On 13 May 1940, Winston Churchill, newly appointed prime minister, told his government that in the fight against Hitler he had nothing to offer but 'blood, toil, tears and sweat'.
Photo: Mrs Bowley shakes the hand of Johnny Driscoll of the A.R.P. rescue team carrying her away. She had been trapped for 13 hours in the wreckage of an air-raid shelter after a German bombing raid on London, 17 October 1940. (Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Lady Soames and Gore Vidal offer their thoughts on the origins of Churchill's oratorical skills.
Lady Soames, Churchill's daughter, describes his astounding memory and his skills as an orator. Gore Vidal, meanwhile, claims Churchill was influenced by an Irish-American speaker called William Bourke Cochran.
The resilience of Churchill and the British people
A summary of the 6 months from Germany's advance through Europe, to the end of 1940 and Britain's continued resistance to German bombing.
The initial reaction to Churchill's leadership
A.J.P. Taylor describes Churchill's tenuous support following his rise to power.
Churchill's belief in "Victory at all costs"
A.J.P. Taylor describes the clarity of Churchill's war aims.
The reaction to Churchill's appointment
Hitler attacks Belgium, Holland and France. Meanwhile, Churchill is appointed prime minister to a mixed reaction from his colleagues.
The phrase blood, toil, tears and sweat became famous in a speech given by Winston Churchill to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom on 13 May 1940.
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