Audience

The speech “We Shall Fight Them on the Beaches” was delivered by Winston Churchill in front of the House of Commons on 4th of June, 1940, shortly after British and French troops were successfully evacuated from Dunkirk, France, where they were surrounded by German enemy forces. This was important because Churchill’s role as Prime Minister was depended on the support of a majority of the Commons.

The House of Commons is the lower house of the United Kingdom’s Parliament. It is made up by elected officials known as Members of Parliament (MPs). Despite Churchill’s oratorical skills and his moving message of unity, historians have noted that not all members of Parliament were impressed by the speech. Many members were reportedly dismayed by the events at Dunkirk, as they followed a brutal defeat of British forces in Belgium and France, as well as Belgium’s surrender. Moreover, Churchill warns in his speech about a potential Nazi invasion of Britain and about the possible defeat or surrender of France. This created doubt about Britain’s abil...

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