In Russia some citation of Churchill's words is mentioned, that I can roughly translate to English as:

The most wars in history were escaped due to just putting them off.

Have you seen anything like this in his speeches, books or memoirs?

Original Russian variant is (also not 100 percent certain, but very near):

Большинство войн в истории удалось избежать, просто их отложив.

  • 4
    please add the original Russian - I do not recognize the quote
    – sds
    Feb 6 '18 at 17:17
  • 2
    Agreeing with SDS here. A single sentence translated into {language x} and then back into English is quite likely to be nearly unrecognizable even to the original author. If there's more context, that would be nice too.
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 6 '18 at 19:20
  • Have added Russian variant.
    – Alex34758
    Feb 10 '18 at 11:06

It's a stretch (that's what comes of translation) but perhaps:

Those who are prone, by temperament and character, to seek sharp and clear-cut solutions of difficult and obscure problems, who are ready to fight whenever some challenge comes from a foreign power, have not always been right. On the other hand, those whose inclination is to bow their heads, to seek patiently and faithfully for peaceful compromise, are not always wrong. On the contrary, in the majority of instances they may be right, not only morally, but from a practical standpoint. How many wars have been averted by patience and persisting good will! Religion and virtue alike lend their sanctions to meekness and humility, not only between men but between nations. How many wars have been precipitated by firebrands! How many misunderstandings which led to wars could have been removed by temporizing! How often have countries fought cruel wars and then after a few years found themselves not only friends but allies!

from: The Second World War, Volume I : The Gathering Storm (1948) Chapter 17 (The Tragedy of Munich), p .287

Other candidates may lie here.

  • Of course the main theme of this entire volume was essentially the opposite of this quote. He's just hedging here.
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 6 '18 at 19:22
  • @T.E.D.: I don't think "hedging" is the right word. Rather, he's pointing out that there is a distinction, as in hindsight it seems that many wars (the American Revolution, the US Civil War, perhaps WWI) produced little gain and could have been rather easily avoided.
    – jamesqf
    Feb 6 '18 at 20:30
  • 1
    @jamesqf - I'm wondering if you have actually read Churchill's Volume 1 (The Gathering Storm)? Its basically a nonfiction tragedy about how the Western Democracies in trying to avoid another war at all costs missed chance after chance to use their strength to prevent WWII. Its kind of an extensive bit of self-propaganda, but a very well-written and persuasive one.
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 6 '18 at 20:55
  • ...and the volume after that is just about the best piece of nonfiction writing ever produced in the English language.
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 6 '18 at 20:57
  • Hmm, it seems that the bolded citation of yours is not very suitable, but the latter words are: "How many misunderstandings which led to wars could have been removed by temporizing!". In Russian the citation have the meaning not as if a person try to find any reason to escape a war (it sounds a little bit cowardly or false-peacefully), but as if a person just is not fully ready for now and try to win a time to prepare, but at the end of this time the reasons for war have disappeared. So the meaning of these words that the most wars were due to very self-abandoned, impassioned decisions.
    – Alex34758
    Feb 10 '18 at 11:26

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