This exciting book acknowledges that the merchant marines, all volunteers, are among the unsung heroes of the war. One of these was Jac Smith, an ordinary seamen on the Cedar Creek, a new civilian tanker lend-leased to the U.S.S.R. and in the merchantman convoy running from Scotland to Murmansk. Smith's riveting adventures at sea and in the frozen taigas and tundra are a story of valor that underlines the essential role of merchant marines in the war against the Axis powers.
This gripping narrative tells of a cruel blow that fate dealt Smith when, after volunteering to serve on the tanker headed for Murmansk, he was arrested and interned in a Soviet work camp near Arkhangelsk.
Escape from Archangel recounts how this American happened to be imprisoned in an Allied country and how he planned and managed his escape. In his arduous 900-mile trek to freedom, he encountered the remarkable Laplanders of the far north and brave Norwegian resistance fighters. While telling this astonishing story of Jac Smith and of the awesome dangers merchant seamen endured while keeping commerce alive on the seascape of war, Escape from Archangel brings long-deserved attention to the role of the merchant marine and their sacrifices during wartime.
Many of these soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines served in nearly every major battle in Europe and the Pacific including: Pearl Harbor, the invasion of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Their sacrifice for our country is a debt which cannot be repaid. They represent the best of “The Greatest Generation.”
"This book is a fitting tribute to those Hoosiers who gave their all for the cause of freedom during World War II. The personal stories of those who served offer a window into a time that should be remembered."
-Ray Boomhower, Indiana historian and author
“Hodgin and Hardwick have produced an interesting and informative compendium of World War II stories of veterans that should instill a sense of pride in students and adults of all ages. The book has a readable style of a period in our history that we would do well not to forget.”
John Shively, M.D., Author and WW II historian
“A must read for both historians and those desiring to learn more about one of the most decisive periods in our nation’s history. The authors have not only captured the veterans’ stories but also the sights and sounds of what many were thinking when facing death, hardships and struggling to survive.”
J. Stewart Goodwin, Brig. Gen., USAF (Ret), Executive Director, Indiana War Memorials
“This book is an absorbing collection of stories from the men and women of the “Greatest Generation.” Their stories illustrate some of the pain and incredible atrocities they witnessed, and at the same time, the friendships and joys they experienced. A must read for every person who wants to know what it was really like during WW II.”
Charles “Tom” Applegate, Director, Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs
In the first volume of his monumental trilogy about the liberation of Europe in WW II, Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson tells the riveting story of the war in North Africa
The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is a story of courage and enduring triumph, of calamity and miscalculation. In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson shows why no modern reader can understand the ultimate victory of the Allied powers without a grasp of the great drama that unfolded in North Africa in 1942 and 1943. That first year of the Allied war was a pivotal point in American history, the moment when the United States began to act like a great power.
Beginning with the daring amphibious invasion in November 1942, An Army at Dawn follows the American and British armies as they fight the French in Morocco and Algeria, and then take on the Germans and Italians in Tunisia. Battle by battle, an inexperienced and sometimes poorly led army gradually becomes a superb fighting force. Central to the tale are the extraordinary but fallible commanders who come to dominate the battlefield: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Montgomery, and Rommel.
Brilliantly researched, rich with new material and vivid insights, Atkinson's narrative provides the definitive history of the war in North Africa.