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The Churchill Society
London.

What we desire is freedom;
what we need is abundance.
Freedom and abundance -
these must be our aims.

The production of new wealth is far more beneficial,
and on an incomparably larger scale,
than class and party fights
about the liquidation of old wealth.
We must try to share blessings and not miseries.

Winston Churchill.

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D Day June 6th 1944.

Statements by

King George VI and Winston Churchill.

The great crusade sets forth.

The King and the Prime Minister call for a renewal of the fight against evil
and for a world founded on goodness and honour

 

THE KING

 

Four years ago, our Nation and Empire stood alone against an overwhelming enemy, with our backs to the wall. Tested as never before in our history, in God's providence we survived that test; the spirit of the people, resolute, dedicated, burned like a bright flame, lit surely from those unseen fires which nothing can quench.

Now once more a supreme test has to be faced. This time, the challenge is not to fight to survive but to fight to win the final victory for the good cause. Once again what is demanded from us all is something more than courage and endurance; we need a revival of spirit, a new unconquerable resolve. After nearly five years of toil and suffering, we must renew that crusading impulse on which we entered the war and met its darkest hour. We and our Allies are sure that our fight is against evil and for a world in which goodness and honour may be the foundation of the life of men in every land.

That we may be worthily matched with this new summons of destiny, I desire solemnly to call my people to prayer and dedication. We are not unmindful of our own shortcomings, past and present. We shall ask not that God may do our will, but that we may be enabled to do the will of God: and we dare to believe that God has used our Nation and Empire as an instrument for fulfilling his high purpose.

I hope that throughout the present crisis of the liberation of Europe there may be offered up earnest, continuous and widespread prayer. We who remain in this land can most effectively enter into the sufferings of subjugated Europe by prayer, whereby we can fortify the determination of our sailors, soldiers and airmen who go forth to set the captives free.

The Queen joins with me in sending you this message. She well understands the anxieties and cares of our womenfolk at this time and she knows that many of them will find, as she does herself, fresh strength and comfort in such waiting upon God. She feels that many women will be glad in this way to keep vigil with their menfolk as they man the ships, storm the beaches and fill the skies.

At this historic moment surely not one of us is too busy, too young or too old to play a part in a nationwide, perchance a worldwide, vigil of prayer as the great crusade sets forth. If from every place of worship, from home and factory, from men and women of all ages and many races and occupations, our intercessions rise, then, please God, both now and in a future not remote, the predictions of an ancient Psalm may be fulfilled: "The Lord will give strength unto his people: the Lord will give his people the blessing of peace."

 

CHURCHILL'S STATEMENT

 

DURING the night and the early hours of this morning the first of a series of landings in force upon the European Continent has taken place. In this case, the liberating assault fell upon the coast of France. An immense armada of upwards of 4,000 ships, together with several thousand smaller craft, crossed the Channel. Massed airborne landings have been successfully effected behind the enemy lines &emdash; and landings on the beaches are proceeding at various points at the present time. The fire of the shore batteries has been largely quelled. The obstacles that were constructed in the sea have not proved so difficult as was apprehended.

The Anglo-American allies are sustained by about 11,000 first-line aircraft, which can be drawn upon as may be needed for the purposes of the battle. I cannot commit myself to any details. Reports are coming in in rapid succession. So far, the commanders engaged report that everything is proceeding according to plan.

And what a plan! This vast operation is undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult that has ever occurred. It involves tides, winds, waves, visibility from the air and the sea, and the employment of land, air and sea forces in the highest degree of intimacy and in contact with conditions which could not and cannot be fully foreseen. There are already hopes that tactical surprise has been attained, and we hope to furnish the enemy with a succession of surprises during the course of the fighting.

The battle which has now begun will grow constantly in scale and in intensity for many weeks to come, and I shall not attempt to speculate upon its course. This I may say, however. Complete unity prevails throughout the allied armies. There is a brotherhood in arms between us and our friends of the United States. There is complete confidence in the supreme commander, General Eisenhower, and his lieutenants, and also in the commander of the Expeditionary Force, General Montgomery. The ardour and spirit of the troops, as I saw myself, embarking in these last few days was splendid to witness. Nothing that equipment, science and forethought could do has been neglected, and the whole process of opening this great new front will be pursued with the utmost resolution both by the commanders and by the United States and British governments whom they serve.

Many disasters and difficulties which at this time last night appeared extremely formidable are behind us. The passage of the sea has been made with far less loss than we apprehended. The resistance of the batteries has been greatly weakened by the bombing of the Air Force, and the superior bombardment of our ships quickly reduced their fire to dimensions which did not affect the problem

The landings of the troops on a broad front, both British and American-allied troops, have been very effective and troops have penetrated several miles inland. The outstanding feature has been the landings of the airborne troops which were on a scale far larger than anything that has been seen so far in the world. These landings took place with little loss and with great accuracy. Particular anxiety attached to them because the conditions of light prevailing in the very limited period of the dawn made all the difference.

Fighting is proceeding at various points. But all this, although a very valuable first step, gives no indication of what may be the course of the battle in the next days and weeks. It is, therefore, a most serious time that we enter upon. Thank God we enter upon it with our great allies all in good heart and all in good friendship.

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Explanatory notes are given against some of these dates, but to read about particular battles or political events please go to Bibliograph

CHURCHILL'S SPEECHES The Full Texts from 1936 to 1946.

Short biography of President Roosevelt
Short biography of General Eisenhower
Short biography of President Truman
Short biography of Hitler
Short biography of Stalin
Short biography of Mussolini
Short biography of The Japanese War Lords

List of all the Ranks in the British Armed Forces

British Prime Ministers

History of No 10 Downing Street

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