The central figure of Hero on Three Continents is Sir Henry Brown, born 1901, into a prominent Anglo-Jewish family. Henry's two elder brothers were killed in action on the Western Front during World War I, an experience that had an immeasurable impact on young Henry.
After leaving Eton in 1919, Henry, too young for military service in the Great War, took a first-class honors degree in oriental languages at Oxford University. He then pursued a military career at Sandhurst, and afterwards served on the staff of Lord Reading, Viceroy in India. While in India in 1926, he married Henrietta, the younger daughter of the 11th Duke of Shropshire.
After service in India, Henry was posted to Kenya and was awarded the Military Cross for a heroic defusement of explosives in the African hillside. He served in the War Office and as an instructor at England's famed military academy, Sandhurst, until he was posted to Berlin in 1935 as military attaché, under the covert direction of Winston Churchill, Chaim Weizmann, and the Marquess of Reading.
This was a difficult assignment -- to say the least, for a Jew during Hitler's rise in Germany. He witnessed contagious anti-Semitism after the implementation of the Nuremberg Laws. His wife threw herself enthusiastically into the upper echelons of the Nazi hierarchy, greatly influenced by the force of its propaganda and ideology. In her efforts to foster a better understanding between Nazi Germany and England, and encouraged by her German friends and British sympathizers, such as Sir Oswald and Lady Mosley and Unity Mitford, she distanced herself from her husband. This culminated with her affair with a senior member of the German Foreign Office. Henry Brown and his wife separated, She remained in Germany with their two children. Brown, at his own request, was transferred to the British Embassy in Paris.
Upon the outbreak of the Second World War, Henry re-joined his regiment and saw active service in North Africa and Sicily. He was badly injured in de-fusing a mine in Sicily, for which he was awarded the George Medal. After the war, he stood successfully for parliament. A resurgence of anti-Semitism erupted and, after being insulted in the House of Commons and accused of dual loyalties, Brown resigned as a member of parliament, but not before a climactic parliamentary showdown, featuring impassioned speeches from many members including Churchill - and then the subsequent suicide of Henry's main accuser.
Henry traveled to the fledgling State of Israel, where he offered his services to David Ben-Gurion, first prime minister, and was appointed a military advisor, specializing in explosives. He became an Israeli citizen, and was appointed general in the Israeli Defense Corps. After serving in the Suez Campaign in 1956, he was appointed the Israeli Ambassador to the Court of St. James. As an old Etonian, Oxford graduate, retired British brigadier and former parliamentarian, he was able to re-enter British society with ease and assisted in fostering close political, business, and military ties between England and the State of Israel.
In 1963, Brown re-married, and was transferred to the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC where he served as ambassador during the tense, hectic negotiations of the six day war of 1967. He retired from the Israeli Foreign Office in 1971, the same year his second wife died. He chose to remain in the United States and was appointed to the boards of several major Fortune 500 Companies. He became a personal friend and advisor to the president of the United States.
While dining privately one evening with the president at the White House, the president was interrupted during dinner. He was advised by telephone that the Kuwaiti embassy in Washington DC had been taken over that evening by Palestinian terrorists who had infiltrated the building. The terrorists were holding the Kuwaiti ambassador and his dinn