The Shetland Bus: A WWII Epic of Escape, Survival, and Adventure

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Overview

The occupation of Western Europe and Scandinavia in the spring of 1940 crippled Britain's ability to gather intelligence information. After the Germans invaded Norway, many Norwegians knew that small boats were constantly sailing from the Shetland Islands to land weapons, supplies, and agents and to rescue refugees. In The Shetland Bus, David Howarth, who was second in command of the Shetland base, recounts the hundreds of trips made by fishing boats in the dark of Arctic winter to resist the Nazi onslaught. For ...
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The Shetland Bus is the amazing true-life account of storms, attacks, danger, and the heroic efforts of brave men. The occupation of Western Europe and Scandinavia in the spring ... of 1940 crippled Britain's ability to gather intelligence information. After the Germans invaded Norway, many Norwegians knew that small boats were constantly sailing from the Shetland Islands to land weapons, supplies, and agents and to rescue refugees. In this book, David Howarth, who was second in command of the Shetland base, recounts hundreds of trips made by fishing boats in the dark of Arctic winter to resist the Nazi onslaught. For the Norwegians who remained in Norway, The Shetland Bus fortified them both physically and spiritually. Nothing but war would have made seamen attempt such dangerous journeys, some stretching two thousand miles long and lasting as long as three weeks in boats fifty to seventy-five feet long. Fishing boats crossing the North Sea were sometimes attacked and sunk in minutes, hundreds of miles from a friendly ship or shore. But to "take the Shetland Bus" meant escape when capture became the only other option. 220 pages including an index, black & white photos. 5 1/2" x 8 1/4 Read more Show Less

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The Shetland Bus: A WWII Epic of Escape, Survival, and Adventure

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Overview

The occupation of Western Europe and Scandinavia in the spring of 1940 crippled Britain's ability to gather intelligence information. After the Germans invaded Norway, many Norwegians knew that small boats were constantly sailing from the Shetland Islands to land weapons, supplies, and agents and to rescue refugees. In The Shetland Bus, David Howarth, who was second in command of the Shetland base, recounts the hundreds of trips made by fishing boats in the dark of Arctic winter to resist the Nazi onslaught. For the Norwegians who remained in Norway, The Shetland Bus fortified them both physically and spiritually.Nothing but war would have made seamen attempt such dangerous journeys. Some stretched two thousand miles in length and lasted as long as three weeks in boats only fifty to seventy-five feet long. Fishing boats crossing the North Sea were sometimes attacked and sunk in minutes, hundreds of miles from a friendly ship or shore. Their crews had no hope of being saved. But to "take the Shetland Bus" meant escape when capture became the only other option. The Shetland Bus is the amazing true-life account of storms, attacks, danger, and the heroic efforts of brave men. (5 1/2 X 8 1/4, 248 pages, b&w photos, maps)
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Released in 1951 and 1957, respectively, these titles offer little-known chapters in the history of World War II. Sledge Patrol tells how a handful of Danes and Norwegians on dog sleds patrolled a 500-mile perimeter of the Greenland coast to keep watch for Nazi invaders. When the day came, the men eluded the Germans using their hunting skills and knowledge of the Arctic terrain and managed to get back to base by walking the 56 miles without any equipment in some cases not even coats to bring word of the German presence. The "Shetland Bus" was the nickname given to the Norwegian fishing fleet, which was used to shuttle refugees secretly to freedom and bring supplies and intelligence to the Allied forces. Howarth, a British naval officer, was among the leaders of the Shetland Bus operation, so this history is based on firsthand experience. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher

“One of the best adventure stories to come out of any war . . . a story of heroism and high endeavor upon the sea.” –The New York Times Book Review

“Mr. Howarth does an especially good job of describing, without any heroics, the vicissitudes undergone by the survivors of these expeditions, many of whom managed to fight their way out of Norway and to freedom.” –The New Yorker

“One after another of Howarth’s stories shows the skill, hardihood, and sheer courage of his men.” –Chicago Tribune

“For many of us the stories of Beowulf and Siegfried were required reading, but here in this modern saga are tales of resourcefulness, discipline, character and heroism which match the courage of those legendary heroes and excel them by their impulsion of patriotism and brotherly love.” –Christian Science Monitor

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585742882
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2001
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 5.55 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

David Howarth served as a British naval officer during World War II, running the Norwegian-mannered spy ring whose name became the title of his first best-selling book. The author of two dozen majoy works of history, including We Die Alone and The Shetland Bus, also available from The Lyons Press, he died in 1991.

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Table of Contents

1 The Beginning of a Saga 1
2 Across to Norway 20
3 Air Attack 38
4 Shipwreck 46
5 Domestic Affairs 60
6 Storm 68
7 Two Skippers 78
8 Raid on Lofoten 87
9 Life at Lunna 95
10 Summer Refit 118
11 Big Game 134
12 Successes and Tragedies 163
13 Man-hunt in Lapland 172
14 The Loss of the Bergholm 192
15 Epilogue 207
Index 217
Maps
General map showing Shetland in relation to Norway 22
Map of More district of Norway showing routes of several of the main operations 158
Baalsrud's escape route from Toftefjord to Sweden 182
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2004

    My Brother died on the Shetland Bus

    I have not read this book yet. I read an account of my brothers death in a Norwegian newspaper article just recently--what a story! I am eager to get this book and read what they went through. The intent of the seven young men on this particular journey was to join the British to fight the German presence in Norway and Europe.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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