Tuesday, May 13, 2014

This Day in WWII History: May 13, 1940: Churchill announces: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat."

On this day in 1940, as Winston Churchill takes the helm as Great Britain's new prime minister, he assures Parliament that his new policy will consist of nothing less than "to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime."



Emphasizing that Britain's aim was simply "victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of terror, victory however long and hard the road may be." That very evening, Churchill was informed that Britain would need 60 fighter squadrons to defend British soil against German attack. It had 39.

File:Churchill V sign HU 55521.jpg


Within a couple of weeks, the conservative, anti-Socialist Churchill, in an effort to make his rally cry of victory a reality, proceeded to place all "persons, their services, and their property at the disposal of the Crown," thereby granting the government the most all-encompassing emergency powers in modern British history.

 File:Winston Churchill As Prime Minister 1940-45 H10688.jpg

We are in the preliminary stage of one of the greatest battles in history.... That we are in action at many points—in Norway and in Holland—, that we have to be prepared in the Mediterranean. That the air battle is continuous, and that many preparations have to be made here at home.
I would say to the House as I said to those who have joined this government: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering.
You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs—Victory in spite of all terror—Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.
(Text transcription as originally read by Churchill)

Taken from: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/churchill-announces-i-have-nothing-to-offer-but-blood-toil-tears-and-sweat [13.05.2014]

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