June 1942. In the British Army’s headlong retreat from Libya, a British straggler, Corporal John Bramble, stumbles into a small town and finds shelter in the town’s (guestless) hotel. He has hardly arrived when the German Afrika Corps pours into the town and commandeers the hotel as the headquarters of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel. Bramble manages to pass himself off as a waiter who was a German spy. With the Germans’ confidence gained he has thoughts of assassinating Rommel but his cover may have an even better use.