“We shall fight them on the beaches.” – Winston Churchill, 4 June 1940

On 4th June 1940, Winston Churchill delivered one of his most famous speeches in the House of Commons. Acknowledging the military disaster that had befallen the British and French armies in Belgium and Northern France, the sacrifice of the rearguard at Boulogne and Calais, and the evacuation over over 300,000 men from Dunkirk, Churchill vowed that Britain would fight on.

Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, 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 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; we shall never surrender, and 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.