1941 – 1945: War Leader

National Address

The Bright Gleam of Victory

November, 10, 1942. Mansion House, London. 

A SPEECH AT THE LORD MAYOR’S DAY LUNCHEON AT THE MANSION HOUSE, LONDON, 10 NOVEMBER 1942

Copyright © Winston S. Churchill, The End of the Beginning (London: Cassell, 1943, pp 265- ), renewal copyright Randolph S. Churchill 2009.

I notice, my Lord Mayor, by your speech that you had reached the conclusion that the news from the various fronts has been somewhat better lately. In our wars the episodes are largely adverse, but the final results have hitherto been satisfactory. Away we dash over the currents that may swirl around us, but the tide bears us forward on its broad, resistless flood. In the last war the way was uphill almost to the end. We met with continual disappointments, and with disasters far more bloody than anything we have experienced so far in this one. But in the end all the oppositions fell together, and all our foes submitted themselves to our will.

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The Bright Gleam of Victory (Audio)

Singapore Has Fallen

Preparation – Liberation – Assault

From Winston S. Churchill, Unrelenting Struggle, p. 363

December 30, 1941.

It is with feelings of pride and encouragement that I find myself here in the House of Commons of Canada, invited to address the Parliament of the senior Dominion of the Crown. I am very glad to see again my old friend Mr. Mackenzie King, for fifteen years out of twenty your Prime Minister, and I thank him for the too complimentary terms in which he has referred to myself. I bring you the assurance of good will and affection from every one in the Motherland. We are most grateful for all you have done in the common cause, and we know that you are resolved to do whatever more is possible as the need arises and as opportunity serves. Canada occupies a unique position in the British Empire because of its unbreakable ties with Britain and its ever-growing friendship and intimate association with the United States. Canada is a potent magnet, drawing together those in the new world and in the old whose fortunes are now united in a deadly struggle for life and honour against the common foe. The contribution of Canada to the Imperial war effort in troops, in ships, in aircraft, in food, and in finance has been magnificent. Read More >

Preparation – Liberation – Assault (Audio)

Addressing Joint Session of US Congress

Winston Churchill addressing Joint Session of US Congress

December 26, 1941.

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Christmas Message 1941

24 December 1941

Washington, D.C.

Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, Churchill went to Washington with his chiefs of staff to meet President Roosevelt and the American military leaders and coordinate plans for the defeat of the common enemy.  On Christmas Eve Churchill broadcast to the world from the White House on the 20th annual observation of the lighting of the community Christmas tree.

I spend this anniversary and festival far from my country, far from my family, yet I cannot truthfully say that I feel far from home.  Whether it be the ties of blood on my mother’s side, or the friendships I have developed here over many years of active life, or the commanding sentiment of comradeship in the common cause of great peoples who speak the same language, who kneel at the same altars and, to a very large extent, pursue the same ideals, I cannot feel myself a stranger here in the centre and at the summit of the United States.  I feel a sense of unity and fraternal association which, added to the kindliness of your welcome,  convinces me that I have a right to sit at your fireside and share your Christmas joys. Read More >

Christmas Eve at the White House

War with Japan

December 8, 1941. House of Commons, London.

Churchill was at the Prime Minister’s country residence of Chequers with the American Ambassador, John Winant, and the President’s personal representative, Averell Harriman, when news came over the radio of the Japanese attack on the American Fleet at Pearl Harbour. Churchill immediately called the President to seek confirmation and, on 8 December, Britain declared war on Japan, three days later, Germany declared war on the United States.

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The Resolution of the People

Never Give In

October 29, 1941.

Harrow School

When Churchill visited Harrow on October 29 to hear the traditional songs again, he discovered that an additional verse had been added to one of them. It ran:

“Not less we praise in darker days
The leader of our nation,
And Churchill’s name shall win acclaim
From each new generation.
For you have power in danger’s hour
Our freedom to defend, Sir!
Though long the fight we know that right
Will triumph in the end, Sir!

Almost a year has passed since I came down here at your Head Master’s kind invitation in order to cheer myself and cheer the hearts of a few of my friends by singing some of our own songs. The ten months that have passed have seen very terrible catastrophic events in the world – ups and downs, misfortunes – but can anyone sitting here this afternoon, this October afternoon, not feel deeply thankful for what has happened in the time that has passed and for the very great improvement in the position of our country and of our home? Why, when I was here last time we were quite alone, desperately alone, and we had been so for five or six months. We were poorly armed. We are not so poorly armed today; but then we were very poorly armed. We had the unmeasured menace of the enemy and their air attack still beating upon us, and you yourselves had had experience of this attack; and I expect you are beginning to feel impatient that there has been this long lull with nothing particular turning up! Read More >

Never Give In (Audio)

These are Great Days

We are Still Masters of our Fate.

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