4. Winston Churchill had Predicted a Showdown with Germany and Named it the Battle of Britain
In May 1940 the tide of the war was changing, much of Western Europe had fallen to the Nazis. Belgium, the Netherlands, and France had all fallen. Great Britain stood as the only Allied power left. Hitler expected that the British would just surrender without a war considering that they stood no chance. Even some of Winston Churchill’s advisers suggested that they negotiate a deal with Hitler. But Churchill refused, he refused to let Europe fall and he refused to let Britain lose who she was, but he had to convince the British public that their sacrifice would be worth it.
So on June 18th he delivered a speech that spelled out the stakes of the upcoming war and what would be lost if Britain fell to Germany. He said “The Battle of France is over. I expect the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of a perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour”.”