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 the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; e shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a 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, would 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 the liberation of the old. ” Against the backdrop of Britain alone, its forces (BEF) evacuated off the beaches of Dunkirk and now facing the prospect of an imminent Invasion from Nazi Germany, on 4th June 1940 Winston Churchill delivered one of the defining speeches of the second world war.
Churchill had taken over as the British Prime Minister on May 10th, eight months after the outbreak of World War II in Europe. He had done so as the head of a multiparty coalition government, which had replaced the previous government as a result of dissatisfaction with the conduct of the war. 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.