(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)
In August 1941 Churchill sailed on HMS Prince of Wales to Placentia Bay, Newfoundland where met with President Roosevelt. On his way, Churchill had a chance to do some recreational reading.
In Chasing Churchill: The Travels of Winston Churchill (Carroll & Graf, 2003), his granddaughter, Celia Sandys, says:
For relaxing reading, he had a copy of C. S. Forester’s naval adventure Captain Hornblower which had been given to him by Oliver Lyttelton, the Minister of State in Cairo.I hope you all have an admirable weekend and are back on Monday.
When radio restrictions were briefly lifted he sent Lyttelton the message: “Hornblower admirable.”
This caused consternation among the staff at Middle East Headquarters, who vainly searched their files for an operation code-named “Hornblower,” on which they thought they were being complimented. (p. 141)