1939: In the Wings

The Sinking of the Graf Spee

Ten Weeks of War

The First Month of the War

War Speech

September 3, 1939

House of Commons

These short remarks were delivered by Winston Churchill at the outbreak of World War II and were originally omitted from INTO BATTLE, the first volume of World War II speeches, but quickly inserted. They appear also in BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS (the US/Canadian edition of INTO BATTLE) and WINSTON S. CHURCHILL: HIS COMPLETE SPEECHES 1897-1963, Robert Rhodes James, editor, NY: Bowker, 1974, vol. 6.

In this solemn hour it is a consolation to recall and to dwell upon our repeated efforts for peace. All have been ill-starred, but all have been faithful and sincere. This is of the highest moral value–and not only moral value, but practical value–at the present time, because the wholehearted concurrence of scores of millions of men and women, whose co-operation is indispensable and whose comradeship and brotherhood are indispensable, is the only foundation upon which the trial and tribulation of modern war can be endured and surmounted.   This moral conviction alone affords that ever-fresh resilience which renews the strength and energy of people in long, doubtful and dark days. Outside, the storms of war may blow and the lands may be lashed with the fury of its gales, but in our own hearts this Sunday morning there is peace.   Our hands may be active, but our consciences are at rest. Read More >

A Hush Over Europe

August 8, 1939

Broadcast to the United States from London

Before the House of Commons summer recess, Churchill makes one final effort to arouse the Great Republic, his term of endearment for the United States, from its reveries, barely four weeks before the outbreak of war in Europe.

Holiday time, ladies and gentlemen! Holiday time, my friends across the Atlantic! Holiday time, when the summer calls the toilers of all countries for an all too brief spell from the offices and mills and stiff routine of daily life and breadwinning, and sends them to seek if not rest at least change in new surroundings, to return refreshed and keep the myriad wheels of civilized society on the move. Read More >

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