Winston Churchill proclaims

“We will fight on the beaches”

Speaker: Winston
Delivered On: 6/4/1940
Place: Parliament, London, UK
Subject: World War II
Audio/Video Available:

Description: Given to the House of Commons, this was Churchill’s second of three speeches given
during the time of the Battle of France. In this particular speech, Churchill warned
the people of a German attempt at invasion, while reassuring the public that a victory
would occur in the future. He encouraged them to “fight on the beaches,” and anywhere
necessary – to “never surrender.”

When Napoleon lay at Boulogne for a year with his flat-bottomed boats and his Grand
Army, he was told by someone there are bitter weeds in England. There certainly
are a great many more since the British expeditionary force returned.

Sir, I have myself full confidence that if all do their duty and if nothing is neglected
and if the best arrangements are made, and they are being made, we shall prove ourselves
once more able to defend our island home, ride out the storm of war and to outlive
the menace of tyranny, if necessary, for years, if necessary, alone.

At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His
Majesty’s Government, every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the
nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause
and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other
like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.

We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas
and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air.
We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be.

We shall fight on beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight
in fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender
and if, which I do not for the moment believe, this island or a large part of it
were subjugated and starving, then our empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded
by the British Fleet, will carry on the struggle until in God’s good time the New
World with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and liberation of
the Old.

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