Finest Hour 124

Ampersand:And Now for Something Completely Different

Question Time

PRIME MINISTER’S QUESTIONS: FINEST HOUR 124, AUTUMN 2004

EDITED AND ANNOTATED BY PAUL H. COURTENAY Read More >

Churchill Trivia

CHURCHILL TRIVIA: FINEST HOUR 124, AUTUMN 2004

BY CURT ZOLLER Read More >

Notable Churchillians: Christopher Hebb

Immortal Words: “War”

FINEST HOUR 124, AUTUMN 2004

BY WINSTON S. CHURCHILL

ABSTRACT
House oF Commons, 3 September 1939 Read More >

Woods Corner

WOODS CORNER: FINEST HOUR 124, AUTUMN 2004

ABSTRACT
A bibliophile’s department named for Frederick Woods, first bibliographer of Sir Winston Churchill Read More >

Inside the Journals

FINEST HOUR 124, AUTUMN 2004

ABSTRACT BY DAVID FREEMAN

ABSTRACT
Evelyne Hanquart-Turner. “Journalisme, Histoire et Politique: Winston Churchill, Correspondant de Guerre a la Frontiere du Nord-ouest: 1897.” Cahiers Victoriens et Edouardiens 55 (2002): 95-106. Read More >

New Research on Churchill and America

FINEST HOUR 124, AUTUMN 2004

BY CHRISTOPHER C. HARMON AND PAUL H.COURTENAY

Professor Harmon teaches at the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. He is an academic adviser to The Churchill Centre and served as moderator to the second Library of Congress Symposium. Read More >

Churchill and D-Day: A Riposte

FINEST HOUR 124, AUTUMN 2004

BY SIR MARTIN GILBERT AND RICHARD M. LANGWORTH

ABSTRACT
Who really postponed the Second Front for a full two years? Read More >

Churchill and D-Day: Another View

FINEST HOUR 124, AUTUMN 2004

BY WARREN F. KIMBALL & NORMAN ROSE

Dr. Rose, author of Churchill: An Unruly Life (FH 84:16), is ChaimWeizmann Professor of International History at Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Dr. Kimball, author of several works on the Roosevelt-Churchill relationship, is Robert Treat Professor of History at Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey. The authors thank Mark Stoler of the University of Vermont for his excellent suggestions.

ABSTRACT
Who really postponed the Second Front for a full two years? Read More >

“Undaunted by Odds”

FINEST HOUR 124, AUTUMN 2004

BY WILLIAM MANCHESTER

Before his death in June (FH123: 33), William Manchester gave us permission to publish two excerpts from his uncompleted third Churchill volume, which first ran in Military History Quarterly. The first of these, on the Battle of France, appeared in FH 109. This excerpt, on the Battle of Britain, is published in his memory.

ABSTRACT
Winston Churchill’s words celebrated the resistance of the Royal Air Force against another seemingly invincible armada, Hitler’s Lurtwarre, in the Battle of Britain. Read More >

Wit and Wisdom

WIT AND WISDOM: FINEST HOUR 124, AUTUMN 2004

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“THE TERRIBLE IFS ACCUMULATE”

Bindi Patel of New Delhi University, India (patelb@ndu.edu) asked when Churchill used the phrase, “the terrible ‘Ifs’ accumulate”—and stumped us at first because he, and we, thought it was said during the 1930s or in early World War II, and concerned the failure of Britain to rearm against Nazi Germany. Mr. Patel himself found that it relates to World War I, from The World Crisis I, chapter 11, page 255 of the original edition.

Churchill was commenting on the circumstances surrounding the escape of the German fast battleship Goeben, which the Royal Navy chased across the eastern Mediterranean at the outbreak of war in 1914. They failed to catch the ship and Goeben entered the Dardanelles, sailed across the Bosphorus, and took refuge in the friendly port of Constantinople, later to reappear flying the white crescent as the Turkish battleship Yavuz. Churchill wrote:

“In all this story of the escape of the Goeben one seems to see the influence of that sinister fatality which at a later stage and on a far larger scale was to dog the enterprise against the Dardanelles. The terrible ‘IFs’ accumulate. If my first thoughts on July 27 of sending the New Zealand to the Mediterranean had materialized; if we could have opened fire on the Goeben during the afternoon of August 4; if we had been less solicitous for Italian neutrality; if Sir Berkeley Milne had sent the Indomitable to coal at Malta instead of Biserta; if the Admiralty had sent him direct instructions when on the night of the 5th they learned where the Goeben was; if Rear-Admiral Troubridge in the small hours of August 7 had not changed his mind; if the Dublin and her two destroyers had intercepted the enemy during the night of the 6th-7th—the story of the Goeben would have ended here.”

“SHUT YOUR EARS”

King Arthur: “What else do the simple folk do—to perk up the heart when they’re blue?” Queen Guenevere: “They whistle.”

Churchill’s lifelong aversion to whistling is amusingly recounted by his bodyguard Walter Thompson in his 1953 book, Sixty Minutes with Winston Churchill. Approached near Downing Street by a young boy of about fifteen, hands in pockets and whistling loudly, Churchill called to him in a sharp, stern voice: “Stop that whistling!”

Looking up at the Prime Minister with utter unconcern, the youngster answered, “Why should I?”

“Because I don’t like it,” said Churchill, “and it’s a horrible noise.”

The boy strolled on, and then turned to call out: “Well, you can shut your ears, can’t you?” And he resumed whistling at full blast.

“Mr. Churchill was completely taken aback,” Thompson wrote, “and, for a moment, looked furious. Then, as we crossed the road into the Foreign Office yard, he began to smile. Quietly he repeated to himself the words, ‘You can shut your ears, can’t you?’ and followed them with one of his famous chuckles.”

ONE-LINERS

The Centre website carries a banner at the top with a Churchill quotation which rotates regularly. Given space limitations, the quotations must be brief and pithy.

Using our quotations database, we strove to find brief quotations for this place on our site. We found so many that we thought readers would be interested. Further additions will be published and your favorites are welcome.

“Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.” —1898

“I object on principle to doing by legislation what properly belongs to
charity.”—1901

“War never pays its dividends in cash on the money it costs.” —1901

“Those who dealt in guineas were not usually of the impoverished class.” —1903 (The guinea, 21 shillings or £1/1/0, was sometimes featured in snooty adverts promoting high-priced goods in guineas rather than pounds.)

“Direct taxation was a great corrector of extravagance.” —1904

“The nose of the bulldog has been slanted backwards so that he can breathe without letting go.” —1905

“The recognition of their language is precious to a small people.” —1906

“Harsh laws are at times better than no laws at all.” —1906

“The British Constitution is mainly British common sense.” —1908

“Politics is not a game. It is an earnest business.” —1909

“Mr. Jorrocks described fox hunting as providing all the glory of war with only 33 percent of its danger.” —1911

“The usefulness of a naval invention ceases when it is enjoyed by everyone else.” —1913

“The maxim of the British people is ‘Business as usual.'” —1914 

“At the beginning of this war, megalomania was the only form of sanity.” —1915 

Riddles, Mysteries, Enigmas

RIDDLES. MYESTERIES, ENIGMAS: FINEST HOUR 124, AUTUMN 2004 Read More >

Action this Day

ACTION THIS DAY: FINEST HOUR 124, AUTUMN 2004

BY MICHAEL MCMENAMIN Read More >

Leading Churchill Myths

LEADING CHURCHILL MYTHS: FINEST HOUR 124, AUTUMN 2004 Read More >

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