It is mid-winter, 1943. Britain is gripped by intense cold and in the darkest days of the war. There is no escape from the conflict - it has snaked into every part of everyone's lives.
RAF officer Paget is heading home for Christmas on a train slowly dragging itself west, laden with the tanks and guns that will be taken across the Channel when the invasion begins. Sergeant Harris sits in a freezing hut on Salisbury Plain, wishing he can stop teaching green troops and see some real action. In the requisitioned Grange, Lieutenant Miller doesn't know how to celebrate Christmas so far away from his home in the United States; he wonders how the liberation plans afoot can ever succeed.
Each one is heading inexorably towards the beaches of France, where the great battle will begin and every man's fate be decided.