Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. 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 on us now. 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, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, 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.’

Speech in the House of Commons, June 18, 1940 "War Situation"
tagged: conflict, war

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More from Winston Churchill

Of this I am quite sure, that if we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future.

Speech in the House of Commons, June 18, 1940 "War Situation"

A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.

Attributed; unverified.

Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.

From a speech given at the Royal Academy of Art in 1953;

My wife and I tried two or three times in the last 40 years to have breakfast together, but it was so disagreeable we had to stop.

Letter to an American friend (attributed; unverified)

I am not sure I should have dared to start; but I am sure that I should not have dared to stop.

attributed; unverified