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The Ghost Ships of Archangel

The Arctic Voyage That Defied the Nazis
Narrated by: Arthur Morey
Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An extraordinary story of survival and alliance during World War II: the icy journey of four Allied ships crossing the Arctic to deliver much needed supplies to the Soviet war effort.

On the fourth of July, 1942, four Allied ships traversing the Arctic separated from their decimated convoy to head further north into the ice field of the North Pole, seeking safety from Nazi bombers and U-boats in the perilous white maze of ice floes, growlers, and giant bergs. Despite the risks, they had a better chance of survival than the rest of Convoy PQ-17, a fleet of 35 cargo ships carrying $1 billion worth of war supplies to the Soviet port of Archangel - the limited help Roosevelt and Churchill extended to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin to maintain their fragile alliance, even as they avoided joining the fight in Europe while the Eastern Front raged.

The high-level politics that put Convoy PQ-17 in the path of the Nazis were far from the minds of the diverse crews aboard their ships. US Navy ensign Howard Carraway, aboard the SS Troubadour, was a farm boy from South Carolina and one of the many Americans for whom the convoy was to be a first taste of war; aboard the SS Ironclad, Ensign William Carter of the US Navy Reserve had passed up a chance at Harvard Business School to join the Navy Armed Guard; from the Royal Navy Reserve, Lt. Leo Gradwell was given command of the HMT Ayrshire, a fishing trawler that had been converted into an antisubmarine vessel. All the while, The Ghost Ships of Archangel turns its focus on Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin, playing diplomatic games that put their ships in peril.

The 24-hour Arctic daylight in midsummer gave no respite from bombers, and the Germans wielded the terrifying battleship Tirpitz, nicknamed The Big Bad Wolf. Icebergs were as dangerous as Nazis. As a newly forged alliance was close to dissolving and the remnants of Convoy PQ-17 tried to slip through the Arctic in one piece, the fate of the world hung in the balance.

©2019 William Geroux (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“In this gripping history, Geroux recounts the fascinating story of multinational convoy PQ-17, which sailed through treacherous ice-filled waters to deliver tanks, explosives, and other supplies to support the Soviet WWII effort... WWII aficionados, and anyone else who likes a good story, will find this well-written adventure tale a real pleasure.” (Publishers Weekly)

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  • Jan
  • MKE
  • 05-16-19

History at its finest!

naval-history, war-is-hell, WW2, arctic-warfare, historical-places-events, historical-research

4-4-2019 Amazing research and presentation! I kept diving into it despite my total lack of foreknowledge. So much to learn and keep annoying friends and family with tidbits and more, even the Norwegians! Ok, just to give examples: in 1940 the Norse who were at sea when the Nazis seized Norway were forced to live at sea or in temporary lodgings in Allied or Neutral nations, one converted Liberty Ship in the convoy included an old cannon from a public park in Baltimore among its armaments, not only was the Nazi Wolfpack doing their best to annihilate the convoy but so was the cold weather and the ice. Included among the many resources is a diary of an Able Bodied Seaman.
I need to get a print copy for the library and hope that an audio is made for a fanatic who spends a lot of time in his car!
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Penguin Group-VIKING via NetGalley. Thank you!
5-16-19 Just bought the audio performed by the inimitable Arthur Morey!