It was sixty seven years ago today British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain addressed a nervous nation. I thought I'd post up what he said. Imagine being sat at your kitchen table with the 'wireless' turned up and hearing his words unfold?
I also read recently that the message to military ships and aircraft broadcast to confirm the start of hostilities was, simply and ominously, "Total Germany".
Perhaps we can all take a minute to reflect. In light of recent issues on the forum, if anyone is in the slightest offended by this post I'll happily take it down immediately.
"I am speaking to you from the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street. This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government an official note stating that unless we heard from them by eleven o'clock, that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and consequently this county is at war with Germany.
You can imagine what a bitter blow it is to me that all my long struggle to win peace has failed. Yet I cannot believe that there is anything more or anything different that I could have done and that would have been more successful.
Up to the very last it would have been quite possible to arrange a peaceful and honorable settlement between Germany and Poland, but Hitler would not have it. He had evidently made up his mind to attack Poland whatever happened, and although he now says he put forward reasonable proposals which were rejected by the Poles, that is not a true statement. The proposals were never shown to the Poles nor to us, and although they were announced in the German broadcast on Thursday night, Hitler did not wait to bear comment on them, but ordered his troops to cross the Polish frontier next morning. His action shows convincingly that there is no chance of expecting that this man will ever give up his practice of using force to gain his will, and he. can only be stopped by force.
We and France are to-day, in fullfrnlment of our obligations, going to the aid of Poland, so bravely resisting this wicked and unprovoked attack on her people. We have a clear conscience, we have done all that any country could do to establish peace. The situation in which no word given by Germany
's ruler could be trusted and no people or country could feel safe has become intolerable. Now we have resolved to finish it, I know you will all play your part with calmness and courage. At such a moment as this the assurances of support that we have received from the, Empire are a source of profound encouragement to us.
When I have finished speaking certain detailed announcements will be made on behalf of the Government. Give these 'your closest attention. The Government have made plans under' which It will be possible' to carry on the work of the nation in the days of stress and strain which may be ahead of us. These plans need your help you may be taking your part in the fighting Services or as a volunteer in one of the branches of civil defense. If so, you will report for duty in accordance with the instructions you have received. You may be engaged in work essential to the prosecution of war, or for the maintenance of the life of the people in factories in transport in public utility concerns, or in the supply of other necessaries of life. If so it is of vital importance that you should carry on with your job.
Now may God bless you all, and may he defend the right. For it is evil things that we shall be fighting, against brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution, and against them I am certain that Right will prevail.
Here is alink if you want to hear the speech: