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Blood, toil, tears, and sweat
On 13 May 1940 Winston Churchill made his famous blood, toil, tears, and sweat speech to the House of Commons of the British Parliament, three days after replacing Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister in the first year of World War II. Churchill gave the brief speech after calling for a vote of confidence, and with it he explained his government's policies and aims, and started to rally his countrymen to what he knew would be a long and difficult struggle.
Earlier in the day Churchill stated to his Cabinet, "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat." and he repeated the phrase to Parliament in this excerpt:
- I say to the House as I said to ministers who have joined this government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering.
- You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea, and air. War with all our might and with all the strength God has given us, and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.
- You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs - Victory in spite of all terrors - Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.
The phrase "blood, sweat, and tears" arose as a common misquotation from this speech.
- The Churchill Centre: Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat, with a short introduction
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