Interesting, engaging story of how a group of medical personnel, trapped in Albania behind enemy lines after their plane crashes, survives the cold and dangerous journey back to Allied territory. As the survivors trek through the mountains, I thought the author also gives a fairly interesting look at the culture clash between the Americans and the Albanians. There she met the man who would become her husband, groundbreaking cryptologist William Friedman. The government de-briefed the group once they were rescued, and were sworn to secrecy regarding the details of where they had been, what they had seen, and how they were saved. This is the story of the Americans' time behind enemy lines, trying to survive and make it to a viable rescue point. They were there that day. The survivors were told not to give details of their ordeal, and most never met again, after the rescue.
They wandered for months led by local partisans who risked their own safety from the Nazis. One of my favourite books so far this year. Because I am a retired nurse, a feminist the history of nursing in the military fascinated me. The 30 people on board had a grueling experience attempting to escape while evading Germans in a country they knew very little about. I listened with my driving companion while traveling on a long car trip and we both enjoyed it very much. The survivors were told not to give details of their ordeal, and most never met again, after the rescue. Albania was occupied by the Nazis at the time the American Medevac plane flew off course and crashed in 1943.
A drama that captured the attention of the American public, the group and its flight crew dodged bullets and battled blinding winter storms as they climbed mountains and fought to survive, aided by courageous villagers who risked death at Nazi hands to help them. Lineberry has does a great job of putting the story together based on interviews with the lone survivor, the families of survivors who have passed on, people in Albania who helped or who knew the helpers, and government archives and resources in the United States, England, and Albania. Facts only - no emotion, no character descriptions, no humanization. Army nurses and medics fighting to escape Nazi-occupied Europe. Not only did they have to dodge Nazi patrols and air attacks, they found themselves caught up in the middle of a civil war between two warring groups, in the mountainous terrain of Albania.
Her crew led the fleet from Pearl Harbor to the islands of Japan, notching an unbroken string of victories in an uncharted theater of war. While this is a story that is both fascinating and needed to be told, sometimes the authors writing styles comes off a little flat and impersonal. Not only did the squadron land in German-occupied Albanian territory, but the group soon realized they had become embroiled in a civil war. Clean as to language, sex and descriptive violence. You would think this true story would be an exciting read - but it wasn't. So the secret was kept by almost all involved for more than 40 years. That alone made the reading worth my time and I enjoyed it for what it was.
Emerging from their battered aircraft, the Americans found themselves in Albania, a country rife with chaos and danger. I Think it is interesting to know a bit of history of military nurses before you dive into the book. After Italy surrendered to the Allies in September, 1943, the Germans moved in, allowing the Albanians a measure of self-government while launching fierce reprisals against partisan Resistance fighters. German forced them to land in Nazi occupied Albania. This is a welcome documentation, exciting and detailed, of a small but forgotten victory within the larger one.
The reason he gives -- avoiding enemy partisans -- seems false. However, good as it is Lineberry's account lacks the immediacy that I felt was present in Mangerich's first-hand account. It's a good book - a great story, well researched and clearly written. It was a very enjoyable read and I have already recommended it to my family as well as to a number of my friends. It was pretty well-researched but executed poorly.
I found it well written and incredibly riveting as did my husband. It's the inclusion of so many women, though, that makes this story unique. The members of the medical team didn't even know where they were until approached by a local partisan fighter: they were in German-occupied Albania. They claimed it was to protect them from the Nazis, which was also a real threat. This is a welcome documentation, exciting and detailed, of a small but forgotten victory within the larger one. Then the tensions that already existed between the two main factions of the Albanian Resistance, both of whom wanted to control the country following the war, exploded into violence. American genealogist Jefferson Tayte is hired to find out what happened, but it soon becomes apparent that a calculated killer is out to stop him.
They wandered for months led by local partisans who risked their own safety from the Nazis. Any information that might have been shared could have seriously compromised the safety of the undercover agents in the area. I rarely give up on a book but this is one better left on the shelf. Honestly, I don't know how she made it so tedious. His name is on it! Women stuck in a country for months.
For months, they prayed desperately to be rescued while doing everything they could to survive. Some historians may take issue with the way the information and sources are presented, but because it was not written for historical research, I doubt there will be any serious complaints there. At one point they charge into a village where the Americans are staying, leaving most of them barely enough time to scramble out. I couldn't stop reading it. But, then once one of the partisans speak to them in English they realize they are some what safe.
It wasn't quite the gripping story promised by the write-up, but good book, amazing amount of research put into Interesting, engaging story of how a group of medical personnel, trapped in Albania behind enemy lines after their plane crashes, survives the cold and dangerous journey back to Allied territory. Lineberry's account, packed with detail, zips along nicely, becoming quite exciting nearer the end. Not only will you learn about the history of medical evacuation and aviation, but the use of Wow. When winter set in, they needed warmer coats which were hard to come by. At times, I felt that the absolute fear, frustration and experience of the group was minimized by the dry writing style. Green takes the listener inside the hidden emotional landscape of emergency medicine. They were then protected by villagers, and resistance fighters hiding them for months.