London, June 4th, 1940… We shall fight on the beaches…


…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, and 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…

Winston Churchill, after the evacuation of Dunkirk, addressing the House of Commons on June 4th, 1940

…With those words, the Prime Minister sat down. I have heard Mr. Churchill in the House of Commons at intervals over the past 10 years. I heard his speech  on the Norwegian campaign, and I have some knowledge of his writings. Today, he was different. There was little oratory; he wasn’t interested in being a showman. He spoke the language of Shakespeare with a direct urgency such as I have never heard in that House. There were no frills and no tricks. Winston Churchill’s speeches have been prophetic. He has talked and written of the German danger for years. He has gone into the political wilderness in defense of his ideas. Today, as Prime Minister, he gave the House of Commons a report remarkable for its honesty, inspiration, and gravity…

Edward R. Murrow, June 4th, 1940, in his daily broadcast from London reporting on the beginnings of WWII.

edward-r-murrow this-is-london



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