On 20 August 1940, five days after the battle of Britain reached a crisis point, Churchill gave a stirring tribute to the RAF fighter pilots who were fighting in air above Britain. Churchill immortalised their contribution in the Battle of Britain with his ‘The Few’ speech.
“The gratitude of every home in our island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. ”
—Tribute to the Royal Air Force, House of Commons, 20 August 1940.
The Battle of Britain peaked a month later. Because of German bombing raids, Churchill said, Britain was “a whole nation fighting and suffering together.” He had worked out the phrase about “The Few” in his mind as he visited the Fighter Command airfields in Southern England. Assertive adjectives to make a phrase memorable.