sábado, 31 de julho de 2010


Piccadilly Circus, London, 1940
Fim do capítulo Desert Victory, e do livro Their Finest Hour:

We may, I am sure, rate this tremendous year as the most splendid, as it was the mostly deadly, year in our long English and British story. It was a great, quantly-organized England that had destroyed the Spanish Armada. A strong flame of conviction and resolve carried us through the twenty-five years' conflict which William III and Marborough waged against Louis XIV. There was a famous period which Chatham. There was the long struggle against Napoleon, in wich our survival was secured through the domination of the seas by the British Navy under the classic leadership of Nelson and his associates. A million Britons died in the first World War. But nothing surpasses 1940. By the end of that year this small and ancient Island, with its devoted Commonwealth, Dominions, and attachments under every sky, had proved itself capable of bearing the whole impact and weight of world destiny. We had not flinched or wavered. We had not failed. The soul of the British people and race had proved invincible. The citadel of the Commomwealth and Empire could not be stormed. Alone, but upborne by every generous heart-beat of mankind, we had defied the tyrant in the height of his triumph.
All our latent strength was now alive. The air terror had been measured. The Island was intangible, inviolate. Hencefoward we too have weapons with which to fight. Hencefoward we too would be a highly organized was machine. We had shown the world that we could hold our own. There were two sides to the question of Hitler's world domination. Britain, whom so many had counted out, was still in the ring, far strongerthan she had ever been, and gathering strength with every day. Time had once again come over to our side. And not only to our national side. The United States was arming fast and drawing ever nearer to the conflict. Soviet Russia, who with callous miscalculation had adjulged us worthless at the outbreak of the war, and had bought from Germany fleeting immunity and a share of the booty, had also become much stronger and had secured advanced positions for her own defence. Japan seemed for the moment to be overawed by the evident prospect of a prolonged world war, and, anxiosly watching Russia and the United States, mediated profoundly what it would be wise and profitable to do.
And now this Britain, and its far-spread association of states and dependencies, which had seemed on the verge of ruin, whose very heart was about to be pierced, had been for fifteen months concentrated upon the war problem, training its men and devoting all its infinitely-varied vitalities to the struggle. With a gasp of atonishment and relief the smaller neutrals and the subjugated states saw that the stars still shone in the sky. Hope, and within it passion, burned anew in the hearts of hundreds of millions of men. The good cause would triumph. Right would not be trampled down. The flag of Freedom, which in this fateful hour was the Union Jack, would still fly in all the winds that blew.
But I and my faithfull colleagues who brooded with accurate information at the summit of the scene had no lack of cares. The shadow of the U-boat blockade already cast its chill upon us. All our plans depended upon the defeat of this measure. The Battle of France was lost. The Battle of Britain was won. The Battle of the Atlantic had now to be fought.

 Churchill, Winston. Their Finest Hour. Página 556.

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