Wars Are Not Won by Evacuations

Wars Are Not Won by Evacuations
Air Force via AP)

EXPERT PERSPECTIVE — Winston Churchill’s 04 June 1940 speech in which he vowed that he and his countrymen would “fight on the beaches “and would “never surrender” in the face of a seemingly inevitable Nazi invasion is rightly renowned as perhaps history’s most famous address by a wartime leader.  Less well known, however, is the cautionary tone the new Prime Minister struck in that same appearance before the House of Commons, as he sought to temper the joy and relief engendered by the seemingly miraculous extraction of the British army from the beaches of Dunkirk.  “We must,” Churchill warned, “be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory.”  “Wars” he admonished, “are not won by evacuations.”

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