As a young man Winston Churchill set out to become a hero, to make a name for himself in the public eye as a soldier and so make possible a life of politics and statesmanship. There were many chances to fail and many close calls in the face of sword, spear and bullet along the way. Yet Churchill survived and succeeded – an early measure of his courage and stubborn will that the world would come to know so well in the Second World War. This is the first full-length, fully-researched biography of Churchill's colourful military career. Using an unrivalled range of sources, and with previously unpublished photographs, and detailed maps by Sir Martin Gilbert, it brings to life Churchill's motives, abilities, experiences, successes and failures, and his unswerving sense of destiny as an officer in the British Army. The result is a story to echo the man himself – rich in action, courage, charismatic self-belief, patriotism and humour. Making extensive use of the contemporary accounts of Churchill and his fellow soldiers and archival documents from three continents, illustrated with many maps and previously unpublished photographs, Douglas S. Russell vividly brings to life the military career of the vigorous young officer of hussars who later became the greatest Briton of the twentieth century. From Sandhurst to the mountainous North-West Frontier of India, to the charge of the 21st Lancers at Omdurman, from the South African veldt to the deadly trench warfare of the Great War, the author – whom Sir Martin Gilbert calls 'a keen portraitist' – tells the gripping story of Churchill's army life with careful attention to historical detail and all the drama that the real life adventures of his subject deserve.