"Well researched and at times deeply inspiring" - Andrew Roberts, The Mail on Sunday More than an account of Churchill's momentous meetings with Roosevelt, Stalin and other leaders at the height of the Second World War, this book illuminates the practicalities of transporting a prime minister through dangerous skies and across hostile oceans in a time of global war. No life was more valuable to the British spirit than his, as he represented his country's will to resist the Nazis. Long-distance air travel had only just become practicable and sea travel also had its dangers. The German Navy and the Luftwaffe were a constant menace, as U-boats prowled the Atlantic and bombers attacked shipping in the Mediterranean. Like most of the British war effort, Churchill"s voyages were under-planned and improvised, and used a good deal of US technology. The story begins with a relatively simple trip to meet Roosevelt in a battleship in 1941, and continues through hazardous flights across enemy-occupied North Africa, to the fateful conferences at Yalta and Potsdam in 1945.
While the book is meticulously researched in terms of its historical and technical reference by the author, he allows the character of the man to be revealed through the many different eyes of his travelling companions, as well as his ministers and senior military officers, his secretaries and typists, the officers and crews of the ships he travelled on, and the pilots, navigators and engineers of his aircraft. The book concludes with an examination of the legacy of these voyages, especially with regard to air travel and developing world statesmanship.