriers between the nations will be greatly minimised and unrestricted travel will be possible. (1942)
The unnatural and increasingly rapid growth of the feeble-minded and insane classes, coupled as it is with a steady restriction among all the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks, constitutes a national and race danger which it is impossible to exaggerate. I am convinced that the multiplication of the feeble-minded, which is proceeding now at an artificial rate, unchecked by any of the old restraints of nature, and actually fostered by civilized conditions, is a terrible danger to the race.
This seems to be a case where a complete cure might be at once effected by sterilization. Can this ever be done by consent?
I feel that the source from which the stream of madness is fed should be cut off and sealed up before another year has passed.
[on eugenics] I am drawn to this subject in spite of many Parliamentary misgivings ... Of course it is bound to come some day.
[on the forced sterilization of the mentally handicapped] The Government is pledged to legislation, and a Bill is being drafted to carry out the recommendations of the Royal Commission.
[on King Edward VIII] No Sovereign has ever conformed more strictly to the letter and spirit of the Constitution than his present Majesty.
The improvement of the British breed is my aim in life.
The women's suffrage movement is only the small edge of the wedge, if we allow women to vote it will mean the loss of social structure and the rise of every liberal cause under the sun... women are well represented by their fathers, brothers, and husbands.
[to Joachim von Ribbentrop in 1937 regarding Hitler's territorial ambitions in Europe] England will never accept a colonial enterprise to the east.
[on the Weimar Republic] All the strong elements, military and feudal, which might have rallied to a constitutional monarchy and for its sake respected and sustained the new democratic and parliamentary processes, were for the time being unhinged.
I said at once that I was sure the British government would not agree to give Germany a free hand in Eastern Europe. It was true that we were on bad terms with Soviet Russia and that we hated Communism as much as Hitler did, but he might be sure that, even if France were safeguarded, Great Britain would never disinterest herself in the fortunes of the Continent to any extent that would enable Germany to gain the domination of Central and Eastern Europe.
[on Adolf Hitler] I admire men who stand up for their country in defeat, even though I am on the other side. He had a perfect right, to be a patriotic German if he chose. I always wanted England, Germany, and France to be friends.
Why is your chief so violent about the Jews? I can quite understand being angry with the Jews who have done wrong or are against the country, and I understand resisting them if they try to monopolize power in arty walk of life; but what is the sense of being against a man simply because of his birth? How can any man help how he is born?
We have at length emerged from a scene of material ruin and moral havoc the like of which had never darkened the imagination of former centuries. After all that we suffered and achieved, we find ourselves still confronted with problems and perils not less but far more formidable than those through which we have so narrowly made our way.
[on internment without trial during World War II] Naturally I feel distressed at having to be responsible for action so utterly at variance with all the fundamental principles of British liberty, habeas corpus, and the like. The public danger justifies the action taken, but that danger is now receding.
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.
I must say something to you which is very unfashionable. I am going to say one word of sympathy for Japan ... I hope we should try in England to understand a little the position of Japan, an ancient state with the highest sense of national honour, and patriotism and with a teeming population and a remarkable energy. On the one side they see the dark menace of Soviet Russia. On the other the chaos of China, four or five provinces of which are actually now being tortured under Communist rule.
I want the Germans to start bombing London as early as possible because this will bring the Americans into the war when they see the Nazis' frightfulness, and above all it will put an end to this awkward and inconvenient peace movement that's afoot in my own Cabinet and among the British population.
I warn you, if you do that, the Germans will retaliate. At present they're not bombing English targets, they're not bombing civilian targets at all and you know why. And if you bomb Berlin, then Hitler will retaliate against English civilian targets.
The [Nazi] collaborators in Greece in many cases did the best they could to shelter the Greek population from German oppression ... the Communists are the main foe.
Every tribesman caught was speared or cut down at once.
[on Iran's oil] A prize from fairyland beyond our wildest dreams.
Are we to incur hundreds of millions of debt for defending India only to be kicked out by the Indians afterwards?
We proceeded systematically, village by village, and we destroyed the houses, filled up the wells, blew down the towers, cut down the great shady trees, burned the crops and broke the reservoirs in punitive devastation.
[on the Destroyers for Bases Agreement] It would, according to all the standards of history, have justified the German Government in declaring war upon them. The President judged that there was no danger, and I felt there was no hope, of this simple solution of many difficulties.
Poor Neville will come badly out of history. I know, I will write that history.
You must rank me and my colleagues as strong partisans of national compulsory insurance for all classes for all purposes from the cradle to the grave.
One can imagine that under a world institution embodying or representing the United Nations, and some day all nations, there should come into being a Council of Europe and a Council of Asia. As, according to the forecast I am outlining, the war against Japan will still be raging, it is upon the creations of the Council of Europe and the settlement of Europe that the first practical task will be centred. Now this is a stupendous business. In Europe lie most of the causes which have led to these two world wars. In Europe dwell the historic parent races from whom our Western civilization has been so largely derived. I believe myself to be what is called a good European, and deem it a noble task to take part in reviving the fertile genius and in restoring the true greatness of Europe.
Our own effort must be supported by international arrangements and agreements more neighbourlike and more sensible than before. We must strive to secure our fair share of an augmented world trade. Our fortunes will be greatly influenced by the policies of the United States and the British Dominions, and we are doing our utmost to keep in ever closer contact with them. We have lately put before them and our other friends and allies some tentative suggestions for the future management of the exchanges and of international currency, which will shortly be published. But this is a first instalment only.
[on the Katyn massacre] We shall certainly oppose vigorously any 'investigation' by the International Red Cross or any other body in any territory under German authority. Such investigation would be a fraud and its conclusions reached by terrorism.
It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of the so called 'area-bombing' of German cities should be reviewed from the point of view of our own interests. If we come into control of an entirely ruined land, there will be a great shortage of accommodation for ourselves and our allies. ... We must see to it that our attacks do no more harm to ourselves in the long run than they do to the enemy's war effort.
The truth is that Gandhi-ism and everything it stands for will have to be grappled with and crushed.
When you learn to think of a race as inferior beings it is difficult to get rid of that way of thinking; when I was a subaltern in India the Indians did not seem to be equal to the white man.
[in characterizing Britain's appeasement strategies in the mid-1930s] Undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent.
[on the Morgenthau Plan] At first I was violently opposed to the idea. But the President and Mr. Morgenthau - from whom we had much to ask - were so insistent that in the end we agreed to consider it.
It is not for me to speak of the action of the United States, but this I will say: If Hitler imagines that his attack on Soviet Russia will cause the slightest division of aims or slackening of effort in the great democracies, who are resolved upon his doom, he is woefully mistaken. On the contrary, we shall be fortified and encouraged in our efforts to rescue mankind from his tyranny. We shall be strengthened and not weakened in our determination and in our resources.
[on the Polish-Soviet War] The war of giants has ended, the wars of the pygmies begin.
I do not at all under-rate the severity of the ordeal which lies before us, but I believe our countrymen will show themselves capable of standing up to it like the brave men of Barcelona.
No one can doubt that every effort to bring about a peaceful solution had been made by the government of the United States and that immense patience and composure had been shown in the face of the growing Japanese menace. Now that the issue is joined in the most direct manner, it only remains for the two great democracies to face their task with whatever strength God may give them.
When we think of the insane ambition and insatiable appetite which have caused this vast and melancholy extension of the war, we can only feel that Hitler's madness has infected the Japanese mind and the root of the evil and its branch must be extirpated together.
[on the Warsaw Uprising] The Russian armies now stand before the gates of Warsaw. They bring the liberation of Poland in their hands. They offer freedom, sovereignty, and independence to the Poles.
Marshall Stalin and the Soviet leaders wish to live in honourable friendship and equality with the Western democracies ... I know of no government which stands to its own obligations, even in its own despite, more solidly than the Russian Soviet government.
Every time Britain has to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we will chose.
Let no man underrate the abiding power of the British Empire and Commonwealth.
Let the House remember this. The Indian political parties and political classes do not represent the Indian masses. It is a delusion to believe that they do. I wish they did. They are not as representative of them as the movements in Britain represent the surges and impulses of the British nation. This has been proved in the war ... The Congress Party declared non-co-operation with Great Britain and the Allies ... the Muslim League, sought to make a bargain about it, but no bargain was made ... Nevertheless, the only great volunteer army in the world that fought on either side in that struggle was formed in India. More than three and a half million men came forward to support the King-Emperor and the cause of Britain; they came forward not by conscription or compulsion, but out of their loyalty to Britain and to all that Britain stood for in their lives. 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. This Government, by their latest action, this 14 months limitation - which is what I am coming to - (will) cripple the new Viceroy and destroy the prospect of even going through the business on the agenda which has to be settled. This can only be explained as the complete adoption of one of Mr. Gandhi's most scatterbrained observations, which I will read to the House. It was made on 24th May, 1942, after the Mission. He said: "Leave India in God's hands, in modem parlance, to anarchy; and that anarchy may lead to internecine warfare for a time, or to unrestricted dacoities. From these a true India will arise in place of the false one we see." There, as far as I can see, is a statement indistinguishable from the policy His Majesty's Government are determined to pursue.
I am profoundly grieved at what has happened. I believe the Abdication to have been altogether premature and probably quite unnecessary.
[on Wallis Simpson] No-one has been more victimised by gossip and scandal.
[on the Iraqi revolt of 1920] There is something very sinister to my mind in this Mesopotamian entanglement ... [that] after all the struggles of the war ... we should be compelled to go on pouring armies and treasure into these thankless deserts.
[on the French and Belgian invasion of the Ruhr in 1923] I am strongly of the opinion that the Ruhr business will turn out ill for France.
[on the Anschluss] For five years ... I have watched this famous island descending incontinently, fecklessly the stairway which leads to a dark gulf ... Now the victors are the vanquished, and those who threw down their arms in the field and sued for an armistice are striding on to world mastery.
[on the Schuman Plan] The whole movement of the world is towards an interdependence of nations. We feel all around us the belief that it is our best hope, if independent, individual sovereignty is sacrosanct and inviolable, how is it that we are wedded to a world organization? ... How is it that we have undertaken this immense obligation for the defense of Western Europe? It can only be justified and even tolerated because on either side of the Atlantic it is felt that interdependence is part of our faith and the means of our salvation.
[on universal suffrage] We have enough ignorant voters and don't want any more.
I might as well chain myself to St Thomas's Hospital and say I would not move till I have had a baby.
All experience goes to show that once the vote has been given to everyone and what is called full democracy has been achieved, the whole political system is very speedily broken up and swept away.
I shall unswervingly oppose this ridiculous movement (to give women the vote) ... Once you give votes to the vast numbers of women who form the majority of the community, all power passes to their hands.
[on Fascist Italy] This country gives the impression of discipline, order, goodwill, smiling faces. A happy strict school ... The Fascists have been saluting in their impressive manner all over the place.
That within a generation of the poor silly people all getting the votes they clamoured for they squandered the treasure which five centuries of wisdom and victory had amassed.
I used to come here year after year when we had some differences between ourselves about rearmament and also about a place called India. So I thought it would only be right that I should come here when we are all agreed ... let us indeed support the foreign policy of our Government, which commands the trust, comprehension, and the comradeship of peace-loving and law-respecting nations in all parts of the world.
I am quite satisfied with my views of India. I don't want them disturbed by any bloody Indian.
Fascists of the future will call themselves anti-fascists
Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die.
What the horn is to the rhinoceros, what the sting is to the wasp, the Mohammedan faith was to the Arabs of the Sudan - a faculty of offense or defense. It was all this and no more. It was not the reason of the revolt. It strengthened, it characterized, but it did not cause.
The Germans were not the only vultures upon the carcass. Immediately after the Munich Agreement on September 30, the Polish Government sent a twenty-four-hour ultimatum to the Czechs demanding the immediate handing-over of the frontier district of Teschen. There was no means of resisting this harsh demand. The heroic characteristics of the Polish race must not blind us to their record of folly and ingratitude which over centuries has led them through measureless suffering.
The story of the human race is war.
I certainly deprecate any comparison between Herr Hitler and Napoleon; I do not wish to insult the dead.
Germany is getting too strong. We've got to smash her.
You must understand that this war is not against Hitler or National Socialism, but against the strength of the German people, which is to be smashed once and for all, regardless of whether it is in the hands of Hitler or a Jesuit priest.
I do not want suggestions as to how we can disable the economy and the machinery of war; what I want are suggestions as to how we can roast the German refugees on their escape from Breslau.
I have only one purpose, the destruction of Hitler, and my life is much simplified thereby.
To achieve the extirpation of Nazi tyranny there are no lengths of violence to which we will not go.
Germany ... would give no quarter. They would be reduced to the status of vassals and slaves for ever.
As I have said, in this war we have no territorial aims. We desire no commercial favors, we wish to alter no sovereignty or frontier for our own benefit.
If it is fair war for an Afghan to shoot down a British soldier behind a rock and cut him in pieces as he lies wounded on the ground, why is it not fair for a British artilleryman to fire a shell which makes the said native sneeze? It is really too silly.
Gas is a more merciful weapon than high explosive shell, and compels an enemy to accept a decision with less loss of life than any other agency of war. The moral effect is also very great. There can be no conceivable reason why it should not be resorted to. We have definitely taken the position of maintaining gas as a weapon in future warfare, and it is only ignorance on the part of the Indian military authorities which interposes any obstacle.
Poison gas alone we had put aside - but not, as has been shown, from want of comprehension.
A great many of our friends are here today because they were fired at by German gas shells, which inflicted minor injuries upon them. Had it been high-explosive shell, they would in all human probability have been killed. The whole business of war is beyond all words horrible, and the nations are filled with the deepest loathing of it, but if wars are going to take place, it is by no means certain that the introduction of chemical warfare is bound to make them more horrible than they have been.
Having regard to the fact that [the India Office] are retaining all our men, even those who are most entitled to demobilization, we cannot in any circumstances acquiesce in the non-utilization of any weapons which are available to procure a speedy termination of the disorder which prevails on the frontier.
Because an enemy who has perpetrated every conceivable barbarity is at present unable, through his ignorance, to manufacture poisoned gas, is that any reason why our troops should be prevented from taking full advantage of their weapons? The use of these gas shell[s] having become universal during the great war, I consider that we are fully entitled to use them against anyone pending the general review of the laws of war which no doubt will follow the Peace Conference.
[on using chemical weapons] It is absurd to consider morality on this topic, when everybody used it in the last war without a word of complaint from the moralists or the Church. On the other hand, in the last war the bombing of open cities was regarded as forbidden. Now everybody does it as a matter of course.
At the Admiralty we were in hot pursuit of most of the great key inventions and ideas of the war; and this long in advance of every other nation, friend or foe. Tanks, smoke, torpedo-seaplanes, directional wireless, cryptography, mine fenders, monitors, torpedo-proof ships, paravanes - all were being actively driven forward or developed. Poison gas alone we had put aside - but not, as has been shown, from want of comprehension.
Victory at all costs, victory in spirit of all terror.
[on the Bengal Famine] Why hasn't Gandhi died yet?
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.' There never was a war more easy to stop than that which has just wrecked what was left of the world from the previous struggle.
I hate Indians ... they are beastly people with a beastly religion.
In the dark days of the war the attitude of the Spanish Government in not giving our enemies passage through Spain was extremely helpful to us ... I must say that I shall always consider that a service was rendered ... by Spain, not only to the United Kingdom and to the British Empire and Commonwealth, but to the cause of the United Nations.

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