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The Last Lion. Volume 2: Winston Spencer Churchill: Alone, 1932-1940

Manchester, William | Dell, 1984


p. 6

Churchill appeals to his War Cabinet to fight Hitler, not appease him. It proved a turning point in the great history of 20th century events, and it stemmed from Churchill’s understanding that the great nation of Germany had fallen into the hands of a group of mad men, who could be evicted only by devastating and costly force: “If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground. I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous states have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, 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 and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. Behind us gather a group of shattered states and bludgeoned races: the Czechs, the Poles, the Danes, the Norwegians, the Belgians, the Dutch–upon all of whom a long night of barbarism will descend, unbroken even by a star of hope, unless we conquer, as conquer we shall, as conquer we must.’” A free English people, said Churchill, will be more than a match for the “deadly, drilled, docile, brutish mass of the Hun soldiery plodding on like a swarm of crawling locusts.”