1935: Harry Jardine is a soldier of fortune. Forced to flee Hamburg after helping Jews escape Nazi Germany, he is recruited by a secretive British committee to smuggle guns from Rumania into Abyssinia, under threat of Italian invasion.
Taken to the Horn of Africa, the guns are transported over the harsh landscape, a slave trader's route full of danger, into the hands of the Ethiopian Army.
On his travels Jardine acquires more baggage than he cares for, including a beautiful, but difficult, American female in search of her archaeologist mother, a drunken British reporter and a daredevil French flyer. But the Ethiopians are ill-equipped to face a modern Italian army using tanks, bombers, and poison gas.
Trained for war, can Jardine just walk away? Or will he be drawn into a bloody conflict against massive odds, and still save those who now depend on him?