Britain, France, and the Second World War
Your commentary should do the following:
o Explain what the source is;
o Place the source in its historical context;
o Comment on the importance of specific points in the text;
o Draw some conclusions about the historical significance of the source.
Further guidelines from page seven of this document onwards will help you to complete this assignment, but please note that your main focus should be analysis of the source rather than a general narrative history of the topic.
The source I am using is 5. Britain, France and the Second World War
Excerpt from speech by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to the House of Commons, 4th June 1940. This is what it says:
Excerpt from speech by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to the House of Commons, 4th June 1940.
The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
The sources I am required to use to write this commentary in an essay form are:
-Paul Addison, The Road to 1945: British Politics and the Second World War (London: Pimlico, 1975).
-Peter Clarke, Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-2000 (London: Penguin, 2004).
-Mark Donnelly, Britain in the Second World War (Abingdon: Routledge, 1999). [also available as an e-book].