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July 23rd, 2004  
It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read
books of quotations"
- Winston Churchill: My Early Life (1930) ch. 9.

"Never in the face of human conflict has so much been
owed by so many to so few."
- Winston Churchill

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed
by so many to so few."
- Prime Minister Winston Churchill (about the Royal
Air Force)
(both quotations are correct, but said at different

"In Critical and baffling situations, it is always
best to return to first principle and simple action"
- Sir Winston S. Churchill

“it so often happens that, when men are convinced that
they have to die, a desire to bear themselves well and
to leave life’s stage with dignity conquers all other
- Sir Winston S. Churchill

"I have never accepted what many people have kindly
said, namely that I inspired the Nation. It was the
nation and the race dwelling around the globe that had
the lion heart. I had the luck to be called upon to
give the roar"
- Sir Winston Churchill, Speech Nov. 1954.

"There is at least one thing worse than fighting with
allies – And that is to fight without them"
- Sir Winston S. Churchill

"The power of an air force is terrific when there is
nothing to oppose it."
- Winston Churchill

"Democracy is the best form of the worst type of
- Winston Churchill

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth
has a chance to get
its pants on. "
- Winston Churchill

"Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human
qualities, because it is the quality that guarantees
all others"
- Sir Winston S. Churchill

"A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and
fails, and then asks you not to kill him."
- Sir Winston S. Churchill, 1952. (The Observer)

No matter how enmeshed a commander becomes in the
elaboration of his own thoughts, it is sometimes
necessary to take the enemy into account.
- Winston Churchill

"The Americans will always do the right thing... After
they've exhausted all the alternatives."
- Winston Churchill

"Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valor, and be in
readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to
perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our
nation and our altar."
- Prime Minister Winston Churchill

"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and
- Sir Winston Churchill
Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing
great or small, large or petty, never give in except
to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield
to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming
might of the enemy.
-Winston Churchill
"We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be;
we shall fight on beaches, landing grounds, in fields,
in streets and on the hills. We shall never surrender
and even if, which I do not for the 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, will carry on the
struggle until in God's good time the New World with
all its power and might, sets forth to the liberation
and rescue of the Old."
- Prime Minister Winston Churchill (after the fall of

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it
will eat him last."
- Prime Minister Winston Churchill
"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word.
It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite
of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the
road may be, for without victory there is no
- Prime Minister Winston Churchill
"To have the United States at our side was to me the
greatest joy. Now at this very moment I knew the
United States was in the war, up to the neck and in to
the death. So we had won after all!...Hitler's fate
was sealed. Mussolini's fate was sealed. As for the
Japanese, they would be ground to powder."
- Prime Minister Winston Churchill (after the Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor)

"You were given the choice between war and dishonor.
You chose dishonor and you will have war."
Churchill's remark after Chamberlain returned from
signing the Munich pact with Hitler


"Britain and France had to choose between war and
dishonor. They chose dishonor."
- Prime Minister Winston Churchill
"Sure I am this day we are masters of our fate, that
the task which has been set before us is not above our
strength; that its pangs and toils are not beyond our
endurance. As long as we have faith in our own cause
and an unconquerable will to win, victory will not be
denied us."
- Winston Churchill
"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 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."
- Winston Churchill
"Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. The
greater the general, the more he contributes in
maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter."
- Winston Churchill
Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it
be postponed.
- Winston Churchill

It's no use saying, ''We are doing our best.'' You
have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.
- Winston Churchill
My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be
able to persuade my wife to marry me.
- Winston Churchill
I never worry about action, but only inaction.
- Winston Churchill We are happier in many ways when
we are old than when we were young. The young sow wild
oats. The old grow sage.
- Winston Churchill
No two on earth in all things can agree. All have some
daring singularity.
- Winston Churchill

I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has
taken out of me.
- Winston Churchill

I have been brought up and trained to have the utmost
contempt for people who get drunk.
- Winston Churchill

Always remember, a cat looks down on man, a dog looks
up to man, but a pig will look man right in the eye
and see his equal.
- Winston Churchill

We have a lot of anxieties, and one cancels out
another very often.
- Winston Churchill

Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a
shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.
- Winston Churchill

Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory
tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can
milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse,
pulling a sturdy wagon.
- Winston Churchill

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change
- Winston Churchill

Too often the strong, silent man is silent only
because he does not know what to say, and is reputed
strong only because he has remained silent.
- Winston Churchill

It is more agreeable to have the power to give than to
- Winston Churchill

I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I
rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry
for the poor browns.
- Winston Churchill

Socialism is like a dream. Sooner or later you wake up
to reality.
- Winston Churchill

Socialists think profits are a vice; I consider losses
the real vice.
- Winston Churchill

There is only one duty, only one safe course, and that
is to try to be right.
- Winston Churchill

Courage is going from failure to failure without
losing enthusiasm.
- Winston Churchill

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

Nothing is so exhilarating in life as to be shot at
with no result.
- Winston Churchill

I am ready to meet my maker, but whether my maker is
prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another
- Winston Churchill

No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant
- Winston Churchill

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles
with it.
- Winston Churchill

I was not the lion, but it fell to me to give the
lion's roar.
- Winston Churchill

"There is nothing so pleasing as to be shot at by
one’s enemy without result."
- Winston Churchill

"Give us the tools, and we will finish the job"
- Churchill, in a broadcast addressed to Roosevelt in

"It has not fallen to your lot to command great
armies. You had to create them, organize them and
inspire them."
- Churchill to General George Marshall 1945

"We have a very daring and skillful opponent against
us, and, may I say across the havoc of war, a great
- Churchill about Rommel

You may have to fight when there is no hope of
victory, because it is better to perish than live as
-Winston Churchill

In War: Resolution In Defeat: Defiance In Victory:
Magnanimity In Peace: Good Will
-Winston Churchill quotes

If, however, there is to be a war of nerves let us
make sure our nerves are strong and are fortified by
the deepest convictions of our hearts.
-Winston Churchill quotes

Little did we guess that what has been called the
century of the common man would witness as its
outstanding feature more common men killing each other
with greater facilities than any other five centuries
together in the history of the world.
-Winston Churchill quotes

"It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read
books of quotations. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is
an admirable work, and I studied it intently. The
quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good
thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the
authors and look for more."
Roving Commission: My Early Life (1930) Chapter 9
"So they [the Government] go on in strange paradox,
decided only to be undecided, resolved to be
irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity,
all-powerful to be impotent."
Speech in the House of Commons (November 12, 1936)
"I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is
a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but
perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national
Radio speech (Octopber 1, 1939)
"I would say to the House, as I said to those who have
joined this Government: I have nothing to offer but
blood, toil, tears, and sweat. We have before us an
ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us
many, many long months of struggle and suffering. You
ask, what is our policy? I can 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 catalogue of human crime. That is our
policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one
word: It is 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
Speech in the House of Commons upon taking office as
prime minister (May 13, 1940) This has often been
misquoted with the statement: "I have nothing to offer
but blood, sweat and tears."
"We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France,
we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight
with growing confidence and growing strength in the
air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may
be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on
the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and
in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall
never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a
moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were
subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the
seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would
carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the
New World, with all its power and might, steps forth
to the rescue and the liberation of the old."
Speech to the House of Commons (June 4, 1940)
"Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian
civilization. upon it depends our own British life and
the long continuity of our institutions and our
Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must
very soon be turned on us now. Hitler knows that he
will have to break us in this island or lose the war.
If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and
the life of the world may move forward into broad,
sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world,
including the United States, including all that we
have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of
a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more
protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us
therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear
ourselves that, if the British Empire and its
Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say,
This was their finest hour.
Speech in the House of Commons (June 18, 1940)
"We shall show mercy, but we shall not ask for it."
Speech in the House of Commons (July 14, 1940)
"Never in the field of human conflict has so much been
owed by so many, to so few".
Speech in the House of Commons (August 20, 1940)
complimenting the Royal Air Force during the Battle of
"Here is the answer which I will give to President
Roosevelt: We shall not fail or falter; we shall not
weaken or tire... Neither the sudden shock of battle
nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion
will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will
finish the job."
BBC radio broadcast (Feb 9, 1941)
"The British nation is unique in this respect. They
are the only people who like to be told how bad things
are, who like to be told the worst."
Speech in the House of Commons (June 10, 1941)
"Never give in— never, never, never, never, in nothing
great or small, large or petty, never give in except
to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield
to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming
might of the enemy."
Speech at Harrow School (October 29, 1941)
"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning
of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the
Speech after the British defeat of the German Afrika
Korps in Egypt (November 10, 1942)
"The empires of the future are the empires of the
Speech at Harvard University (September 6, 1943)
"The power of the executive to cast a man in prison
without formulating any charge known to the law and
particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers is
in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of
all totalitarian government, whether Nazi or
Telegram by Churchill from Cairo, Egypt to Home
Secratary Herbert Morrison (November 21, 1943)
"The object of presenting medals, stars, and ribbons
is to give pride and pleasure to those who have
deserved them."
Speech in the House of Commons (March 22, 1944)
"A love of tradition has never weakened a nation,
indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of
peril; but the new view must come, the world must roll
Speech in the House of Commons (November 29, 1944)
"From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic
an iron curtain has descended across the Continent."
at Fulton, Missouri (March 5, 1946)
"Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be
tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends
that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has
been said that democracy is the worst form of
government except all those other forms that have been
tried from time to time."
Speech in the House of Commons (November 11, 1947)
"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
The Second World War Volume I : The Gathering Storm
"Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a
shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse."
Speech to Royal Academy of Art (1953); quoted in Time
(May 11, 1954)
"For myself, I am an optimist— it does not seem to be
much use being anything else."
Speech at the Lord Mayor's banquet, London (November
9, 1954)
"The day may dawn when fair play, love for one's
fellow men, respect for justice and freedom, will
enable tormented generations to march forth triumphant
from the hideous epoch in which we have to dwell.
Meanwhile, never flinch, never weary, never despair."
The ending of Churchill's last major speech to the
House of Commons (March 1, 1955)
"I am reminded of the professor who, in his declining
hours, was asked by his devoted pupils for his final
counsel. He replied, 'Verify your
Quoted in Rudolf Flesch, ed., The New Book of Unusual
Quotations (NY: Harper & Row, 1966), p. 311�
"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't
change the subject."
"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth
has a chance to get its pants on."
"A modest man, who has much to be modest about"
Referring to: Clement Atlee
"A sheep in sheep's clothing"
Referring to: Clement Atlee
"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it
be postponed."
America should have minded her own business and stayed
out of the World War. If you hadn't entered the war
the Allies would have made peace with Germany in the
Spring of 1917. Had we made peace then there would
have been no collapse in Russia followed by Communism,
no breakdown in Italy followed by Fascism, and Germany
would not have signed the Versailles Treaty, which has
enthroned Nazism in Germany. If America had stayed out
of the war, all these isms wouldn't today be sweeping
the continent of Europe and breaking down
parliamentary government— and if England had made
peace early in 1917, it would have saved over one
million British, French, American, and other lives.
[purportedly, interview in New York Enquirer 1936]
And you, madam, are ugly. But in the morning I shall
be sober.
to a lady who accused him of being drunk
"Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and
the old words best of all."
"Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing
but rum, sodomy and the lash." (According to the
Falsely Attributed Quotations
page at the Churchill Centre
(, Churchill denied
having said this, but expressed the wish that he had.)

"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be
fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an
ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path.
You know you will never get to the end of the journey.
But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the
joy and glory of the climb."
"This is the sort of pedantry up with which I will not
(Purportedly upon being accused of ending his
sentances with prepositions. Had he said "This is the
sort of pedantry I will not put up with.", he would
have committed the same offense he was accused of.)
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the
vices I admire."
"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it."

"I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is
prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another
matter."� (on the eve of his 75th
"I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against
uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good
that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum.
It is not necessary to use only the most deadly
gasses: gasses can be used which cause great
inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet
would leave no serious permanent effects on most of
those affected."
"I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colours. I
rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry
for the poor browns."
"I do not understand this squeamishness about the use
of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas
against uncivilized tribes. The moral effects should
be good, and it would spread a lively terror."
"I gather, young man, that you wish to be a Member of
Parliament. The first lesson that you must learn is,
when I call for statistics about the rate of infant
mortality, what I want is proof that fewer babies died
when I was Prime Minister than when anyone else was
Prime Minister. That is a political statistic."
"I have always felt that a politician is to be judged
by the animosities he excites among his opponents."
"I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on
us. Pigs treat us as equals."
(But WC's black cat, Nelson, is reputed to have had a
chair at Cabinet.)
"It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The
chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of
them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing
ever happened."
"Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ
grinder is in the room."
"Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth
and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange
voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will
encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must
realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer
the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable
and uncontrollable events."
"One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened
danger and try to run away from it. If you do that,
you will double the danger. But if you meet it
promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the
danger by half."
"Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do
not always like being taught."
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to
another with no loss of enthusiasm."
"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute
talk with the average voter."
"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal
sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism
is the equal sharing of misery."
"The price of greatness is responsibility."
"The reserve of modern assertions is sometimes pushed
to extremes, in which the fear of being contradicted
leads the writer to strip himself of almost all sense
and meaning."
"The water was not fit to drink. To make it palatable,
we had to add whiskey. By diligent effort, I learned
to like it."
"There are a terrible lot of lies going around the
world, and the worst of it is half of them are true."
"To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change
"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by
what we give."
"When all was over, torture and cannibalism were the
only two expedients that the civilized, scientific,
Christian States had been able to deny themselves: and
these were of doubtful utility." (Observations on
World War I)
"When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to
criticize or attack the government of my own country.
I make up for lost time when I come home."
"When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to
"When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be
Lady Nancy Astor: Winston, if you were my husband, I'd
poison your tea.
Winston Churchill: Nancy, if I were your husband, I'd
drink it.
"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up
for something, sometime in your life."
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(c)02-16 Military - Post # 29976