August 18, 2021

Churchill’s reputation as an orator is based principally on his speeches and broadcasts as Prime Minister during the summer of 1940 during a particularly vital point in WWII when Britain was under the threat of invasion. You’ll probably know many of the famous phrases or quotes from these speeches: ‘We shall fight on the beaches’, ‘This was their finest hour’ and ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few’. His most well-known and most quoted speeches are those known usually as ‘Blood, toil, tears and sweat’ (13 May), ‘We Shall Fight on the Beaches’ (4 June) and ‘This was their Finest Hour’ (18 June), all of which were delivered in the House of Commons, though Churchill also broadcast the ‘Finest Hour’ speech over the BBC.

He only made a total of five broadcasts to the nation during this vital stage of the Second World War (19 May, 17 June, 18 June, 14 July, 11 September), but these speeches conveyed Churchill’s determination and commitment, and they gave his country confidence. Did Winston’s Words Win the War? Click here to learn more.

‘It has been said words are the only things which last forever.’

Churchill, Press conference, Foreign Office, London (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words), 10 June 1909

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