Churchill’s battle cry: ‘Fight them in your breeches’

As cinema-goers thrill to the exploits of Britain’s wartime leader, details emerge of how he had earlier called the idea of women in conflict ‘revolting’It is perhaps the most famous peroration of the second world war. “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,” declared Winston Churchill.However, if his earlier thinking on the subject was anything to go by, Churchill should have added the rejoinder: women will be allowed to do so only if they are dressed as men. A long-neglected essay by Britain’s wartime leader, written a year before war with Germany was declared and explored in a new book, reveals that Churchill held bizarre views on the role of women in conflict. Continue reading...

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