November 9th, 1942. Amid the cloaking gloom of the Liverpool docks lay the Dunedin Star. A ship of the Blue Star Line, she was bound for the Middle East, her consignment of munitions for the 8th Army supplemented by twenty-one fare-paying civilians escaping the Blitz for the colonies, all forced to take the long haul round the Cape.
As an unescorted merchantman sailing U-boat infested waters, Dunedin Star's passage was, at best, a risky undertaking. But her eventual fate was to defy all expectation. Three weeks into her voyage, her hull mysteriously holed, Dunedin Star ran aground off Namibia's infamous Skeleton Coast - five hundred miles of raging surf and burning desert, the most violent and desolate shore on earth. Sixty-three men, women and children were to defy mountainous waves and unfathomable odds to reach land . . . but their struggle for survival had only just begun.
From interviews with survivors, eyewitness testimony, historical resources and personal journals, Dawson skilfully reconstructs the Dunedin Star's doomed voyage, the terror of the wilderness and the painstaking rescue missions. From the grim waters of the North Atlantic to the blistering African wastes, he narrates a classic tale of pluck, set against the backdrop of World War II.
Including original, unpublished material from Commander Wu¨rdemann’s war diary, the story provides balance and perspective by chronicling the daring mission of the U-boat—and its commander’s decision-making—in the Gulf of Mexico.
An inspiring historical narrative, So Close to Home tells the story of the Downs family as they struggle against sharks, hypothermia, drowning, and dehydration in their effort to survive the aftermath of this deadly attack off the American coast.
Beginning with a crazy plan hatched by a suspect prince, and an even crazier reliance on the word of the Nazis, Operation Chowhound was devised. Between May 1 and May 8, 1945, 2,268 military units flown by the USAAF, dropped food to 3.5 million starving Dutch civilians in German-occupied Holland.
It took raw courage to fly on Operation Chowhound, as American aircrews never knew when the German AAA might open fire on them or if Luftwaffe fighters might jump them. Flying at 400 feet, barely above the tree tops, with guns pointed directly at them, they would have no chance to bail out if their B-17s were hit—and yet, over eight days, 120,000 German troops kept their word, and never fired on the American bombers. As they flew, grateful Dutch civilians spelled out "Thanks Boys" in the tulip fields below. Many Americans who flew in Operation Chowhound would claim it was the best thing they did in the war.
In this gripping narrative, author Stephen Dando-Collins takes the reader into the rooms where Operation Chowhound was born, into the aircraft flying the mission, and onto the ground in the Netherlands with the civilians who so desperately needed help. James Bond creator Ian Fleming, Hollywood actress Audrey Hepburn, as well as Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Churchill all play a part in this story, creating a compelling, narrative read.