Winston Churchill Quotes

A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.

A joke is a very serious thing.

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.

A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.

A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and fails, and then asks you not to kill him.

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

Although personally I am quite content with existing explosives, I feel we must not stand in the path of improvement.

Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed.

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

Baldwin thought Europe was a bore, and Chamberlain thought it was only a greater Birmingham.

Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. The greater the general, the more he contributes in maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter.

Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat.

Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.

Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities… because it is the quality which guarantees all others.

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.

Do not let spacious plans for a new world divert your energies from saving what is left of the old.

Eating words has never given me indigestion.

Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.

Everyone has his day and some days last longer than others.

For good or for ill, air mastery is today the supreme expression of military power and fleets and armies, however vital and important, must accept a subordinate rank.

For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history myself.

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.

Great and good are seldom the same man.

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.

Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.

History is written by the victors.

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

I always avoid prophesying beforehand, because it is a much better policy to prophesy after the event has already taken place.

I always seem to get inspiration and renewed vitality by contact with this great novel land of yours which sticks up out of the Atlantic.

I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.

I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.

I am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded. In fact, if anything, I am the prod.

I am easily satisfied with the very best.

I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

I am never going to have anything more to do with politics or politicians. When this war is over I shall confine myself entirely to writing and painting.

I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.

I cannot pretend to be impartial about the colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.

I have been brought up and trained to have the utmost contempt for people who get drunk.

I have never developed indigestion from eating my words.

I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.

I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.

I like a man who grins when he fights.

I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.

I never worry about action, but only inaction.

I was only the servant of my country and had I, at any moment, failed to express her unflinching resolve to fight and conquer, I should at once have been rightly cast aside.

If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.

If the Almighty were to rebuild the world and asked me for advice, I would have English Channels round every country. And the atmosphere would be such that anything which attempted to fly would be set on fire.

If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material prosperity, they have only got to behave in a peaceful and helpful way toward one another.

If we open a quarrel between past and present, we shall find that we have lost the future.

If you go on with this nuclear arms race, all you are going to do is make the rubble bounce.

If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.

If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.

If you’re going through hell, keep going.

I’m just preparing my impromptu remarks.

In the course of my life, I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.

In those days he was wiser than he is now; he used to frequently take my advice.

In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.

In war, you can only be killed once, but in politics, many times.

In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.

India is a geographical term. It is no more a united nation than the Equator.

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.

It is a fine thing to be honest, but it is also very important to be right.

It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.

It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link of the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.

It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.

It is more agreeable to have the power to give than to receive.

It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.

It was the nation and the race dwelling all round the globe that had the lion’s heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.

Kites rise highest against the wind – not with it.

Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.

Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.

Meeting Franklin Roosevelt was like opening your first bottle of champagne; knowing him was like drinking it.

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

Mr. Attlee is a very modest man. Indeed he has a lot to be modest about.

My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.

My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them.

My wife and I tried two or three times in the last 40 years to have breakfast together, but it was so disagreeable we had to stop.

Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

Never, never, never give up.

No comment is a splendid expression. I am using it again and again.

No crime is so great as daring to excel.

No idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered with a searching but at the same time a steady eye.

No part of the education of a politician is more indispensable than the fighting of elections.

Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.

Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without 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 does not leave a convivial party before closing time.

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. Never run away from anything. Never!

Perhaps it is better to be irresponsible and right, than to be responsible and wrong.

Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.

Play the game for more than you can afford to lose… only then will you learn the game.

Politics are very much like war. We may even have to use poison gas at times.

Politics is almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous. In war you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.

Politics is not a game. It is an earnest business.

Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.

Really I feel less keen about the Army every day. I think the Church would suit me better.

Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

Short words are best and the old words when short are best of all.

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.

Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong.

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.

Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer.

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

The British nation is unique in this respect. They are the only people who like to be told how bad things are, who like to be told the worst.

The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.

The first quality that is needed is audacity.

The great defense against the air menace is to attack the enemy’s aircraft as near as possible to their point of departure.

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

The length of this document defends it well against the risk of its being read.

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

The power of an air force is terrific when there is nothing to oppose it.

The power of man has grown in every sphere, except over himself.

The price of greatness is responsibility.

The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult.

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.

The short words are best, and the old words are the best of all.

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true.

There are two things that are more difficult than making an after-dinner speech: climbing a wall which is leaning toward you and kissing a girl who is leaning away from you.

There is no such thing as a good tax.

There is no such thing as public opinion. There is only published opinion.

These are not dark days: these are great days – the greatest days our country has ever lived.

This is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure.

This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read.

Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war.

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 improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.

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.

True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information.

Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can’t smile, grin. If you can’t grin, keep out of the way till you can.

War is mainly a catalogue of blunders.

We are all worms. But I believe that I am a glow-worm.

We are asking the nations of Europe between whom rivers of blood have flowed to forget the feuds of a thousand years.

We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.

We are stripped bare by the curse of plenty.

We do not covet anything from any nation except their respect.

We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

We occasionally stumble over the truth but most of us pick ourselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

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 draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.

We shall show mercy, but we shall not ask for it.

We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.

What kind of people do they think we are? Is it possible they do not realize that we shall never cease to persevere against them until they have been taught a lesson which they and the world will never forget?

When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home.

When the war of the giants is over the wars of the pygmies will begin.

When you are winning a war almost everything that happens can be claimed to be right and wise.

When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite.

Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.

You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.