Churchill on War

FINEST HOUR 134, SPRING 2007

CHURCHILL ON WAR

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“Ah, horrible war, amazing medley of the glorious and the squalid, the pitiful and the sublime, if modern men of light and leading saw your face closer, simple folk would see it hardly ever.” —22nd January 1900

“England, through the character of her people, who did not mind fighting, but detested drill; necessarily had very largely to depend, and her insular position made it possible for her so to do, in great crises, on an army of emergency.” —24 February 1903

“Much as war attracts me and fascinates my mind with its tremendous situations, I feel more deeply every year and can measure the feeling here in the midst of arms what vile and wicked folly and barbarism it all is.” —15 September 1909

“No satisfactory line of division can be drawn between the navy and the air, between the air and the army, and between the navy and the army. Every attempt to draw such a line has failed.” —21 March 1922

“Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that any one who embarks on that strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The Statesman who yields to war fever must realise that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events….

“I have always urged fighting wars and other contentions with might and main till overwhelming victory, and then offering the hand of friendship to the vanquished. Thus, I have always been against the Pacifists during the quarrel, and against the Jingoes at its close.” —My Early Life, 1930

“It is only in this century that this hateful conception of inducing nations to surrender by terrorizing the helpless civil population and by massacring the women and children has gained acceptance and countenance amongst men.” —7 June 1935

“You may take the most gallant sailor, the most intrepid airman, or the most audacious soldier, put them at a table together—what do you get? The sum of their fears.” —16 November 1943

“It is my belief that by accumulating deterrents of all kinds against aggression we shall, in fact, ward off the fearful catastrophe, the fears of which darken the life and mar the progress of all the peoples of the globe.” – 17 January 1952 

 

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