CHURCHILL SAID SURVIVAL OF CHRISTIAN CIVILIZATION AT STAKE 73 YEARS AGO TODAY
London, England (JFK+50) Prime Minister Winston Churchill*, spoke to the House of Commons of the Parliament at Westminster here in London 73 years ago today, June 18, 1940.
The Prime Minister's address came more than 9 months after Great Britain declared war on Germany, and 5 weeks after German troops invaded Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
Churchill became Prime Minister on May 10, 1940.
Mr. Churchill concluded his remarks on June 18, 1940 with these words..
"What General Weygand** called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the battle of Britain is about to begin.
Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization.
Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire.The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned upon us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war.
If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States...will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age...
Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour.'"
Imperial War Museum Image
On September 10, 1944, Field Marshall Alan Brooke*** wrote this entry in his personal diary...
"Without (Winston Churchill) England was lost for a certainty, but with him England has been on the verge of disaster time and again..."
Alan Brooke, Winston Churchill
and Bernard Montgomery
June 12, 1944
Imperial War Museum Image
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy said of Sir Winston Churchill...
"In the dark days...when England stood alone...he mobilized the English language and sent it into battle."
*Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) graduated from Royal Military College and after a short service in the military, he became First Lord of the Admiralty.
Churchill served as Prime Minister from 1940- 1955 and later was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Sir Winston suffered a stroke and died at the of 90 on the same day his father had died 70 years before.
**Maxime Weygand (1867-1965) was born in Brussels and served in the French army in WWI and WWII. He became Supreme Commander of French Forces in May 1940.
***Field Marshall Alan Brooke (1883-1963) was born in France and graduated from the Royal Military Academy. He served in WWI, and in WII became Chief of the Imperial General Staff and top military adviser to Prime Minister Winston Churchill.