“We shall fight on the Beaches” Speech Summary, Text, & Analysis

February 20, 2023

9 min read

Churchill inspired and motivated the British people during World War II. Check out our “We shall fight on the Beaches" speech summary, text, and analysis.

One of the greatest speeches is Churchill’s “We shall fight on the beaches.” It rallied the British public during WWII, and gave hope in a dark time. Below is the historic “We shall fight on the Beaches” Speech Summary, Text, & Analysis.

“We shall fight on the Beaches” Speech Summary

We ran Churchill’s speech through Yoodli, the free AI powered speech coaching platform. You can get started at www.yoodli.ai and view results for Churchill here. Here’s a summary of his speech:

  • The speaker was worried they would have to announce the greatest military disaster in British history due to the possible loss of 20-30,000 men.
  • The enemy was attacking from all sides with strength and ferocity, and with the help of the air force and naval forces, an evacuation was achieved.
  • Though it was not a victory, British and allied troops were saved and an effort was made to appreciate the air force.
  • The French and Belgian armies were affected, and the Germans were trying to invade the British isles.
  • The speaker calls for everyone’s participation in defending the country and the British Empire, and promises to never surrender.

We shall fight on the Beaches” Speech Text

The Yoodli AI-powered speech coach provides this “We shall fight on the Beaches ” speech text:

"When a week ago today, Mr. Speaker, I asked the house to fix this afternoon at the occasion for a statement I feared it would be my hard lot to announce the greatest military disaster in our long history. I thought, and some good judges agreed with me that perhaps 20 or30,000 men might be rebar, but it certainly seems that the whole of the French first Army and the O of the British expeditionary force north of the Amia Avil gap would be broken up in the open field or else would’ve to capitulate for lack of food and ammunition.

These were the hard and heavy hidings for which I called up in the house and the nations to prepare themselves. A week ago, the whole root and core and brain of the British army on which and around which we were to build and are to build the great British armies in the later years of the war, seemed about the per ship in the field or bele into an ignominious and starving captivity.

The enemy attacked us on all sides with great strengths and fierceness and our main power. The power of that far numerous air force was thrown into the battle or else concentrated upon dur and the beaches pressing in Upon the narrow exit boast from the east, stand from the west, the enemy began to fire with cannon upon the beaches by which lonely shipping could approach rpa. They sewed magnetic mines in the channels and seas.

They sent repeated waves of hostile aircraft, sometimes more than a hundred strong in one formation to cast our bombs in the single Pi that remained and upon the sand dunes on which the troops had their only shelter. There you both, one of which were sunk and the motor launches took the toll of the vast traffic, which now began for four or five days in intense struggle rained all their armor divisions are what were left to them together with great massive of infantry and artillery held themselves in vain upon the ever narrowing, ever contracting appendix within which the British and French armies fought.

Meanwhile, the Royal Navy with the willing help of countless merchant seamen strained every nerve to embark the British and allied troops. 220 lights warships and 650 other vessels were engaged. They had to operate upon the difficult coast, often in adverse weather and an almost ceaseless hail of bombs and an increasing concentration of artillery fire. Nor were the seas, as I’ve said themselves, free from mines and topi. It was in conditions such as these that our men carried on with little or no rest.

For days and nights on end, making trip after trip across the dangerous waters, bringing wisdom always men whom may rescue the numbers they brought back are the measure of their devotion and their courage. The hospital ships, which brought out many thousands of British and French wounded being so plainly marked, were a special target for bombs. But the men and women are board them lower faulted in their duty. Meanwhile, the Royal Air Force, which had already been intervening in the battle, so fared rain would allow, you know, from our home bases now used part of its main metropolitan fighter strength and struck as the German bombers and that the fighters, which in large numbers protected them.

This struggle was protracted in fear, suddenly the crash and thunder for the moment, but only for the moment died away. A miracle of deliverance achieved by valor, by perseverance, by perfect discipline, by faultless service, by resource, by skill, by uncurable fidelity is manifests to us. All. The enemy was held back by the retreating British troops. They were so roughly handled that he did ask Harry their departure. Seriously, sir, we must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory.

Wars are not won by evacuation, but there was a victory inside this deliverance, which would be noted. It was gained by the Air Force. Many of our soldiers coming back have not seen the Air force at work based on only the bomber which is shaped its protective attack. They underrated the treatment. And I’ve heard much talk of this and that is why I go out my way to say this. I will tell you about it.

This was a great trial of strength between the British and German air forces. Can you conceive a greater objective for the Germans in the air than to make evacuation from these beaches impossible? And to think all these ships which were displayed almost to the extent of thousand, could there have been an objective of greater military importance and significance for the whole purpose of the war of this? They tried hard and they were beaten back.

They were frustrated in their task. We got the army away and they have paid fourfold for any loss which they have increased. Sir, when we consider a much greater would be our advantage in defending the air above this island again for overseas attack, I must say that I find in the tractor basis upon which practical and reassuring thoughts may rest, I will pay my tribute to these young airmen. The great French army was very largely for the time being Charles back and disturbed for the on rush for a few thousands of armored vehicles.

May it not also be that the court of civilization itself will be defended by the skill and devotion of 2000 almond. There never had been, I suppose, in all the world, in all the history of war, such an opportunity for youth. The knight from the round table, the crusaders all fall back into the past. Not only distant but prote. These young men going forth every mourn to God, their native land and all the we stand for holding in their hands the instruments of colossal and shattering power, whom it maybe said that every mourn brought forth a noble chance and every chance brought forth a noble night, deserve our gratitude and to all the brave men in so many ways and on so many occasions are ready and continue, ready to give life an all for their native land.

Nevertheless, uh, thankfulness at the escape of our army and so many men whose loved ones have passed through an agonizing week but not blinded to the fact that what happened in France and Belgium, it took a colossal military disaster. The French army has been weakened. The Belgian army has been lost. A large part of those 45 lines upon which so much faith has been reposed. It’s gone. Many valuable mining districts and factories have passed into the enemy possession a whole of the channel ports 90 hand hands with all the tragic consequences that follow from that.

And we must expect another blow to be struck almost immediately at us or at trance. We are told sir, that’s how Hitler has a plan for invading the British isles. This has often being thought of before, when Napoleon laid oi for a year with his fat bottom boats and his grand army, he was told by someone there are bitter weeds in England. There are certainly a great many more of them since the British expeditionary force return.

Sir, I have myself full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made as they are being made, we should prove ourselves once more able to defend our island home, the ride out, the storm of war, and to outlive the minister of tyranny if necessary, be if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the result of his measures in government.

Every man of them that is a will of parliament in the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic linked together in their accord and in their need will defend to the deaths. Their native soil aiding each other like good cade to the utmost of their strengths. We shall go on the end. We shall fight in France, which will fight on the seas and oceans. We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air which will defend our island.

Whatever the cross may be, we shall fight on the beaches. We will fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields and in the streets, which will fight in the hills, which will never surrender. And if, which I do not for a moment, believe this island or large part of it was subjugated and starving in our empire. Beyond the seeds armed and guarded by the British feet would carry on the struggle until in God’s good time, the new world with all its power might steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."

We shall fight on the Beaches” Speech Analysis

Churchill’s speech style was powerful and inspiring, using rhetorical devices such as repetition and antithesis. We ran this speech through Yoodli’s AI-powered speech coach, and got back an analysis on various aspects of word choice and delivery. You can view the full results here.

Word Choice

Churchill’s word choice in the speech was powerful and inspiring, invoking a sense of determination and courage. Yoodli’s analysis reflects this, showing very few filler words and very few weak words (just 1%).


In the Delivery category, Yoodli provides scores on Centering, Pacing, Pauses, and Eye Contact. The highlight metric to look at here is pace. Churchill spoke in very relaxed manner, at about 124 words per minute.

Wrapping Up

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