|SP||20040110||20100522||Mark McDonnell and Steven Mcnicoll's dramatisation of Leonard Wibberley's famous comic novel.|
It is 1956, and the Cold War is at its chilliest.
But one European country is blissfully detached from the struggles of the Super Powers.
The Duchy of Grand Fenwick and is just five miles long and three miles wide.
Under the benign rule of Grand Duchess Gloriana it is a rural idyll almost untouched by the twentieth century, and happy to remain so.
But its economy is entirely dependent on the export of a famously exquisite wine.
So when this vital trade is threatened by an unscrupulous foreign rival, it's time for action.
Gloriana - a wise head on young shoulders - proposes a solution long recognised as acceptable to all nations - that is, to declare war on their much richer enemy, lose, then sit back and wait for the inevitable billions in post-war aid to roll in.
So, led by the valiant Tully Bascomb, the twenty men-at-arms that make up the army of Grand Fenwick strap on their chain mail, dust off their longbows, and set sail to wage a deliberately hopeless war on...
the United States of America.
The only problem is that no one has told Tully that he's meant to lose - and as a result of his remarkable escapades, Gloriana bizarrely finds herself the most powerful political leader in Europe...
Leonard Wibberley (1915-1983) was a prolific author and journalist.
He wrote over fifty books for children, and several historical novels.
But he is best remembered for The Mouse That Roared, first serialised in the Saturday Evening Post in 1954.
By Leonard Wibberley.
The tiny country of Grand Fenwick is forced to declare war on the US