Sir Winston Churchill Quotes

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From Wikipedia: Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC, PC (Can) (30 November 1874 - 24 January 1965) was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. A noted statesman, orator and strategist, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army. A prolific author, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for his own historical writings. More...

Famous Sir Winston Churchill Quotes

The following quotes are some of the most popular and famous quotes attributed to Sir Winston Churchill.

These quotes are provided only for your entertainment and education. I take no credit for these quotes and offer no guarantee that they are accurate or true quotes, but they are widely attributed to Churchill. If you need to be sure of the accuracy of these quotations, you should research the orginal documents.

  • A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.
  • A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
  • A love of tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril; but the new view must come, the world must roll forward.
  • A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and fails, and then asks you not to kill him.
  • All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.
  • Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed.
  • Always remember, a cat looks down on man, a dog looks up to man, but a pig will look man right in the eye and see his equal.
  • An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
  • Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valor, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar.
  • Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. The greater the general, the more he contributes in maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter.
  • Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.
  • Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.
  • Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because it is the quality that guarantees all others
  • Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
  • Dictators ride to and fro on tigers they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.
  • Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.
  • Everybody is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage.
  • For myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else.
  • Here is the answer which I will give to President Roosevelt... We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job.
  • History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.
  • However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
  • I am a sporting man. I always like to give trains and aeroplanes a fair chance of getting away.
  • I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.
  • I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.
  • I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial.
  • I have never accepted what many people have kindly said, namely that I inspired the Nation. It was the nation and the race dwelling around the globe that had the lion heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar
  • I have no doubt that the Romans planned the time-table of their days far better than we do. They rose before the sun at all seasons. Except in wartime we never see the dawn. Sometimes we see sunset. The message of sunset is sadness; the message of dawn is hope. The rest and the spell of sleep in the middle of the day refresh the human frame far more than a long night. We were not made by Nature to work, or even play, from eight o'clock in the morning till midnight. We throw a strain upon our system which is unfair and improvident. For every purpose of business or pleasure, mental or physical, we ought to break our days and our marches into two.
  • I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.
  • I like a man who grins when he fights.
  • I never worry about action, but only inaction.
  • I wonder whether any other generation has seen such astounding revolutions of data and values as those through which we have lived. Scarcely anything material or established which I was brought up to believe was permanent and vital, has lasted. Everything I was sure or taught to be sure was impossible, has happened.
  • If, however, there is to be a war of nerves let us make sure our nerves are strong and are fortified by the deepest convictions of our hearts.
  • If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.
  • If you are going through hell, keep going.
  • If you have knowledge, let others light their candles with it.
  • In Critical and baffling situations, it is always best to return to first principle and simple action
  • In war it does not matter who is right, but who is left.
  • In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Good Will.
  • It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.
  • It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is an admirable work, and I studied it intently. The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more.
  • It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time.
  • It is better to be making the news than taking it; to be an actor rather than a critic.
  • It is more agreeable to have the power to give than to receive.
  • It is the Russian Army that has done the main work of ripping the guts out of the German Army ... In the air and on the ocean and the seas we can maintain ourselves, but there was no force in the world which could have been called into being except after several more years that would have been able to maul and break the German Army and subject it to such terrible slaughter and manhandling as has fallen upon the Germans but the Russian Soviet Armies.
  • It so often happens that, when men are convinced that they have to die, a desire to bear themselves well and to leave life's stage with dignity conquers all other sensations.
  • It's no use saying, "We are doing our best." You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.
  • It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.
  • Little did we guess that what has been called the century of the common man would witness as its outstanding feature more common men killing each other with greater facilities than any other five centuries together in the history of the world.
  • Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.
  • Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
  • Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.
  • Never in the face of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few.
  • Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.
  • No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism.
  • No matter how enmeshed a commander becomes in the elaboration of his own thoughts, it is sometimes necessary to take the enemy into account.
  • Nothing is so exhilarating in life as to be shot at with no result.
  • Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
  • One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half.
  • Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.
  • Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.
  • Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon.
  • Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
  • Sure I am this day we are masters of our fate, that the task which has been set before us is not above our strength; that its pangs and toils are not beyond our endurance. As long as we have faith in our own cause and an unconquerable will to win, victory will not be denied us.
  • The Americans will always do the right thing...after they've exhausted all the alternatives.
  • The biggest argument against democracy is a five minute discussion with the average voter.
  • The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.
  • The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.
  • The further back I look, the further forward I can see.
  • The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day; but we must never forget that all the time, night after night, month after month, our bomber squadrons travel far into Germany, find their targets in the darkness by the highest navigational skill, aim their attacks, often under the heaviest fire, often with serious loss, with deliberate careful discrimination, and inflict shattering blows upon the whole of the technical and war-making structure of the Nazi power.
  • The object of presenting medals, stars, and ribbons is to give pride and pleasure to those who have deserved them.
  • The price of greatness is responsibility.
  • The reserve of modern assertions is sometimes pushed to extremes, in which the fear of being contradicted leads the writer to strip himself of almost all sense and meaning.
  • There is at least one thing worse than fighting with allies - And that is to fight without them
  • There is only one duty, only one safe course, and that is to try to be right.
  • This is no time for ease and comfort. It is the time to dare and endure.
  • To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.
  • To have the United States at our side was to me the greatest joy. Now at this very moment I knew the United States was in the war, up to the neck and in to the death. So we had won after all!...Hitler's fate was sealed. Mussolini's fate was sealed. As for the Japanese, they would be ground to powder.
  • To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
  • Today we may say aloud before an awe-struck world: "We are still masters of our fate. We are still captain of our souls."
  • Too often the strong, silent man is silent only because he does not know what to say, and is reputed strong only because he has remained silent.
  • 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."
  • We are all worms, but I do believe I am a glowworm.
  • We are happier in many ways when we are old than when we were young. The young sow wild oats. The old grow sage.
  • We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
  • We have a lot of anxieties, and one cancels out another very often.
  • We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on beaches, landing grounds, in fields, in streets and on the hills. We shall never surrender and even 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, sets forth to the liberation and rescue of the Old.
  • We shall not flag or fail. 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 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. We shall never surrender.
  • We shall show mercy, but we shall not ask for it.
  • What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone? How else can we put ourselves in harmonious relation with the great verities and consolations of the infinite and the eternal? And I avow my faith that we are marching towards better days. Humanity will not be cast down. We are going on swinging bravely forward along the grand high road and already behind the distant mountains is the promise of the sun.
  • When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.
  • When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.
  • Where my reason, imagination or interest were not engaged, I would not or I could not learn.
  • Why stand when you can sit?
  • Withhold no sacrifice, begrudge no toil, seek no sordid gain, fear no foe, all will be well.
  • Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.
  • You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.
  • You don't make the poor richer by making the rich poorer.
  • You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.
  • You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves.
  • You might however consider whether you should not unfold as a background the great privilege of habeas corpus and trial by jury, which are the supreme protection invented by the English people for ordinary individuals against the state. The power of the Executive to cast a man in prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government, whether Nazi or Communist.
  • You will make all kinds of mistakes; but as long as you are generous and true and also fierce you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her.

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