Arthur Tedder became one of the most eminent figures of the Second World War: first as head of Anglo-American air forces in the Middle East, the Mediterranean and North Africa; then as Deputy Supreme Commander to General Eisenhower for the Allied campaign that began in Normandy and ended in Berlin. During those anxious, exhilarating years, he was, as The Times of London wrote, 'the most unstuffy of great commanders, who could be found sitting cross-legged, jacketless, pipe smoldering, answering questions on a desert airstrip.' After the war, promoted to five-star rank and elevated to the peerage as Lord Tedder, he was made Chief of the Air Staff, holding this appointment for longer than anyone since his time: four critical years (from 1946 to 1949) that saw the tragic start of the Cold War and the inspiring achievement of the Berlin Airlift. In 1950, he became Britain's NATO representative in Washington: a year that saw the start of a hot war in Korea that threatened to spread around the globe.
In 'retirement', Tedder served as Chancellor of Cambridge University, Vice-Chairman of the British Broadcasting Corporation's Board of Governors and Chairman of the Standard Motor Company. He also famously produced one of the most valuable memoirs of the Second World War. This book provides the first comprehensive account of a great commander's public career and uses hundreds of family letters to portray a private life, both joyful and tragic.