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.
I loved this book because of the audacious rescue mission, the revelations of the impact of the infamous Cambridge Spy Ring on British/American political decisions, and the sacrificial support of some rescued American pilots for the unfairly condemned Nazi-resistance leader.
This book will make you mad at how a group of spy traitors, through their stupid Communist ideology, could have misled Britain and America into actively supporting a Communist tyrant in Yugoslavia at the expense of the more noble guerrilla fighter. At the end though, you will be more hopeful when you see how the rescued American pilots fought (though unsuccessfully) to save this great resistance fightter from Stalin and the local communists.
By the way, the story is a real page turner as well.
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.
It was interesting to learn of this unknown hero and what he did for the downed pilots. Many of these men would have died if not for the efforts of these freedom loving heroes. My respect for the Yugoslavian people has gone up ten fold. I will never look at these people the same way again. This is truly a book of two stories and possibly three. The liars like Klugmann and Tito and how they deceived the British and US. The love story between two lost souls and the rescue of some 512 pilots and crew members shot down over Nazi Germany.
I loved the book. At first it was a little hard to follow because of the various people you are introduced to but after a a few chapters it become easier. Great story.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.