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Churchill North Africa (1942-1943)

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  • John Townsend on 2012-Jun-18 13:13:21 John Townsend said

    A personal drama being played out behind the scenes makes this photo all the more amazing. Churchill at 67 was at the White House visiting with FDR only some six months before when he experienced pains in his chest diagnosed by his personal doctor as a mild heart attack, but who decided to say nothing. The obvious treatment was six weeks of total rest, which would have severely complicated the Washington mission and announced to the world that Britain's leader was an invalid with a crippled heart and a doubtful future. Now here he is in the scorching desert heat having just flown to Cairo on a very arduous and dangerous circuitous route over the Mediteranian without escort in a flying boat airliner, neither comfortable nor very safe. It was not pressurised, and en route to Cairo in 1942, Churchill insisted that his oxygen mask be adapted to accommodate a cigar.

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