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Come from Away: Fascinating New Book Describes 1941 Plot to Assassinate Churchill

While an historical novel, J.F. Leahy’s latest title reads like a real-time chronicle. Fusing gripping fiction with solid fact, ‘Come from Away’ documents a plausible attempt by German forces to bring down the United Kingdom’s iconic war-time Prime Minister.


Columbus, OH -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/06/2013 -- Set during a hugely-significant period of world history, J.F. Leahy’s latest novel could easily be confused for a work of non-fiction. B readers around the world are being gripped by a story that documents the great lengths Germany went to in order to decrypt transatlantic voice circuits and to hamper British and United States efforts during World War II.

Based upon close reference to actual events, ‘Come From Away: The Plot to Assassinate Churchill – 1941’ is a chilling reminder of what could have happened during those fateful years.


British contributions to the successful decryption of German Enigma messages at Bletchley Park and elsewhere during World War II are well known. Lesser known, but of equal importance, were German achievements in decrypting ‘secure’ transatlantic voice circuits between the White House and Whitehall.

In August 1941, to develop strategy for a post-war world, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill first met aboard warships at Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. Guarded references to the proposed meeting had been intercepted, and the German High Command had ordered that the meeting be prevented or disrupted at all costs.

J. F. (Jack) Leahy recounts events leading to the historic meeting, especially the morning of Sunday, August 10, 1941, when the two leaders met aboard HMS Prince of Wales.

The framework of this narrative relates events as they are recorded by contemporaneous accounts or in scholarly research. The novel incorporates a fictionalized overlay as the story unfolds through many perspectives: that of the President and the Prime Minister, as well as the German High Command and the U-boat crews deployed to intercept HMS Prince of Wales en route. It focuses upon Navy Radioman Tim Hannigan, who inadvertently and with limited support from his superiors intercepted vital communications between German coast watchers and saboteurs landed on the island’s south coast.

Fleet Admiral William (Bull) Halsey remarked after the war: “There are no great men. There are only ordinary men, such as you and I, who are forced by circumstances to overcome great challenges. There are no great men".

This is the story of such ordinary men and women, of both the Allied and Axis forces, and their efforts to overcome extraordinary challenges at a critical “hinge point” of modern history.

As the author explains, his novel intends to blur the fine line between fact and fiction.

“While this is a work of fiction, it has been thoroughly researched, both in contemporaneous reporting and through scholarly research,” says Leahy, a retired university professor and college Vice-President.

He continues, “The book ‘reads like’ a work of non-fiction, with detailed references to other works, a large glossary, and other elements common to that genre.”

Boasting twenty-six black and white photographs and eleven maps and navigation charts, it is easy to see why reading the book is an all-consuming and highly-believable experience.

While it has only just been released, demand for the book is steadily growing. Therefore, interested readers are urged to purchase their copy as soon as possible.

‘Come From Away: The Plot to Assassinate Churchill – 1941’, published by Naval Writers Group, is available from Amazon: http://amzn.to/14tmryU

About the Author: J.F. (Jack) Leahy
J.F. (Jack) Leahy is a noted writer on naval topics, and is author of Honor, Courage, Commitment – Navy Boot Camp; (Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 2002); Ask The Chief – Backbone of the Navy, (Naval Institute Press, 2004) and co-author, with former Master Chief Petty of the Navy John Hagan, of The Chief Petty Officer’s Guide. (Naval Institute Press, 2004).

He also edited and assisted the author of Lost at Sea–An Enlisted Woman’s Journey (with Rebecca Anne Freeman). A former Navy radioman himself; after completing his graduate education as a civilian he spent over thirty years in the intelligence community and telecommunications industry. During 1972-75 he served as station manager at an intelligence gathering and processing detachment within the U.S. Naval Facility (NavFac) aboard Naval Station, Argentia Newfoundland, the site of the 1941 Atlantic Charter Conference.

In 2001 he became a professor of business in the Ross School of Leadership and Management at Franklin University, and in 2006 was appointed Associate Vice President of the Pontifical College Josephinum, a Roman Catholic seminary in Columbus, Ohio.