Defiant Courage: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance

( 3 )

Overview

"I remember reading We Die Alone in 1970 and I could never forget it. Then, when we went to Norway to do a docudrama, people told us again and again that certain parts were pure fiction. Since I was a Norwegian, that was not good enough; I had to find the truth. I sincerely believe we did," writes author Astrid Karlsen Scott of her and co-author Dr. Tore Haug's Defiant Courage, the complete and astounding story of Jan Baalsrud and the people who helped him escape from the Gestapo.

In late March 1943, four ...

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Defiant Courage: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance

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Overview

"I remember reading We Die Alone in 1970 and I could never forget it. Then, when we went to Norway to do a docudrama, people told us again and again that certain parts were pure fiction. Since I was a Norwegian, that was not good enough; I had to find the truth. I sincerely believe we did," writes author Astrid Karlsen Scott of her and co-author Dr. Tore Haug's Defiant Courage, the complete and astounding story of Jan Baalsrud and the people who helped him escape from the Gestapo.

In late March 1943, four Norwegian saboteurs arrived in northern Norway on a fishing cutter and set anchor in peaceful Toftefjord. They were sent to establish a base for sabotage operations against the Germans, with the eventual goal of liberating occupied Norway. However, the four men were betrayed and a German boat attacked the cutter, turning the quiet fjord into a killing field. Only one man survived the attack, Jan Baalsrud. Wounded, the dauntless soldier swam icy fjords, climbed snowy peaks, endured violent snowstorms, suffered snow blindness and frostbite, and self-amputated a few of his toes due to gangrene-all while trying to flee the Gestapo. Though he possessed raw courage and an iron will, Baalsrud ultimately relied on more than sixty people of the Troms District, who risked their lives to help him to safety. For anyone who has read We Die Alone, the classic book about Baalsrud, and for those new to the heroic story, Defiant Courage brings forth the whole truth behind this edge-of-your-seat, real-life survival story.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616081607
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Astrid Karlsen Scott first became acquainted with Jan Baalsrud’s story in 1970. In 1997, she began serious investigation of the details of the story. Scott has returned to Norway eight times in a period of three years in her efforts to find the truth. She met Dr. Tore Haug in 1997; they decided to combine their work and made many joint and separate trips to the Troms District to research this book. To gain a complete understanding of this magnificent drama, the coauthors explored the sites where the events took place, hiking up mountains and examining landmarks. Scott and Dr. Haug also met and interviewed all the survivors who helped Jan or who were indirectly involved and had knowledge of his story. Astrid, a native of Norway, is internationally known for her books on Norwegian culture. Her award-winning video, Christmas in Norway, has been shown on television in the United States and in Europe. She is also president of Nordic Adventure, a company dedicated to the promotion of Norwegian culture. She and her husband, Melvin McCabe Scott, Jr., live in Olympia, Washington. They have three children and thirteen grandchildren.

Dr. Tore Haug is a second cousin of Jan Baalsrud. He has been fascinated with Baalsrud's escape story since meeting Jan once as a boy in 1956. In 1995, after much research, he traveled with his family to the Troms District in northern Norway to further investigate Jan’s story. He found many people whose efforts on Jan’s behalf had not been acknowledged in previous accounts. Dr. Haug wanted to accurately tell the entire story of Jan and his incredible escape from the Gestapo, and of the undaunted courage of his many benefactors. Today, he is the person who knows the story better than anyone else in Norway. Haug is an M.D., a specialized general practitioner with a private practice in Norway. He studied and received his medical degree from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. He has practiced medicine in Germany and Norway, and is fluent in German, Norwegian, and English. In 1976, Dr. Haug obtained his professional pilot’s license in the United States and Norway and flew as an executive pilot for five years. He and his wife, Wenche, live in Jessheim, Norway, with their daughter, Carolin.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7

Introduction 11

Norway at War 14

At Anchor in Scalloway 15

M/K Brattholm 19

The Convoys 23

The Linge Company 27

Fearless Men 29

Crossing the Atlantic 35

I Won't Tell a Soul 41

A Tragic Decision 47

Battle in Toftefjord 53

Explosion 59

Courage That Defied Death 65

Vårøna Island 71

The Gestapo Brings Terror 79

A Sickening Fear 83

A Warm Welcome on Hersøn Island 85

Tromsø Happenings 89

Fate of the Brattholm Men 91

A Triumphant Find 105

The Helpful Midwife 111

Karanes 117

Dåfjord 123

Down from the Mountains 129

Bjørnskar 135

Einar and Bernhard 143

Løvli 149

A Narrow Escape 159

Alone in the Mountains 163

Storm in Lyngsdalen Valley 167

Loving Hands 173

In the Hanloft 181

Busy Days on Grønvoll Farm 187

A Tender Farewell 193

Hotel Savoy 201

Happenings in Lofoten Islands 211

Gearing up for Revdal 213

On the other Side of the Fjord 219

Pushed to the Brink 225

The Manndalen Men 245

Grave Concerns for Jan 251

Peder and Nigo Find the Snow Cave 263

Jan's Solitude 269

Rescued from the Snow Cave 271

Beneath the Sky in Avzevaggi 277

The Spirit of the Sami 281

At Cross Purposes 287

Concealed in a Cave in Skaidijonni 301

The Sheriff's Assistants 311

Do Not Ask Me This 317

The Germans in Pursuit 321

En Route to Freedom 325

Epilogue 335

Maps 340

Sources 361

About the Authors 366

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2015

    I brought this book in hardcover about a dozen years ago.  I cou

    I brought this book in hardcover about a dozen years ago.  I could not put it down.  
    I have loaned it to family and friends and they had the same reaction.  What a brave man who
    suffered though difficult times.  She also is the author of another Norweign patriot entitled Silent
    Patroit.  I would highly recommend both books

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 28, 2014

    One Man's Story of Exceptional Bravery in Norway's Resistance to Nazis Should Not be Overlooked

    The authors knew the story had to be told...and they decided to leave nothing out of the written account. They trekked through Norway's fjords and mountains to experience their hero's ordeal themselves. When all in his spy ship were caught and slaughtered by vengeful Gestapo men, he moved on with the help of patriotic Norwegians and Sami people to finally get to Sweden to tell the whole story of Nazi actions and the kindness of many to hide him, feed him, care for his wounds, and see him safely across the border with rifles crackling after them and his rescuers. It was arduous, but the passion of his love for freedom was and still is inspiring even though none of us would wish to endure it.
    It's a daring story of conquered people demonstrating that though the nation may be occupied by ignoble Nazis their hearts were still immersed in "Ja Vi Elske detted Landet," Yes, we love this land...Norway!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2014

    Good Book

    It was interesting and I enjoyed it, but a little 'draggy'. If you are interested in the Norwegian fight against Nazism, it will cup of tea.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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