During a bombing campaign, hundreds of American airmen were shot down in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia. Local Serbian villagers risked their own lives to give refuge to the soldiers, and for months the airmen lived in hiding, waiting for rescue.
In 1944, Operation Halyard was born. The risks were incredible. The starving Americans in Yugoslavia had to construct a landing strip: without tools, without alerting the Germans, and without endangering the villagers. And the rescue planes had to make it through enemy airspace and back: without getting shot down themselves.
Classified for over half a century for political reasons, the full account of this unforgettable story of loyalty, self-sacrifice, and bravery is now being told for the first time. The Forgotten 500 is the breathtaking, behind-the-scenes look at the greatest escape of World War II.
©2007 Gregory A. Freeman; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.
An engaging true story of the rescue of downed air crews in Romania and Yugoslavia during WW II. Shines light on the political background of post-war Yugoslavia.
The first half of the book is basically the historical backstory, including the political angles, setting up the stage for the story of the actual rescue, which, despite being the theme of the book, is presented as almost an afterthought - in the last hour of the story.
It's not as riveting as some military history books I've read, but still, it's a good listen, and learning about the intelligence issues and the hospitality of the Yugoslavian people was worth waiting for the ending.
This is the kind of story that should be a movie, but never is. The courage and generosity of the Serbian people is unbelievable. The story is well told and gripping as a thriller novel -- but much, much better.
The story itself is great. It is interesting and well rounded history that is, at the same time pretty emotionally involving.
The narraration however is horrible. Lawlor's flimsy tenor voice and embarrasing impersonations really subtract from the enjoyment in my opinion. check the library... :(
I enjoyed this book. There are many untold stories from World War II that we may never hear about, I'm just glad this one got written. The Narrator Patrick Lawlor can make a thriller out of "The Principles of Accounting". Overall this was a good story about strong men, caring villagers and dedicated OSS men. Worth the money.
The story itself is spellbinding; it is full of intrigue and personality that keeps you on the edge AND, wonder of wonders, it is not just a good mystery but a true story! The writing is crisp and fastpaced with balanced development of plot and characters. The narration is really excellent - having the various accents really takes this audiobook over the top. The story is inspirational and discouraging at the same time - such is life in the modern world.
This is a very good story. A compelling piece of WWII history and the eastern European politics of that era that show through today.
My issue is the narrator sounds really young. The really strong characters and story lose something when told via a 12 year old. With Audiobooks the Narrator is key to a good "read", this one misses. The great story carries it, so its fine but could have been much better.
the "forgotten 500" were all but forgotten in this story. They were just discussed in couple of chapters towards the end. No detailed discussion of their lives were on the run, how they stayed hidden, details of how they but a landing strip, etc
The book should have titled "how Yugoslavia went communist" The first of the book focused on a love story, the middle focused on Tito's rise to power, also a history of the OSS.
While the narrator's used of a "Slavic" accent was OK the first 50 times it got in the way more than aided the storytelling and even became annoying. finally, the overall writing sounded like the old radio dramas "will they escape the Nazi?? stay tuned for the next chapter"
This is a story that every American should know, yet I had never heard of it.
It is a story of courage, commitment and love thy neighbor diminished by bureaucratic bungling. I enjoyed it very much!
this was an amazing book, so much depth to the story and so much insight from another perspective of the forefathers who sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy today.
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