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Churchill's Queen (Book) - 2/17/2010 8:17:06 AM
Clydebank Post: Wednesday, 17th February, 2010 For Queen and Country The real-life daring maiden voyage of the Clydebank built Queen Elizabeth during the Second World War takes centre stage in a new adventure novel. Despite having undergone no sea trials, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill secretly ordered the ship to make the bold journey from Clydebank across the Atlantic in 1940, in a bid to outsmart German bombers. The gamble paid off and the Cunarder made it to New York where she was initiated into fully fledged war service. Now - almost 70 years since the voyage, which began on March 2 1940 - author Adrian Davidson is retelling the under-told story, with a few added twists and turns, in Churchill's Queen. Most of the novel is set in the Clydebank of 1940 and it links the ship's wartime beginnings to a theory about what caused the fire that destroyed the Queen Elizabeth in Hong Kong Harbour in 1972. Adrian, 54, who writes as AJ Davidson, told the Post: "Two agents from Germany come to Clydebank to destroy the ship in its fitting out basin and almost immediately things start to go wrong for them. "They are being hunted by military intelligence and have to find a new method of destroying the Queen because they lost their explosives early on. "When it was decided to take the Queen Elizabeth out of Clydebank, a lot of misinformation was sown in Clydebank about where she was going and German High Command was duped into believing she was sailing to Southampton. "A bomber squadron was sent to sink the Queen Elizabeth in Southampton but the ship wasn't there. "The captain didn't know about the plan until he opened his secret orders on the morning of departure." Adrian says the decision to risk a transatlantic crossing with a new ship showed Churchill's faith in Clydebank shipbuilding and Adrian tries to capture the quality of workmanship and the industrial power of the Clyde at this time. He spent five days in the town researching the novel and several years reading historical books and visiting maritime museums. The book is currently only available to download from www.amazon.com as a Kindle E-book which can be read on a computer or an electronic reader, but Adrian says it should be available in bookshops soon.

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