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We shall never surrender....

Prime Minister Winston Churchill tours the ruins of Coventry Cathedral in 1942 (Library of Congress)
Prime Minister Winston Churchill tours the ruins of Coventry Cathedral in 1942 (Library of Congress)

On June 4, 1940, Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave a report to the House of Commons on the state of the war. It came after the remarkable Operation Dynamo which rescued 338,000 Allied soldiers from certain annihilation on the beaches of Dunkirk during the Battle of France. The final paragraph of the speech contains Churchill’s now-famous and often quoted words of resolve to fight on to the end, but the entire report is a fascinating recitation of the position in which the British found themselves early in the war. Churchill’s closing call to America to come to Europe’s aid is stirring. You can read the entire address here.

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

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