Autumn ’42, and the “special relationship” created by Churchill and President Roosevelt has been in existence for six months. Now FDR wants to invade France, to take the pressure off embattled Russia. Churchill thinks this will be a disaster for the British Army, which will field most of the invasion force, and suggests sending an all-American convoy to Russia bearing arms to support the hard-pressed Soviet Union.

Now the action centers on a minesweeper — the Black Swan — skippered by a broken-down, drunken RN officer, Scottish Lt Commander Donaldson. He and his untrained crew do their best to help their new US allies, but will this be enough to ensure that the fleet reaches the Russian port of Murmansk intact? And will the “special relationship” survive the outcome of this mission?