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What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. 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. 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.

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Source Notes: Source: Prime Minister WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech, House of Commons, June 18, 1940.Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 18971963, ed. Robert Rhodes James, vol. 6, p. 6238 .

A bit about Winston Churchill ...

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill KG OM CH TD FRS PC PC (Can) (30 November 1874 - 24 January 1965) was an English statesman and author, best known as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. Well-known as an orator, strategist, and politician, Churchill was one of the most important leaders in modern British and world history. He won the 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature for his many books on English and world history. Sir Winston Churchill was voted the greatest-ever Briton in the 2002 BBC poll the 100 Greatest Britons.

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