For the story of how DW came to write his War Papers, see the introduction to this Room.
DW's first war paper was written in fourteen hours flat, and while Stringer's copy may have been caught up in red tape, the three copies DW sent to his friends brought quick appreciation. In particular, Balfour-Davey told DW that his paper would go before the Vice-Chief of the Imperial General Staff, and Sir Louis Greig invited him to lunch at the Dorchester, where he met Mr Renny, a Czech armaments manufacturer and Wing Commander (later Air Marshal Sir) Lawrence Darvall.
At the end of the lunch DW re-iterated that he was still effectively unemployed as far as war work was concerned, and asked if there was anything else he could do. The retort from Darvall was instant - 'Yes. Show us the other side of the picture. Go straight home. Consider yourself as the Nazi High Command, and produce a plan for the invasion of England.'
On his way home, DW stopped at Geographia in Fleet Street and bought two maps - one a physical map of Great Britain, and the other showing densities of population. He hung these up in his library in St John's Wood with a map of Western Europe. As he later recounted, he 'worked at dynamo speed, with only two comparatively short breaks, for forty- eight hours. To keep going I used up over two hundred cigarettes and three magnums of champagne'.
The result was a 15,000 word long paper called 'The Invasion and Conquest of Britain' which was again read by the 'top brass'.
'Stranger Than Fiction' Chapters 1 & 2.
'Drink and Ink' Chapters 18 & 19.
Phil Baker pp 398-402.
Craig Cabell p12 Chapters 4 & 5.
Tina Rosenberg Chapter 1