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We may be sure that they will both tell the truth about what they have seen over here, and more than that we do not ask. The rest we leave with good confidence to the judgment of the President the Congress and the people of the United States. I have been so very careful, since I have been Prime Minister, not to encourage false hopes or prophesy smooth and easy things, and yet the tale that I have to tell today is one which must justly and rightly give us cause for deep thankfulness, and also, I think, for strong comfort and even rejoicing. But now I must dwell upon the more serious, darker and more dangerous aspects of the vast scene of the war.

We must all of us have been asking ourselves: What has that wicked man whose crime-stained regime and system are at bay and in the toils what has he been preparing during these winter months? What new devilry is he planning?

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What new small country will he overrun or strike down? What fresh form of assault will he make upon our island home and fortress; which, let there be no mistake about it, is all that stands between him and the dominion of the world? We may be sure that the war is soon going to enter upon a phase of greater Violence We saw what happened last May in the Low Countries, how they hoped for the best: how they clung to their neutrality: how woefully they were deceived, overwhelmed, plundered, enslaved and since starved.

We know how we and the French suffered when, at the last moment, at the urgent belated appeal of the King of the Belgians, we went to his aid.

Sail on, O ship of state

Of course, if all the Balkan people stood together and acted together, aided by Britain and Turkey, it would be many months before a German army and air force of sufficient strength to overcome them could be assembled in the southeast of Europe. And in those months much might happen. Much will certainly happen as American aid becomes effective, as our air power grows, as we become a well-armed nation, and as our armies in the East increase in strength.

But nothing is more certain than that, if the countries of southeastern Europe allow themselves to be pulled to pieces one by one, they will share the fate of Denmark, Holland, and Belgium. And none can tell how long it will be before the hour of their deliverance strikes. One of our difficulties is to convince some of these neutral countries in Europe that we are going to win. We think it astonishing that they should be so dense as not to see it as clearly as we do ourselves.

But after all, the fate of this war is going to be settled by what happens on the oceans, in the air. It seems now to be certain that the Government and people of the United States intend to supply us with all that is necessary for victory.

In the last war the United States sent two million men across the Atlantic. But this is not a war of vast armies, firing immense masses of shells at one another. We do not need the gallant armies which are forming throughout the American Union. We do not need them this year, nor next year; nor any year that I can foresee. But we do need most urgently an immense and continuous supply of war materials and technical apparatus of all kinds.

We need them here and we need to bring them here. We shall need a great mass of shipping in , far more than we can build ourselves, if we are to maintain and augment our war effort in the West and in the East. These facts are, of course, all well known to the enemy, and we must therefore expect that Herr Hitler will do his utmost to prey upon our shipping and to reduce the volume of American supplies entering these Islands. Having conquered France and Norway, his clutching fingers reach out on both sides of us into the ocean. I have never underrated this danger, and you know I have never concealed it from you.

I hope you will believe me when I say that 1 have complete confidence in the Royal Navy, aided by the Air Force of the Coastal Command, and that in one way or another I am sure they will be able to meet every changing phase of this truly mortal struggle, and that sustained by the courage of our merchant seamen, and of the dockers and workmen of all our ports, we shall outwit, outmaneuver, outfight and outlast the worst that the enemy's malice and ingenuity can contrive.

Sail On, O Ship of State!

I have left the greatest issue to the end. You will have seen that Sir John Dill, our principal military adviser, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, has warned us all that Hitler may be forced, by the strategic, economic and political stresses in Europe, to try to invade these Islands in the near future. That is a warning which no one should disregard.

Sail on, O Ship of State

Naturally, we are working night and day to have everything ready. Of course, we are far stronger than we ever were before, incomparably stronger than we were in July, August and September. But most of all I put my faith in the simple unaffected resolve to conquer or die which will animate and inspire nearly four million Britons with serviceable weapons in their hands. It is not an easy military operation to invade an island like Great Britain, without the command of the sea and without the command of the air, and then to face what will be waiting for the invader here.

It applies to you people as it does to us. Here is the verse:- 'Sail on, oh ship of state, Sail on, oh union strong and great; Humanity with all its fears, With all the hopes of future years, Is hanging breathless on thy fate. The thrice chosen head of a nation of million. Here is the answer which I will give to President Roosevelt. Put your confidence in us - give us your faith and your blessing and under Providence all will be well. We shall not fail or falter, we shall not weaken or tire - neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long drawn trails of vigilance or exertion will wear us down.

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Give us the tools and we will finish the job. Please note that the last line of the poem in the transcript is in error. Related: Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,-- Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears, Our faith triumphant o'er our fears, Are all with thee,--are all with thee!

wellbirdderlydip.tk Longfellow -- The Building of the Ship O suffering, sad humanity! O ye afflicted ones, who lie Steeped to the lips in misery, Longing, yet afraid to die, Patient, though sorely tried!


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