Talk:Winston Churchill/Archive 1

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Any idea why the[edit]

Any idea why the "..Verify your quotations." quote was removed? Nanobug 03:10, 17 Aug 2003 (UTC)

This and another that was removed at the same time have now been replaced. I see no clear reason why they were removed. ~ Kalki 16:03, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)

During the chronological arrangement of the sourced quotes I increased specificity of some dates, and made these alterations: I changed citations of "Hansard" to "Speech in House of Commons" — "Hansard" is the parliamentary record of orations in the House of Commons. ~ Kalki 15:38, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Internet Hate-Sites[edit]

One of the Churchill quotations was linked to a neo-Nazi internet hate-site. The quotation is authentic and therefore remains, but the link has been removed.

Transwiki[edit]

Be aware that http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Transwiki:Winston_Churchill has arrived.

What is "Transwiki"? PBS 16:33, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The Churchill Wit[edit]

National lampoon had a list of lampooned Churchill quotes with certain words changed for comic effect (along the lines of the following):

At an elegant dinner party, Lady Astor once leaned across the table to remark, "If you were my husband, Winston, I'd poison your coffee." "If I were your husband, madam, I would drink it." came Churchill's unhesitating retort.

Most of them I could recognize, but this one has stumped me so far:

While serving as a subaltern in the Boer War, the young Churchill was asked by a superior officer to give his opinion of the Boers as soldiers. "They're assholes, sir," he ventured, then paused briefly and added, with a whimsical smile, "They're assholes."

Does anyone know where that comes from?

Churchill was english, the english don't say assholes
this is an americism, the english say arseholes!
It was probaly typed in by an american, who had heard it, and wrote it using the american spelling

The comic version, with the word "assholes" was certainly written by an American. The question is: What original Churchill quotation is being lampooned here? He is said to have said that "the individual Boer, mounted, in a suitable country, is worth four or five regular soldiers.", but I doubt that that is the quote in question.

--- (THE ABOVE ENTRY WAS NOT SIGNED - WHAT FOLLOWS BELOW IS FROM A DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR) This comes from the late National Lampoon writer Michael O'Donoghue (incidentally, along with John Belushi, the first person ever to be shown on SNL). And, yes, the famous "Mr. Mike" was an American. Being a Yank myself, I can't tell you if the distinction between "asshole" and "arsehole" is just an accent-related difference, or whatever.

For the full text, you'd have to Google for a quotation - the only one I could find was from a BLOG! ([1]). But I'm certain it's the same piece, and worth checking out.

Oh, and here's the official variation from the "coffee" quote mentioned above. Seems the mysterious unsigned contributor tried to pass off an actual Churchill quote as the parody, which is:

At an elegant dinner party, Lady Astor once leaned across the table to remark, "If you were my husband, Winston, I'd poison your coffee."
"And if you were my wife, I'd beat the shit out of you," came Churchill's unhesitating retort.

--74.72.201.17 05:02, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Removed[edit]

  • "I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilized tribes. The moral effects should be good, and it would spread a lively terror."
  • "I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected."
    • Was attributed (twice), but the sourced section now contains a longer quote in context. I'm not sure if "lively terror" has any source.
—This unsigned comment is by Stevesliva (talkcontribs) .
  • "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its trousers on." - This was a quote of Mark Twains & the quote was boots not trousers
  • "The United States is like a giant boiler. Once the fire is lighted under it, there is no limit to the power it can generate."
    • This appears to be misattributed: quoting from Churchill's 'The Grand Alliance' (Volume III of The Second World War), 1st ed., 607-608: 'I thought of a remark which Edward Grey had made to me more than thirty years before - that the United States is like "a giant boiler. Once the fire is lighted under it there is no limit to the power it can generate."'
—This unsigned comment is by 65.49.136.5 (talkcontribs) .

This quote has been removed. It has also been cited as having come from The River War, but such passages do not occur in the 1902 edition available from Project Gutenberg.

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property - either as a child, a wife, or a concubine - must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.
Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science - the science against which it had vainly struggled - the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.
—This unsigned comment is by 82.35.65.204 (talkcontribs) .

I DO NOT UNDERSTAND why this is being removed. It clearly says that it is from Longhams Green publication. This is just more political correctness bullshit. It wasn't included in Gutenberg, because Gutenberg is not based off of Longhams Green!

—This unsigned comment is by 75.117.246.120 (talkcontribs) .
The edit done by IP 82.35.65.204 on 2006-11-08 removed the material, apparently with legitimate concerns of accuracy, which is a bit more than "political correctness bullshit" — with a statement that it was not in the edition available at Project Gutenberg; another edit by Fys restored it. So far, I have found no mentions of "Longhams Green publication" anywhere in the article or summary histories, but the quote remains in the article, without any further confirming citations, in relation to its disputabilty. Any further citations and sourcing of the quote would be appreciated. ~ Kalki 15:36, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Pathan[edit]

EXCEPT at harvest-time, when self-preservation enjoins a temporary truce, the Pathan tribes... I would like to include the full text as used in the Economist which was the same as Here's what Winston Churchill had to say on Afganistan in 1897 Is this an acceptable lenth of quote? The reason why I would like to include it is because it is as pertanant today thanks to the Soviet and American interventions in Afganistan as the day it was written. PBS 16:33, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I once read a very extensive quote of Churchill regarding arabs and islam. I've not been able to find it since. Does anyone know what I'm referring to?

Yes, indeed. A very offensive remark comparing Arabs to pigs (or was it dogs), and calling on them to be brutalised. Unfortunately, I do not have access to the quote, but I can confirm it's existence (if, indeed, this is what you had in mind?) --84.167.200.48 4 July 2005 13:51 (UTC)

Comparing muslims to dogs? Not quite the inference that I take away. Here's the quote:

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property - either as a child, a wife, or a concubine - must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.
Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science - the science against which it had vainly struggled - the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.
  • "I am sure it would be sensible to restrict as much as possible the work of these, who are capable of doing an immense amount of harm with what may very easily degenerate into charlatanry. The tightest hand should be kept over them, and they should not be allowed to quarter themselves in large numbers among Fighting Services at the public expense."
    - Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister, 1942 [2]

--AI 01:20, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I added the "Mohammedanism" quote above to the article, but see this for details. --tickle me 11:03, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

It is sometimes pointed out that the Churchill quote on Islam does not appear in the Project Gutenberg online edition of The River War. That is true. However, the Gutenberg online edition of the book reproduces the abridged one-volume 1902 edition of The River War. The quotation is found in the original, two-volume 1899 edition of the book --volume II, pages 248-250.

Thanks for this information. I had suspected that the Gutenberg edition might have been an earlier edition than the one usually cited, I had not realized it was an abridgement of an earlier one. ~ Kalki 19:03, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Restoring a (mostly) chronological order[edit]

In June this page was divided up into multiple subject headings, many with only one quote, and chronological order was mostly ignored. I spent quite a bit of time restoring the page to mostly a more standard chronological format, retaining only a couple of the newer subject headings, as I don't absolutely reject that as an organizing principle, but think choronological ordering of sourced quotes, and then sourced works with separate headings is a better one. I retained the subject headings on Mohandas Gandhi and Adolf Hitler because they both contain significant statements of different perspectives on these major figures made years apart; but generally, dividing the sourced quotes mostly into arbitrary "subject" headings makes it much harder to avoid duplicates that might be seen as treating several different subjects, and creates an overly long Table of Contents, that can give far more prominence to some singular remarks than they probably deserve, and make others harder to find.

Prior to June the section headings were:

1 Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (this was a redundant heading the in old format)
2 Sourced
2.1 Early Career
2.2 World War II
2.3 After World War II
3 Attributed
3.1 Historical
3.2 Wit
3.3 Aphorisms
4 External links

After june they were:

1 Verified
1.1 On the Boer War
1.2 On communism & the Cold War
1.3 On democracy
1.4 On Mohandas Gandhi
1.5 On Adolf Hitler
1.6 On Ireland and the Irish people
1.7 Justifying imperialism
1.8 Politics & War
1.9 On psychiatry/psychology
1.10 On the Second World War
1.11 On society
1.12 On Zionism
1.13 On the House of Commons
1.14 Miscellaneous
2 Attributed
2.1 On Clement Atlee
2.2 On democracy
2.3 On the First World War
2.4 On history
2.5 On Capitalism
2.6 Politics & War
2.7 On the United States
2.8 Miscellaneous
3 Falsely Attributed

TEN of these "sections" had only 1 quote, three had just 2, and 4 had three; I think three quotes from a particular work might be a good dividing point at which to give it its own section, but don't see that it's all that useful to have so many arbitrary "subject headings" decided by an editor's whims, rather than by a concrete placement within a particular work or time.

In this latest revision these are the categories:

1 Sourced
1.1 Early career years
1.2 On Mohandas Gandhi
1.3 On Adolf Hitler
1.4 The World War II years
1.5 Post-war years
2 Disputed quotations
3 Attributed
3.1 Anecdotal dialogue
4 Misattributions
5 External links

In the process of editing I could not find a definite source or date for the following quotation. It is an interesting statement, but without a citation to a particular work, or a date for a traceable speech, I felt that it does not yet belong in the sourced section, and I moved it to the attributed section, with comments:

  • It is the habit of the boa constrictor to besmear the body of his victim with a foul slime before he devours it; and there are many people in England, and perhaps elsewhere, who seem to be unable to contemplate military operations for clear political objects, unless they can cajole themselves into the belief that their enemy are utterly and hopelessly vile… This may be very comforting to philanthropic persons at home; but when an army in the field becomes imbued with the idea that the enemy are vermin who cumber the earth, instances of barbarity may very easily be the outcome. This unmeasured condemnation is moreover as unjust as it is dangerous and unnecessary.
    • This statement was originally posted with a claim that it had been made in a speech to the House of Commons on Horatio Kitchener's destruction of the tomb of Muhammad Ahmad, but with no date provided, or as yet determinable. It has also been cited in at least one incident as having come from The River War vol. ii., p. 394, but such passages do not occur in the 1902 edition available from Project Gutenberg. In that edition the destruction of the tomb is mentioned as occurring in Battle of Omdurman without much comment. It seems to be a statement that might be made about attitudes in almost any war, but as yet no definite citation has been provided.

That's it for now... ~ Achilles 16:14, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

New quote

Wars are not won by evacuation, they are won by invasion

This was said after the Dunkirk-operation

Can somebody add the quote and check if I got it right?

I got another one too. "Only the navy can lose the war, only the RAF can win it" I don't remember when he said it.

His quote on suicide.[edit]

What about his famous quote to that female journalist who hated him during a debate?

Journalist: Sir, if I was married to you, I would put poison in your food.

Churchill: Madame, if I was married to you, I would eat it.

(I'm not sure if these are the exact words)

This derives from an exchange that has often been reported as having took place between Churchill and Lady Nancy Astor, and is included in the section on "Anecdotal dialogue". ~ Kalki 06:25, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Arabs[edit]

I have seen the following quote attributed to Churchill many times: "The Arabs are a backward people who eat nothing but camel dung".

Is this true? Can anyone confirm? I found a link thinkexist.com/quotation/the_arabs_are_a_backwards_people_who_eat_nothing/193064.html here. -Anon

Gas in Mesopotamia[edit]

I have slightly altered the text of the 'qualifications' paragraph following the 'Using gas against uncivilized tribes' quote, taking out some of the certainty, and redirecting readers to the Wikipedia Gas in Mesopotamia article. You'll see from that article that there is some historical debate on the matter, and I felt that 'Wiki' should be internally consistent. Anyone with contributions to make on that subject should probably take them to the Gas in Mesopotamia article.--Lopakhin 15:53, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

His quote on statistics[edit]

Wow. Is there any source for the fact that this wasn't an original quote? : —This unsigned comment is by 88.217.7.253 (talkcontribs) .

I did not post this as a misattribution, so I don't know of any sources, but I had never heard of it in English, and the fact that a Google search for "I only believe in statistics that I doctored myself" (within quote marks) only gives this one site as a result at present, and a search of the German "Ich glaube nur der Statistik, die ich selbst gefälscht habe" yields 243 hits probably counts for something. ~ Kalki 09:22, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
The quote is widely popular in Germany and attributed to Adenauer as well. The following German wikibook entry only suggests that the quote "seems to have originated within the perimeter of Göbbel's Ministry of Propaganda", but goes on that no definite source has been found so far.

http://de.wikibooks.org/wiki/Enzyklop%C3%A4die_der_popul%C3%A4ren_Irrt%C3%BCmer/_Geschichte#Churchill:_Winston_Churchill_sagte_.22Ich_glaube_keiner_Statistik.2C_die_ich_nicht_selbst_gef.C3.A4lscht_habe.22

Black dog[edit]

It strikes me that nowhere on this list is any example of Churchill using his famous phrase "black dog" to describe his depression. I suggest this is an omission that ought to be remedied. -Q4 10:50, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

About the "I only beliefe the statistics I doctored myself" quote[edit]

Wow, good research! That's true... it was nazi propaganda and many people here still actualy beliefe he said this. To be honest... I wish at least somebody in the history of man would have said this, because it's simply true ;) I think it wasn't the best nazi propaganda (thank good of course), because with that quote, they didn't just said that churchill is a lier, they ironicly stated that all statistics can be doctored or are doctored (so, even the statistics of the nazis). And there is something true behind this ;) So, it may be a missquoting and I'm happy that that's already stated here (because otherwise, I would have needed to add this), but I think it's still a funny and true quote... at least from the nazi propaganda... maybe they just said it to themselfs every day and came up with the idea to let it churchill say *lol* Anyway... good research! 80.108.235.208 19:33, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Cleanup[edit]

I've tagged this article for cleanup because it has accumulated quite a few unsourced quotes in the "Sourced" section, and I don't have time right now to sort them out. Sources are specific publications from reliable sources, preferably including book editions, page numbers, article titles, periodical dates, and other specific information that allows readers to quickly find the quote in the cited source. Event descriptions, years without dates, and speech names and dates without published sources are NOT sources. They are useful descriptive information, but not specific enough to allow verification. Book titles without editions or page numbers, periodicals without article titles, and similar information that would require readers to spend hours to find the quote are inadequate sources, although they're certainly better than nothing. I ask regular article editors to move everything without proper sources into the "Unsourced" section. It would also be good to add notes to the source lines like "unidentified page", "unidentified article", "unidentified edition", etc., to make clear where information is missing for semi-sourced quotes. Thank you. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 10:50, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

You can always count on Americans...[edit]

I can't find a citation for the quotation, "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else." If you google this phrase, it is often attributed to Winston Churchill. Can anyone help?

Cryptography[edit]

The back cover of Codebreakers, edited by F. H. Hinsley and Alan Stripp, states that Bletchley Park was "described by Churchill as the 'secret weapon' that 'won the war'" --- does anyone know of another source for that, or when Churchill said it? Does it make sense to add?

what you can do for england quote?[edit]

Didn't Churchill say something like "Don't ask what England can do for you, ask what you can do for England!" ?

The closest thing i could find was JFKennedy's speech some years later: wikisource:John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address where "England" becomes "country".

i seem to remember hearing the audio recording of this (not live, i'm not that old :), i mean replays), with his very british accent....

Boud 23:37, 18 June 2007 (UTC)


Another pre-WWII quote[edit]

I don't have time to source this one right now, but shouldn't we include:

If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

Hga 13:50, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

A quote in the section "Unsourced".[edit]

"The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.":

This quote features in Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Well, I guess it's up to you guys about this since I don't edit Wikiquote (nor am I even capable of). — Yurei-eggtart 12:09, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

...heroes fight like the Greeks[edit]

The quote:

We will not say thereafter that the Greeks fight like heroes, but heroes fight like the Greeks!

is widely attributed to Winston Churchill (and it is in the sourced section of the page) but I could not find where and when he said it. If someone would provide more info, please? Geraki 10:02, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

The terrible ifs accumulate[edit]

Churchill wrote after World War I about Gallipoli that "The terrible ifs accumulate". Here are three sources: Jenny Macleod Reconsidering Gallipoli p.4; Robert Cowley and Geoffrey Parker. Companion to Military History p.62; Robert Rhodes James Historical Notes; Grim, eloquent facts of Gallipoli The Independent, Mar 31, 1999. However although all three quote him none give the original source, does anyone know what the original source is? 79.72.79.116 09:45, 29 January 2008 (UTC)