January 19, 2021

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The Winter Fortress

The Winter Fortress
Author : Neal Bascomb
Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date : 2016-05-03
Category : History
Total pages :384
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“Riveting and poignant . . . The Winter Fortress metamorphoses from engrossing history into a smashing thriller . . . Mr. Bascomb’s research and, especially, his storytelling skills are first-rate.”—The Wall Street Journal “Weaving together his typically intense research and a riveting narrative, Neal Bascomb’s The Winter Fortress is a spellbinding piece of historical writing.” — Martin Dugard, author of Into Africa and co-author of the Killing series In 1942, the Nazis were racing to complete the first atomic bomb. All they needed was a single, incredibly rare ingredient: heavy water, which was produced solely at Norway’s Vemork plant. Under threat of death, Vemork’s engineers pushed production into overdrive. If the Allies could not destroy the plant, they feared the Nazis would soon be in possession of the most dangerous weapon the world had ever seen. But how would the Allied forces reach the castle fortress, set on a precipitous gorge in one of the coldest, most inhospitable places on earth? Based on a trove of top-secret documents and never-before-seen diaries and letters of the saboteurs, The Winter Fortress is an arresting chronicle of a brilliant scientist, a band of spies on skis, perilous survival in the wild, Gestapo manhunts, and a last-minute operation that would alter the course of the war. “A taut and peerlessly told adventure story full of thrills, derring-do and heart-stopping tension.” — Seattle Times “Told with both historical and scientific accuracy . . . this book has rocketed into my pantheon of the top suspense-filled stories about [World War II], along with The 900 Days and The Colditz Story.” — Ethan Siegel, Forbes

The Winter Fortress

The Winter Fortress
Author : Neal Bascomb
Publisher : Head of Zeus
Release Date : 2016-05-05
Category : History
Total pages :400
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It's 1942 and the Nazis are racing to build an atomic bomb. They have the physicists, but they don't have enough 'heavy water' – essential for their nuclear designs. For two years, the Nazis have occupied Norway, and with it the Vemork hydroelectric plant, the world's sole supplier of heavy water. Under threat of death, its engineers push production into overtime. For the Allies, Vemork must be destroyed. But how could they reach the plant, high in a mountainous valley? The answer became the most dramatic commando raid of the war: the British SOE brought together a brilliant scientist and eleven refugee Norwegian commandos, who, with little more than parachutes, skis and tommy guns, would destroy Hitler's nuclear ambitions. Based on exhaustive research and never-before-seen diaries and letters, The Winter Fortress is a compulsively readable narrative about a group of young men who survived the cold of a Norwegian winter and evaded the clutches of the Gestapo, to save the world from destruction.

Sabotage

Sabotage
Author : Neal Bascomb
Publisher : Unknown
Release Date : 2019
Category : Atomic bomb
Total pages :307
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The invasion begins at night, with German cruisers slipping into harbor, and soon the Nazis occupy all of Norway. They station soldiers throughout the country. They institute martial rule. And at Vemork, an industrial fortress high above a dizzying gorge, they gain access to an essential ingredient for the weapon that could end World War II: Hitler's very own nuclear bomb. When the Allies discover the plans for the bomb, they agree Vemork must be destroyed. But after a British operation fails to stop the Nazis' deadly designs, the task falls to a band of young Norwegian commandos. Armed with little more than skis, explosives, and great courage, they will survive months in the snowy wilderness, elude a huge manhunt, and execute two dangerous missions. The result? The greatest act of sabotage in all of World War II.

Hunting Eichmann

Hunting Eichmann
Author : Neal Bascomb
Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date : 2010-04-20
Category : History
Total pages :400
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Hunting Eichmann is the first complete narrative of a relentless and harrowing international manhunt. When the Allies stormed Berlin in the last days of the Third Reich, Adolf Eichmann shed his SS uniform and vanished. Following his escape from two American POW camps, his retreat into the mountains and out of Europe, and his path to an anonymous life in Buenos Aires, his pursuers are a bulldog West German prosecutor, a blind Argentinean Jew and his beautiful daughter, and a budding, ragtag spy agency called the Mossad, whose operatives have their own scores to settle (and whose rare surveillance photographs are published here for the first time). The capture of Eichmann and the efforts by Israeli agents to secret him out of Argentina to stand trial is the stunning conclusion to this thrilling historical account, told with the kind of pulse-pounding detail that rivals anything you'd find in great spy fiction.

Faster

Faster
Author : Neal Bascomb
Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date : 2020-03-17
Category : History
Total pages :368
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For fans of The Boys in the Boat and In the Garden of Beasts, a pulse-pounding tale of triumph by an improbable team of upstarts over Hitler’s fearsome Silver Arrows during the golden age of auto racing. They were the unlikeliest of heroes. Rene Dreyfus, a former top driver on the international racecar circuit, had been banned from the best European teams—and fastest cars—by the mid-1930s because of his Jewish heritage. Charles Weiffenbach, head of the down-on-its-luck automaker Delahaye, was desperately trying to save his company as the world teetered toward the brink. And Lucy Schell, the adventurous daughter of an American multi-millionaire, yearned to reclaim the glory of her rally-driving days. As Nazi Germany launched its campaign of racial terror and pushed the world toward war, these three misfits banded together to challenge Hitler’s dominance at the apex of motorsport: the Grand Prix. Their quest for redemption culminated in a remarkable race that is still talked about in racing circles to this day—but which, soon after it ended, Hitler attempted to completely erase from history. Bringing to life this glamorous era and the sport that defined it, Faster chronicles one of the most inspiring, death-defying upsets of all time: a symbolic blow against the Nazis during history’s darkest hour.

The Fortress

The Fortress
Author : Alexander Watson
Publisher : Penguin UK
Release Date : 2019-10-17
Category : History
Total pages :368
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE GILDER LEHRMAN PRIZE FOR MILITARY HISTORY AND THE BRITISH ARMY MILITARY BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD A BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019, AND FINANCIAL TIMES BOOK OF THE SUMMER 2020 'A masterpiece. It deserves to become a classic of military history' Lawrence James, The Times 'If you read one military history book this year, make it Alexander Watson's The Fortress' Tony Barber, Financial Times From the prize-winning author of Ring of Steel, a gripping history of the First World War's longest and most terrible siege In the autumn of 1914 Europe was at war. The battling powers had already suffered casualties on a scale previously unimaginable. On both the Western and Eastern fronts elaborate war plans lay in ruins and had been discarded in favour of desperate improvisation. In the West this resulted in the remorseless world of the trenches; in the East all eyes were focused on the old, beleaguered Austro-Hungarian fortress of Przemysl. The siege that unfolded at Przemysl was the longest of the whole war. In the defence of the fortress and the struggle to relieve it Austria-Hungary suffered some 800,000 casualties. Almost unknown in the West, this was one of the great turning points of the conflict. If the Russians had broken through they could have invaded Central Europe, but by the time the fortress fell their strength was so sapped they could go no further. Alexander Watson, prize-winning author of Ring of Steel, has written one of the great epics of the First World War. Comparable to Stalingrad in 1942-3, Przemysl shaped the course of Europe's future. Neither Russians nor Austro-Hungarians ever recovered militarily from their disasters. Using a huge range of sources, Watson brilliantly recreates a world of long-gone empires, broken armies and a cut-off community sliding into chaos. The siege was central to the war itself, but also a chilling harbinger of what would engulf the entire region in the coming decades, as nationalism, anti-semitism and an exterminatory fury took hold.

The Real Heroes of Telemark

The Real Heroes of Telemark
Author : Raymond Mears
Publisher : Unknown
Release Date : 2004
Category : World War, 1939-1945
Total pages :274
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Sixty years ago, four men parachuted onto a Norwegian glacier, carrying only the most basic equipment. Their mission was to prevent the Nazi regime from building an atomic bomb. Now wilderness expert Ray Mears tells the true story of this gruelling campaign, showing how these men's ability to survive in extreme conditions influenced the outcome of the Second World War. The Telemark campaign was an example of the bravery and skill of the SOE trainees. The Norwegians transformed a military disaster into a triumph. This book tells the full story for the first time.

Her Finest Hour

Her Finest Hour
Author : Gabrielle McDonald-Rothwell
Publisher : Amberley Publishing Limited
Release Date : 2017-04-15
Category : Political Science
Total pages :336
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The untold story of the female British secret agent forgotten by history.

Red Mutiny

Red Mutiny
Author : Neal Bascomb
Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date : 2008-05-06
Category : History
Total pages :400
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In 1905 more than seven hundred Russian sailors mutinied against their officers aboard the battleship Potemkin, one of the most powerful battleships in the world. Led by the charismatic firebrand Matyushenko, they risked their lives to take control of their ship and fly the red flag of revolution. What followed was a violent port-to-port chase that spanned eleven harrowing days and came to symbolize the Russian Revolution itself. This pulse-pounding story alternates between the opulent court of Nicholas II and the drama on the high seas. Neal Bascomb combines extensive research and fresh information from Soviet archives to tell the true story of the deadliest naval mutiny in history. Red Mutiny is a terrific adventure filled with epic naval battles, heroic sacrifices, treachery, bloodlust, and the rallying cries of freedom.

The Perfect Mile

The Perfect Mile
Author : Neal Bascomb
Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date : 2005-04-06
Category : Sports & Recreation
Total pages :336
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There was a time when running the mile in four minutes was believed to be beyond the limits of human foot speed, and in all of sport it was the elusive holy grail. In 1952, after suffering defeat at the Helsinki Olympics, three world-class runners each set out to break this barrier. Roger Bannister was a young English medical student who epitomized the ideal of the amateur — still driven not just by winning but by the nobility of the pursuit. John Landy was the privileged son of a genteel Australian family, who as a boy preferred butterfly collecting to running but who trained relentlessly in an almost spiritual attempt to shape his body to this singular task. Then there was Wes Santee, the swaggering American, a Kansas farm boy and natural athlete who believed he was just plain better than everybody else. Spanning three continents and defying the odds, their collective quest captivated the world and stole headlines from the Korean War, the atomic race, and such legendary figures as Edmund Hillary, Willie Mays, Native Dancer, and Ben Hogan. In the tradition of Seabiscuit and Chariots of Fire, Neal Bascomb delivers a breathtaking story of unlikely heroes and leaves us with a lasting portrait of the twilight years of the golden age of sport.

The Escape Artists

The Escape Artists
Author : Neal Bascomb
Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date : 2018-09-18
Category : History
Total pages :385
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This “fast-paced account” of WWI airmen who escaped Germany’s most notorious POW camp is “expertly narrated” by the New York Times bestselling author (Kirkus, starred review). During World War I, Allied soldiers might avoid death only to find themselves in the abominable conditions of Germany’s many prison camps. The most infamous was Holzminden, a land-locked Alcatraz that housed the most escape-prone officers. Its commandant was a boorish tyrant named Karl Niemeyer, who swore that none should ever leave. Desperate to break out of “Hellminden”, a group of Allied prisoners hatch an audacious escape plan that requires a risky feat of engineering as well as a bevy of disguises, forged documents, and fake walls—not to mention steely resolve and total secrecy. Once beyond the watchtowers and round-the-clock patrols, they are then faced with a 150-mile dash through enemy-occupied territory toward free Holland. Drawing on never-before-seen memoirs and letters, historian Neal Bascomb “has unearthed a remarkable piece of hidden history, and told it perfectly. The story brims with adventure, suspense, daring, and heroism” (David Grann, New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon).

The Mannerheim Line 1920–39

The Mannerheim Line 1920–39
Author : Bair Irincheev
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date : 2013-05-20
Category : History
Total pages :64
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In the wake of the bloody civil war that followed Finland's independence from Russia in 1917, the border between the two countries was established across the Karelian Isthmus, an area long fought over by Russia, Finland and Sweden in their attempts to dominate the northern tip of Europe. Neither the Soviets nor the Finnish were comfortable with such a divide which was only 32km from the military and industrial city of Petrograd. As such, both sides began an intensive period of fortification and defensive planning. As the Winter War broke out in November 1939, the complex and heavily defended Mannerheim Line suffered intense bombardment. The armistice of 1940 saw Finland cede control of the entire Karelian Isthmus to the USSR, and a propaganda war ensued. Through an analysis of the background, and operational history of the Mannerheim Line, Bair Irincheev attempts to dispel such myths and provide an accurate assessment of its huge historical importance.

The Nazi Hunters

The Nazi Hunters
Author : Neal Bascomb
Publisher : Scholastic Inc.
Release Date : 2013-08-27
Category : Juvenile Nonfiction
Total pages :256
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In 1945, at the end of World War II, Adolf Eichmann, the head of operations for the Nazis' Final Solution, walked into the mountains of Germany and vanished from view. Sixteen years later, an elite team of spies captured him at a bus stop in Argentina and smuggled him to Israel, resulting in one of the century's most important trials -- one that cemented the Holocaust in the public imagination. THE NAZI HUNTERS is the thrilling and fascinating story of what happened between these two events. Survivor Simon Wiesenthal opened Eichmann's case; a blind Argentinean and his teenage daughter provided crucial information. Finally, the Israeli spies -- many of whom lost family in the Holocaust -- embarked on their daring mission, recounted here in full. Based on the adult bestseller HUNTING EICHMANN, which is now in development as a major film, and illustrated with powerful photos throughout, THE NAZI HUNTERS is a can't-miss work of narrative nonfiction for middle-grade and YA readers.

Heroes of Telemark

Heroes of Telemark
Author : David Greentree
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date : 2018-11-29
Category : History
Total pages :80
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In May 1941, the Norwegian Section of SOE received a dossier warning of the dangers of a hydroelectric fertiliser plant in Norway. Vemork produced heavy water, an essential part of making plutonium for nuclear weapons. When the Germans overran Norway the entire stock had been smuggled out of the country, but the plant was intact and soon producing heavy water again, destined for the German nuclear programme. Despite the difficulties of getting to and operating in such a remote, hostile area, SOE decided it had to destroy the plant. Six ski-borne commandos had the task of slipping past 300 heavily armed guards and passing through a ravine the Germans thought impassable. Fully illustrated with stunning new commissioned artwork, this is the thrilling story of the daring Norwegian-led SOE raid that prevented Hitler from building an atomic bomb.

Return to the Reich

Return to the Reich
Author : Eric Lichtblau
Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date : 2019-10-15
Category : History
Total pages :304
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The remarkable story of Fred Mayer, a German-born Jew who escaped Nazi Germany only to return as an American commando on a secret mission behind enemy lines. Growing up in Germany, Freddy Mayer witnessed the Nazis' rise to power. When he was sixteen, his family made the decision to flee to the United States—they were among the last German Jews to escape, in 1938. In America, Freddy tried enlisting the day after Pearl Harbor, only to be rejected as an “enemy alien” because he was German. He was soon recruited to the OSS, the country’s first spy outfit before the CIA. Freddy, joined by Dutch Jewish refugee Hans Wynberg and Nazi defector Franz Weber, parachuted into Austria as the leader of Operation Greenup, meant to deter Hitler’s last stand. He posed as a Nazi officer and a French POW for months, dispatching reports to the OSS via Hans, holed up with a radio in a nearby attic. The reports contained a goldmine of information, provided key intelligence about the Battle of the Bulge, and allowed the Allies to bomb twenty Nazi trains. On the verge of the Allied victory, Freddy was captured by the Gestapo and tortured and waterboarded for days. Remarkably, he persuaded the Nazi commander for the region to surrender, completing one of the most successful OSS missions of the war. Based on years of research and interviews with Mayer himself, whom the author was able to meet only months before his death at the age of ninety-four, Return to the Reich is an eye-opening, unforgettable narrative of World War II heroism.