Did Churchill really say "We slaughtered the wrong pig?"

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rob in cal
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Did Churchill really say "We slaughtered the wrong pig?"

Post by rob in cal » 21 Jun 2011 22:03

In a variety of different articles and possibly a book I've read that Churchill at some point after the war said "we slaughtered the wrong pig", meaning that Britain should have fought against the Soviets and not Germany. One website disputed this quote, claiming that revisionists invented it. Anyone have any insight on this?

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Re: Did Churchill really say "We slaughtered the wrong pig?"

Post by HFK » 22 Jun 2011 01:29

Hello rob, I have never heard this before. However, the words and terminology used does not sound like Winston's use of the language.
Regards, Harry

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Re: Did Churchill really say "We slaughtered the wrong pig?"

Post by nobodyofnote » 22 Jun 2011 08:33

The earliest statement I've come across attributed to Churchill is "It is clear to me now that we have slaughtered the wrong pig". In the news journal The New Statesman and Nation, volume 35, page 373, dated 28th August 1948. It alludes to Churchill's touring bombed-out German cities in 1945. I've never seen the official Churchill transcripts of his speeches during that tour though. Even the article back then used the word "supposedly". Maybe it was an off-the-cuff remark, or something he said that was taken out of context. I'm not certain. Requires further digging.

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Re: Did Churchill really say "We slaughtered the wrong pig?"

Post by OpanaPointer » 22 Jun 2011 09:31

He was very anti-Communist, of course, so it's not surprising to hear such from him after the war was safely over and the Nazis no longer an threat.
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Re: Did Churchill really say "We slaughtered the wrong pig?"

Post by glenn239 » 22 Jun 2011 18:21

I recall CBC documentary from about 1990 alleging that in 1943 or 1944 Churchill had a bit of temper tantrum - a dark moment hushed up - at the prospect of being third wheel in the post-war order. Along the lines of what the quote is - that Britain required Germany for balance of power tactics. What their sourcing was, or whether or not there was anything to it, I've no idea.

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Re: Did Churchill really say "We slaughtered the wrong pig?"

Post by redcoat » 22 Jun 2011 20:50

OpanaPointer wrote:He was very anti-Communist, of course, so it's not surprising to hear such from him after the war was safely over and the Nazis no longer an threat.
There is no evidence he actually said this, and despite his life long hatred of communism he always considered Nazism the more evil of the two systems.

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Re: Did Churchill really say "We slaughtered the wrong pig?"

Post by OpanaPointer » 23 Jun 2011 03:25

redcoat wrote:
OpanaPointer wrote:He was very anti-Communist, of course, so it's not surprising to hear such from him after the war was safely over and the Nazis no longer an threat.
There is no evidence he actually said this, and despite his life long hatred of communism he always considered Nazism the more evil of the two systems.
Yeah, unsourced material is always dubious. However, given his flair for the dramatic, he might have said it, just to get a reaction from people. Remember, this is the guy who strolled around the White House naked.
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Re: Did Churchill really say "We slaughtered the wrong pig?"

Post by redcoat » 23 Jun 2011 11:12

="OpanaPointer]Yeah, unsourced material is always dubious. However, given his flair for the dramatic, he might have said it, just to get a reaction from people. Remember, this is the guy who strolled around the White House naked.
Unfortunately the claimed quote is not some harmless witticism, but a statement of regret that Britain had helped defeat Nazi Germany, instead of the Soviet Union.
It is normally used by revisionists to 'prove' that Churchill post war had come to realise that Communism was a greater danger than Nazi Germany had been and that Britain should have supported Nazi Germany in the war against the Soviet Union.
There is however, not the slightest reliable evidence that Churchill ever felt this way, or that he said anything in a similar vein.

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Re: Did Churchill really say "We slaughtered the wrong pig?"

Post by Sid Guttridge » 23 Jun 2011 12:19

If true, and it is clearly doubtful on the evidence here, it seems to refer to area bombing, not the USSR.

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Re: Did Churchill really say "We slaughtered the wrong pig?"

Post by OpanaPointer » 23 Jun 2011 12:28

redcoat wrote:
="OpanaPointer]Yeah, unsourced material is always dubious. However, given his flair for the dramatic, he might have said it, just to get a reaction from people. Remember, this is the guy who strolled around the White House naked.
Unfortunately the claimed quote is not some harmless witticism, but a statement of regret that Britain had helped defeat Nazi Germany, instead of the Soviet Union.
It is normally used by revisionists to 'prove' that Churchill post war had come to realise that Communism was a greater danger than Nazi Germany had been and that Britain should have supported Nazi Germany in the war against the Soviet Union.
There is however, not the slightest reliable evidence that Churchill ever felt this way, or that he said anything in a similar vein.
Agreed on the unsourced nature. However, I don't find it impossible for him to have said it, especially if he'd had a bit to drink and felt he was in "safe company". We (almost) all say things amongst friends that are "not for publication".
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Re: Did Churchill really say "We slaughtered the wrong pig?"

Post by redcoat » 24 Jun 2011 11:30

OpanaPointer wrote:Agreed on the unsourced nature. However, I don't find it impossible for him to have said it, especially if he'd had a bit to drink and felt he was in "safe company". We (almost) all say things amongst friends that are "not for publication".
I find it impossible, because while he was dismayed at the Soviet Union gaining control of large parts of eastern Europe, all the reliable evidence points to the fact that he never changed from his view that Nazism was the far greater threat to western civilisation.

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Re: Did Churchill really say "We slaughtered the wrong pig?"

Post by Sid Guttridge » 24 Jun 2011 12:19

Hi Guys,

Leaving aside the questionable provenance of this quote, where is the evidence that it had anything to do with the USSR?

So far on this thread, the only obvious connection is with area bombing.

Where is this USSR connection everyone is presuming?

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Re: Did Churchill really say "We slaughtered the wrong pig?"

Post by OpanaPointer » 24 Jun 2011 12:31

MajorT wrote:Hi Guys,

Leaving aside the questionable provenance of this quote, where is the evidence that it had anything to do with the USSR?

So far on this thread, the only obvious connection is with area bombing.

Where is this USSR connection everyone is presuming?
You know who coined the term "Iron curtain", right?
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Re: Did Churchill really say "We slaughtered the wrong pig?"

Post by OpanaPointer » 24 Jun 2011 12:32

redcoat wrote:
OpanaPointer wrote:Agreed on the unsourced nature. However, I don't find it impossible for him to have said it, especially if he'd had a bit to drink and felt he was in "safe company". We (almost) all say things amongst friends that are "not for publication".
I find it impossible, because while he was dismayed at the Soviet Union gaining control of large parts of eastern Europe, all the reliable evidence points to the fact that he never changed from his view that Nazism was the far greater threat to western civilisation.
You find it impossible that a old guy with a bit too much to drink would say something silly. 8O
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Re: Did Churchill really say "We slaughtered the wrong pig?"

Post by nobodyofnote » 24 Jun 2011 13:03

OpanaPointer wrote:You know who coined the term "Iron curtain", right?
Churchill certainly popularized it, but the term was first coined in 1918, just after the October Russian Revolution, by philosopher Vasiliy Rozanov, in his book Apocalypse of Our Time (Apokalipsis nashego vremeni):

"Rattling, creaking and screeching, an iron curtain descends over the Russian history..." (page 148)

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