Churchill: Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat by John LukacsOn May 13, 1940, Winston Churchill stood before the House of Commons to deliver his first speech as Prime Minister. Europe was in crisis: Three days earlier, Germany had invaded France and the Low Countries. Facing only feeble resistance, Hitler’s armies were rapidly sweeping westward. Accused of mishandling the war, Neville Chamberlain’s government collapsed, and Churchill was chosen to succeed him. Churchill had little support within the new government when he rose to address it on May 13. “I have never believed in him,” wrote one MP. Another described Churchill as a “disaster.” In fact, Churchill lacked confidence, both in himself and in his ability to lead his nation to victory, for he recognized far earlier than most the military genius of Adolph Hitler, and the potency of the German military. “I hope it is not too late,” Churchill had confided to his bodyguard on May 10. “I am very much afraid that it is.” In Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat, the eminent historian and master storyteller John Lukacs recreates this pivotal moment in world history, and reveals Churchill as he has rarely been seen before: as a man both unsure of himself and deeply fearful of his nation’s defeat. Churchill made no promises to his country in his speech, because he knew he had none to make. And yet he rallied England onward in the face of a vicious enemy. For Churchill-and Churchill alone-understood what was at stake: the fate not only of nations, but of civilization itself.
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This Is the Speech That Made Winston Churchill's Career
Upon his very first entrance into the House of Commons as Britain's new Prime Minister on Monday, May 13, , Winston Churchill only received a lukewarm reception from the assembly, while at his side, outgoing Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was heartily cheered. Churchill then made this brief statement, which has become one of the finest call-to-arms yet uttered. It came at the beginning of World War II when the armies of Adolf Hitler were roaring across Europe, seemingly unstoppable, conquering country after country for Nazi Germany, and when the survival of Great Britain itself appeared rather uncertain. It was the evident wish and will of Parliament and the nation that this should be conceived on the broadest possible basis and that it should include all parties, both those who supported the late Government and also the parties of the Opposition. I have completed the most important part of this task. A War Cabinet has been formed of five Members, representing, with the Liberal Opposition, the unity of the nation. The three party Leaders have agreed to serve, either in the War Cabinet or in high executive office.
Winston Churchill becomes prime minister of Great Britain after Neville Chamberlain's resignation, which is related to Chamberlain's failure to stop Nazi aggression in Europe. Churchill addresses Parliament for the first time as prime minister. The first half or so of the speech isn't about ramping up the political troops against fascism—it's about the transition between governments. Churchill explains the rapid change in leadership and why Parliament was meeting that day. Then he transitions to talking about the war, first through a political lens and then a more poetic one. Churchill finishes off the speech with some rousing yet intimidating lines about the crisis facing Britain today, and how they'll be victorious…but only after lots and lots of fighting. I've created a new, multiparty cabinet because we're facing a major war, and we're going to have to fight like crazy to win and protect everything we hold dear.
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The phrase " blood, toil, tears and sweat " became famous in a speech given by Winston Churchill to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom on 13 May The speech is sometimes known by that name. Churchill had replaced Neville Chamberlain on 10 May, and in this speech he asked the House to declare its confidence in his Government. The motion passed unanimously. Churchill had used similar phrases earlier, such as "Their sweat, their tears, their blood" in ,   and "new structures of national life erected upon blood, sweat, and tears".
Which is only appropriate, as it was the speech that set the course for his historic leadership of Britain during World War II. The previous month, British forces had responded to a Nazi incursion in Norway with all confidence of success. Chamberlain, called to account for the failure , merely reassured his country that, though the military operation had been a total failure, at least the retreat had been successful. Though Chamberlain begged his parliamentary colleagues to remain unified in the face of the enemy, his case had little heft in light of recent events. When Churchill spoke, he also asked for unity—but he admitted that Norway was a failure, and galvanized support with his candor and confidence. The Labour party refused to join a national coalition government unless Churchill was in charge of it. Churchill took office as Prime Minister on May 10,