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

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


By (author) David Howarth

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  • Publisher: The Lyons Press
  • Format: Paperback | 248 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 18mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 17 June 2008
  • Publication City/Country: Guilford
  • ISBN 10: 1599213214
  • ISBN 13: 9781599213217
  • Edition: 1
  • Illustrations note: maps, black & white plates
  • Sales rank: 121,799

Product description

The Shetland Bus recounts the hundreds of crossings of small boats from the Shetland Islands to German-occupied Norway to supply arms to the Resistors and to rescue refugees-all under constant threat by German U-boats and winter storms.

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Author information

David Howarth ran a spy ring during World War II from which this book was derived. Mr. Howarth, who died in 1991, was the author of two dozen major books of history.

Review quote

"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

Back cover copy

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 as this dangerous operation became known 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."