Paul Flanders may have retired from teaching high school, but he continues to share his vast knowledge of history to numerous groups. We were lucky to have Paul join us for lunch and share some interesting highlights of the The Battle of Britain.  He recommended a new book on this topic: The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson. 

The Battle of Britain, (July 1940-Oct 1940), was a military campaign of the Second World War, in which the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy defended the United Kingdom against large-scale attacks by Nazi Germany's air force, the Luftwaffe.  Newly elected Prime Minister, Winston Churchill would navigate Britain through this tumultuous wartime. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, and it was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally.  One of Churchill’s most powerful weapons was his words. His words were defiant, heroic and human, serving to inspire everyone in Britain and throughout the world.  The speeches he delivered are now among the most powerful speeches ever given.  Churchill regularly worked 18-hour days, working weekends and traveling abroad to conferences and battlefronts. He could be charming and generous but also exasperating, rude and bad-tempered. He drove his staff very hard, but he drove himself even harder.  

Famous wartime quotes from Churchill: 

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

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

As he would later write: "I felt...that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial." 

In a victory speech to the people of Britain, he declared: "God bless you all. This is your victory!" The crowd roared back, 'No - it is yours.'