Long ago, I saw a Nazi propaganda caricature showing a headless Churchill serving his own severed head on a plate, the joke being that he foolishly claimed the Germans would be unable to take Crete. I also vaguely remember seeing a quote in which he makes such a statement, but when I looked it up today the only results I got were completely unrelated.

So did he really say that?

  • 4
    Negative evidence is difficult, but I found nothing relevant at WinstonChurchill.org. I searched for "bet" and "Crete" – Mark C. Wallace Jun 13 at 11:34
  • 3
    Searching 'Nazi propagnda' and 'head' turned up this cartoon. – Lars Bosteen Jun 13 at 12:24
  • 3
    Most interesting thing I could dig up about it was that the British were apparently surprised by how effective the paratroopers were, while the Germans were surprised by how ineffective they were. – T.E.D. Jun 13 at 15:11
  • 3
    The expression "I'll eat my hat....." If a certain thing where to happen is idomatic in the English language. It may be that Churchill said something like "I'll eat my hat if Crete falls" and Nazi propoganda misconstrued this either by mistake or design. But I have no source for this theory. – Sarriesfan Jun 13 at 21:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.