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“He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle,” journalist Edward R. Murrow said of Churchill—here speaking to the crowd at the 1945 Party Conference of the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations. After the fall of France, fear of a German invasion pervaded the island nation and there was talk of seeking terms with Hitler, yet Churchill refused to bow. His famous line, “We shall fight them on the beaches” wasn’t just rhetoric, however. He expected himself and everyone in his cabinet to be willing to die “choking on his own blood upon the ground” while fighting the Nazis to the last man. (Haywood Magee/Picture Post/Getty Images)